Friday, June 13th 2014 - 07:21 UTC

Falklands Atlantic patrol honors shipmates of vessels sank during 1982 conflict

A small party from Atlantic patrol tasking (South) HMS Portland have made a pilgrimage to First Mountain as part of a week of commemorations in the Falkland Islands to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the 1982 conflict.

HMS Portland’s junior engineer Lyndin Burger salutes the Royal Navy’s fallen a few dozen miles from the spot where the wreck of HMS Coventry lies. (Pic RN)

A commemorative service was held at Blue Beach Military Cemetery attended by Commander Sarah West, Portland’s Commanding Officer (Pic RN)

The South Atlantic patrol also visited Grytviken in South Georgia, 850 miles from the Falklands  (Pic MoD)

 On the mountain’s eastern slope HMS Portland’s junior engineer Lyndin Burger saluted the Royal Navy’s fallen a few dozen miles from the spot where the wreck of HMS Coventry lies.

Before sailing for Pebble Island off the north coast of West Falkland, HMS Portland anchored in San Carlos Water with HMS Clyde – the Islands’ permanent patrol ship – and tanker RFA Black Rover – which provides fuel for Royal Navy vessels in the South Atlantic.

It was here, on May 21 1982, that soldiers and Royal Marines came ashore and the ground campaign to re-take the Falkland Islands from Argentine forces began.

That attempt prompted an all-out effort by Argentine air forces who sank frigates HMS Ardent and HMS Antelope – the latter famously blew up as experts tried to defuse an unexploded bomb.

To remember those sacrifices, a commemorative service was held at Blue Beach Military Cemetery attended by Commander Sarah West, Portland’s Commanding Officer, and members of her ship’s company, before an RAF Hercules flew over the anchored ships, dipping its wings in salute.

The acts of remembrance 30 miles to the northwest and Pebble Island, where HMS Coventry and frigate Broadsword were stationed on May 25 1982 to intercept incoming enemy aircraft, which they did until the Type 42 destroyer was fatally hit.

Portland’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Rob Brann, led a team of sailors to the to the simple but imposing memorial cross and cairn erected to the Coventry and the 19 men lost when she sank, with Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Burger laying a wreath on behalf of his comrades.

“I was extremely honored to lay a wreath at this memorial for our shipmates in HMS Coventry. It is important that we remember all those who died during the Falklands War,” he said.

Aboard HMS Portland, the ship’s padre, Reverend Matt Godfrey conducted services of remembrance which were attended by those who were unable to attend the services ashore.

The visits to the battlefields provided a solemn end to HMS Portland’s recent patrol of the UK’s South Atlantic territories which just a few days earlier found the Devonport-based frigate spending 48 hours anchored off Grytviken, ‘capital’ of South Georgia, some 850 miles from the Falklands.

The visit to the idyllic archipelago gave the ship’s company the opportunity to explore the abandoned whaling station and observe the abundance of wildlife that can be found along King Edward Cove and Cumberland East Bay at close quarters.

A popular destination was Penguin River – home to a colony of king penguins – once the sailors had negotiated their way past fur and elephant seals on the shore.

Equal popular were the grave of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, buried in Grytviken in 1922, and the South Georgia Museum, whose exhibits include a replica of the James Caird – the boat Shackleton used to help rescue his expedition party which became trapped in Antarctica in 1916.

Portland’s church officer, Lt Samuel Wall, led a service in the Norwegian Lutheran Church – one of the most southerly churches in the world.

And the ship herself hosted government officials and scientists from the British Antarctic Survey, granting them a tour of the frigate and lunch with a cross-section of the ship’s company. HMS Portland is in the later stages of her South Atlantic and Pacific deployment having sailed from Plymouth in January.

11 comments Feed

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1 Conqueror (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 09:40 am Report abuse
Simple, respectful, understated. The British way!

“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we WILL remember them.”
2 José Malvinero (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 10:40 am
Comment removed by the editor.
3 Briton (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 10:41 am Report abuse
we will never forget.
4 Islander1 (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 10:57 am Report abuse
Jose you really are a thick little bit of dog excrement. I suppose your ancestors never used the rack to torture and slowly pull human beings to pieces?

You Argentines can never get it can you? You lot celebrate invasions - Britain and the Falklands COMMEMORATE and REMEMBER the fallen - and of BOTH sides - yes tomorrow 14th June we will be remembering the young Argentines who lost their lives here, as well as the British and Islanders.
5 Benson (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 11:15 am Report abuse
@2 Nice up to date relevant picture from the 19th centurary.
6 HansNiesund (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 11:56 am Report abuse

Congratulations on getting the British Empire in as early as post @2, it usually takes a good few more than that.

However, I still don't quite follow how come the Falkland Islanders are apparently supposed to be making amends to Argentina for the crimes, real or alleged, of the British Empire. Care to explain that logic?
7 lsolde (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
@2 José Mal-de-mer,
Those Sepoys(& they are/were real Sepoys, not the ridiculous tittles that you Argentines bandy about)mostly deserved all that they got.
They butchered British & lndian women & children(including babies) & in one notorious case threw the still alive victims down a well.
The room that they were murdered in had blood halfway up the walls.
They deserved everything they got.
What a quick death, blown from a cannon, compared to the deaths that they handed out.
lt shows you up for a complete uninformed idiot, that you really are José.
8 Clyde15 (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 02:28 pm Report abuse
The cannon was used because the helicopter was not invented yet.

Your country took it up a notch when you threw people out of them.

Look at the dates, 1857, your lot did it in the civilized 1970/80's,

Just as an adjunct ”El 25 de septiembre millares de soldados de los regimientos Highlanders bajo el mando del General Sir Henry Havelock acudió a la ayuda de los británicos en Lucknow. En octubre, otra unidad de Highlanders bajo el comando de Sir Colin Campbell logró romper el cerco de los cipayos y evacuó a las tropas leales llevándolos a Kanpur, ciudad ya capturada por los británicos.

You met their descendants on Mt. Tumbledown.
If required they will do a re-run of this if you are stupid enough to try it again.
9 lsolde (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 09:02 pm Report abuse
@8 Clyde15,
At the lifting of the seige of Lucknow General Havelock's men marched through the Delhi Gate(?)singing, “The Campbell's are coming, Hurrah, hurrah”
Might have that a bit wrong, but l'm sure l read it somewhere.
10 CJvR (#) Jun 13th, 2014 - 09:11 pm Report abuse

Don't forget Argentina's contribution to human civilization - the half way flight ticket.
11 gordo1 (#) Jun 14th, 2014 - 05:35 am Report abuse
@ 2 José Malvinero

Maybe you'll enjoy this!

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