Falklands war remembered with new Doncaster memorial

NDFP 24-8-14 Memorial, Bugler Cathy O'Keefe & Memorial Service  BC 1
NDFP 24-8-14 Memorial, Bugler Cathy O'Keefe & Memorial Service BC 1

A memorial to honour soldiers and civilians who died in the 1982 Falklands conflict has been unveiled in Doncaster.

Fifty veterans joined civic leaders at the Aeroventure Museum at Lakeside for the unveiling of a statue in honour of the 255 British servicemen and three Falkland islanders who died in battle.

Six Doncaster soldiers are believed to have fought in the conflict, which claimed the lives of three town men, Hatfield-born Merchant Navy captain Ian North, Edlington paratrooper Stephen Illingsworth and Wheatley sailor Anthony Sillence.

The memorial was unveiled after a short service by Father Gus O’Reilly, in front a crowd which included ex-soldiers, museum trustees and members of the South Atlantic Medal Association 1982.

Doncaster’s deputy civic mayor Paul Wray and mayor of Whitby, councillor Heather Coughlan, also attended. Whitby is twinned with Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.

Ex-special forces sergeant Gordon Mather, chairman of SAMA82, said: “It was an extremely important mission and was a demonstration of three dimensional warfare between the army, navy and air force.

“Sadly there is the cost of human life in any war and we must remember those soldiers who fought and died and also the civilian casualties.”

Museum trustee and former RAF engineer Bill Fern, 69, said: “It is so important to remember those who have fought and died for their country.

“The memorial’s shape represents the globe and the distance they had to travel to get there. It is a fitting tribute.”

A book inside the museum contains the names of British soldiers and the three civilians who died.