On a glorious May day, Sunday 27th; more than 1000 spectators, friends and family joined veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
Following a flypast from a Royal Navy Sea King Helicopter, which had many of the spectators cheering and waving, a reflective service of remembrance was held.
Reverend Andy Davis, of Holy Trinity Church, led the service with assistance of Reverend Godfrey Hillard MA, who was Chaplain of 40 Commando Royal Marines during the conflict.
Carnations were laid on the memorial stone in the heart of the Falklands Gardens to remember each of the 255 sailors, soldiers, airman and 3 civilians who gave their lives.
With musical accompaniment from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marine School of Music and a Guard of Honour provided by HMS SULTAN, approximately 500 veterans, who served in the conflict taskforce, marched along Gosport High Street in the blazing sunshine.
Rear Admiral Iain Henderson CB CBE DL, who served as second in command of HMS Plymouth in the South Atlantic, took the salute alongside the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Richard Dickson.
HMS SULTAN’s Officer of the Guard, Lt Gemma Radcliffe RN, said:
“I feel very privileged to be marching in this parade, alongside those who have done extraordinary things for their country.
“It is terrific to see so many people here today to remember those sons and husbands, many of whom lived locally, who never came home.
“And what a beautiful day for it,” she added.
In spite of the reflective and sombre nature of the event, as the parade passed by, spectators clapped and waved Union Flags for their currently serving and retired Armed Forces.
Naval Today Staff, June 13, 2012; Image: Royal Navy