The new Falklands War memorial in Brecon, Wales, was officially unveiled on Saturday in the Peace Gardens. The former Governor of the Falkland Islands, Sir Alan Huckle, unveiled the memorial stone while Jock Blair from the Royal British Legion in Brecon unveiled the bench.
Drew and Jules Hore, who run a stand at the Brecon Indoor Market, helped raise money for the stone through the 35th Ride of Respect motorbike rally in June. The memorial has been installed to mark 35 years since the war ended.
Working with staff from Kier construction they installed the bench and the stone at the beginning of September. Since then Drew and Jules have worked hard to tidy the area. Drew said: “The ceremony was very well attended with 50-60 people, around 15 of whom were invited guests and the rest either veterans of the Falklands war or members of the public.
“Despite the rain it went very well and we had nothing but positive comments about it.”
Both the bench and the stone are dedicated to the 255 British soldiers and three civilians who died during the short war in 1982.
The service was conducted by the padre, Rev Major Richardson, of the 160 Brigade with an escort of four serving guardsmen from the Welsh Guards recruitment team.
Jules said: “In his address the Padre spoke about the ‘wounds’ inflicted during conflict and how those wounded are changed or scarred by their experiences.
“The theme of the ceremony was from the book of John – ‘Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lays down his life for his friends’, the ‘friends’ in this case being British citizens who lived over 8,000 miles away from the UK.”
The service featured wreaths being laid at the memorial and included Bobby Crick, an ex-Royal Artillery air defence soldier, as bugler along with David Evans, a soloist from the Aberhonddu Male Voice Choir.
Chris Davies MP, Liam Fitzpatrick from Powys council, the Mayor of Brecon Cllr Ieuan Williams, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff Bob Derbyshire and the chairman of the Nepalese Society Mahadev Thapa, who is also a Falklands War veteran, all attended. Also attending were members of the Welsh Guards Association, members of the South Atlantic Medal Association (SAMA82) for Brecon and Wales, members of the Royal British Legion and various military veterans from the Falklands War.
After the service there was a reception in the Brecon Guildhall which currently contains a panel depicting scenes of the Falklands War by artist Jeffery Phillips which will soon be transported to the museum in Port Stanley. Jules said: “We did raise the issue of ‘why have a war memorial in a Peace Garden?’ and people attending responded that peace only ever follows conflict or war and that there has never been a spontaneous outbreak of peace. Also the memorial gives people somewhere to sit and reflect on the price paid for peace both by members of the armed forces and civilians.”