Doncaster chosen to host events marking 40th anniversary of Falkands War

Doncaster has been chosen to host events marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 6:35 am

Memorials, lectures and other events will take place all over the country throughout 2022 to mark the 1982 conflict between Great Britain and Argentina.

The 74-day war began when Argentine forces invaded the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic on April 2 of that year.

A few days after the invasion, a task force set sail from the UK involving almost 26,000 armed forces and 3,000 civilian crew with the aim of retaking the islands.

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Vulcan bombers took part in the bombing raids on the Falkand Islands during the 1982 war.

Following several weeks of fighting on land, sea and in the air, Argentina surrended on June 14, 1982. The war saw 255 British casualties, 649 Argentine deaths and three civilian Falkland Islander deaths.

Details of Doncaster’s commemorations have not yet been announced, but the town is home to the world’s last airworthy Vulcan bomber – and the distinctive aircraft were famously involved in the long-range bombing raids on the island known as Operation Black Buck.

While the XH558 housed at Doncaster Sheffield Airport was not involved in the raids on Port Stanley Airport, crew involved in its upkeep and flying the aircraft until it was eventually grounded are based in the town as part of the Vulcan To The Sky Trust.

On June 14, a special commemoration will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for up to 10,000 people, mainly focused on veterans and their families.

Falkland Islands Committee chairman and former member of the Legislative Assembly Phyl Rendell said: “I know how important the 40th anniversary will be for many people, which is why we need to make every effort to ensure that we mark the occasion with due respect, and pay tribute to the courage shown and the sacrifices made back in 1982.

“As a nation, we have moved forward substantially in the past 40 years and it is right that we celebrate how, in exercising our liberty, we have built a prosperous and peaceful country – one which has not simply survived, but thrived.

“We want to approach this milestone with optimism for the future. We now have a younger generation, born after 1982, who understand how they have benefited from the bravery of others and will continue to build on that legacy.”

Three Doncaster men were among those killed in the conflict, which lasted more than two months.

Hatfield-born Capt Ian North, 57, skipper of Merchant Navy cargo ship Atlantic Conveyor died on May 25, 1982 after the ship was hit by two Exocet missiles while Edlington Para Private Stephen Illingsworth was just 20 years old when he was shot by an Argentine sniper during the recapture of Goose Green on May 28.

Leading Cook Tony Sillence, 26, of Wheatley Hills, died on June 12, just a few days before the Argentine surrender on June 14 when his ship, HMS Glamorgan was hit by an Exocet missile fired from the shore.

Memorials to all three men exist in both Doncaster and the Falkand Islands.