Fareham to host ‘important’ Freedom March as town commemorates Falklands 40 by unveiling new memorial plaque

FAREHAM will remember the lives lost during the Falklands War as the country marks the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

Friday, 15th April 2022, 3:04 pm
Updated Friday, 15th April 2022, 3:05 pm

A Freedom March is set to take place next month, when the council will unveil a new memorial plaque at its Falklands Arch, along with the addition of 40 pale maiden flowers fixed to the structure.

This plant is the national flower of the Falklands.

HMS Collingwood will mark the anniversary by exercising their 'Freedom of the Borough' and marching through Fareham Town Centre alongside veterans and accompanied by the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines on Saturday, May 14.

Dedication of Falklands Arch in West Street, Fareham - Baroness Thatcher and Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Mary Fagan cut the tape officially unveiling the Falklands Arch. Picture: Jonathan Brady

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Falklands 40: Headlines from The News on April 15, 1982

Cllr Seán Woodward, executive leader for Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘We very proudly commemorate the Falklands War. We have a great number of service people in Fareham, and people from Fareham lost their lives.

‘It is important and appropriate that we commemorate the sacrifice that was made for the freedom of the British people on the anniversary of the Falklands War, and I hope as many people as possible come along.’

The event will take place in the pedestrianised area of West Street in Fareham town centre from 10.30am-12.30pm.

The Falklands Arch leading off West Street. Picture: Michael Scadden

Thousands of Fareham residents attended the town’s event to mark the 25th anniversary of the conflict, when Margaret Thatcher unveiled the Falklands Arch.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘We had the most colossal turnout on the 25th anniversary when Baroness Thatcher unveiled the arch, many thousands of people turned out.

‘This anniversary we will be making some changes to the arch.

‘Pale maiden flowers are found on the Falklands so there’s a connection. I thought they looked very attractive and appropriate.’

The march will start at 10.45am from the Civic Offices in Fareham, before heading down the High Street and into West Street.

At 11am, the Mayor of Fareham will take the general salute and inspect the platoons, followed by an Arms Drill display, and a religious service with prayers and speeches.

The march will then head from West Street from 11.45am, past the bus station, onto Vannes Parade and up through the Falklands Arch back to the podium, before returning to the Civic Offices.

The Mayor and Falklands veteran, Derek Kimber, will then unveil the new plaque at the arch, and the 40 pale maiden flowers which will be affixed to the arch to create a lasting tribute.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘The Falklands War is something that people can remember, they remember what they were doing at the time.

‘I remember being out in Portsmouth Harbour and seeing HMS Hermes and Invincible sail away, and then I went again when they came back.

‘As the town with the country’s biggest naval training base, it’s appropriate that we commemorate here in Fareham.’

To allow the march to go ahead, there will be several road closures on the day from 10.30am until 12.30pm.

The roads affected are High Street, Harper Way, Quay Street, Civic Way, and West Street from Quay Street to High Street.

For more information about the Falklands commemorative event, visit fareham.gov.uk/falklands.