As a sea-faring nation, surrounded by the South Atlantic, the Falkland Islands have become a final resting place for many ships over time. Many of these were merchant trading vessels that suffered accidental damage at sea due to adverse sailing conditions, such as the Lady Elizabeth, one of the most iconic symbols of the Islands, located in Whalebone Cove at the east end of Stanley harbor.
However, Falkland Islands waters have also seen significant naval warfare and today marks the anniversary of the first British ship to be attacked during the 1982 war. 39 years ago, 20
crewmen lost their lives on the HMS Sheffield, following an Argentine missile strike.
She was also the first Royal Navy vessel sunk in action since World War II and the site of her sinking is now an official war grave, protected under the terms of the Military Remains Act.
The Falkland Islands Governement remember with sadness the sacrifice made that day, and the lives of naval personnel that were lost or forever altered, aboard six other vessels that were casualties of the war:
• HMS Ardent (sunk 21 May)
• HMS Antelope (sunk 24 May)
• HMS Coventry (sunk 25 May)
• Atlantic Conveyor (sunk 25 May)
• RFA Sir Galahad (attacked 8 June, towed to sea and sunk as a war grave on 21 June)
• LCU F4, (sunk 8 June, LCU F4 was a Landing Craft Utility from HMS Fearless)
The Falkland Islands motto ‘Desire the Right’ makes reference to the vessel from which British sea captain John Davis first sighted the Falkland Islands in 1592, and we will be forever grateful to the men who also travelled here by sea, 390 years later in 1982, to defend our rights and restore our freedom. We will never forget.