IN a freezing mountainside ceremony on East Falkland Islands today British Special Forces veterans and Falkland Islanders paid tribute to a Special Boat Service Sergeant killed on June 2, 1982.
Sergeant Ian ‘Kiwi’ Nicholas Hunt lost his life in what is known as a ‘blue on blue’ incident, when during operations he strayed into an area being patrolled by the Special Air Service (SAS).
Kiwi Hunt was the only SBS member to die in the South Atlantic Conflict.
Maurice Andrews MBE, a former Royal Marine Major attending the plaque dedication ceremony described Sergeant Hunt as “a thinking man’s warrior,” and “an enigmatic character,” with “a wry and wicked sense of humor.”
Reverend Richard Hinds conducted the service, and Willy Stocks, a former SBS and Corps Regimental Sergeant Major gave a bible reading.
Stocks became something of a legend in the Falklands during the1982 War, after he swam across the broad and strongly tidal stretch of water between Gun Hill and Chartres Settlement on West Falklands.
Islander Sharon Jaffray, who for the first time since 1982 was able to renew her acquaintance with Mr Stocks today, said, “The SBS had apparently been watching Chartres Settlement for a few days and then one night Will swam across and banged on Mum and Dad’s door. The boat then went across to get the other guys, we were so pleased we all got up and had a party.”
East Falkland Islanders were just as delighted to see the Special Boat Service, again including Stocks, on their surreptitious operations before and after the British Forces landed at San Carlos.
Neil Watson of Long Island Farm said, “We were all sitting around the kitchen one evening when we heard a knock at the door which was a bit of a shock, but it turned out to be a nice one when we realized the soldiers were British.”
The group spent two days at the farm, observing the surrounding area of Long Island Mountain and Berkeley Sound, before Mr. Watson drove them in the early hours of the morning, overland to an inlet near Green Patch Farm where they were picked up by a Royal Marine rigid raider.”
Men of the Special Boat Service were involved in operations in the Falklands War for a full three weeks before the main landings. They were also the first part of the small task force sent to re-take South Georgia.
The plaque for Kiwi Hunt is situated near the majestically long Prince’s Street stone-run between Estancia Farm and Green Patch Farm. Many of the Islanders attending the ceremony were the farmers and Stanley ‘refugees’ who acted as overland drivers and guides for the paratroopers moving forward towards Stanley in the final days of the War.
By Lisa Watson – SeAled PR – Stanley