Falklands 40: Veterans to march through Gosport during commemorative event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War

FALKLANDS veterans will parade through Gosport next weekend to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

By Toby Paine
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 4:55 am

The town held its first national Falklands remembrance event in 1997, and has hosted one every five years since.

Derek ‘Smokey’ Cole, its chief executive, who served onboard HMS Intrepid as a petty officer marine engineer and mechanic said: ‘Once again Gosport is playing a very prominent role in remembrance of the Falklands conflict.’

Gosport is home to the Falklands Veterans Foundation, which was granted freedom of the borough almost 20 years ago allowing veterans to march through the streets.

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Mr Cole added: ‘The veterans of the conflict are all very humbled to have received the freedom of the borough in 2005 and are delighted to be able to parade through the town once again, on this special year.

‘There were many servicemen and families living in Gosport in 1982 who became involved in the conflict and sadly some did not return from the South Atlantic but will always be remembered.

‘A massive thank you goes to the people of Gosport for their support, not just for this year's commemoration but for what they did in 1982, playing a major role in getting the task force prepared for an epic journey of 8,000 miles.’

The commemoration on Sunday, May 29 will begin at 10.35am when a civic procession will march from the town hall to the Falklands Gardens.

A service addressed by Falklands veteran Rev Godfrey Hilliard, a Royal Marines chaplain in 1982, will start at 11am.

After the service there will be a parade through the high street.