Gilbert House, seat of the Falkland Islands elected government has announced the following program for Friday 8 December 2023 to commemorate the victory of the Naval engagements of 8th December 1914 in the South Atlantic.
The Royal Navy on that day sunk the German Imperial navy East Asia squadron, including its flagship, SMS Scharnhorst and commander Maximilium Von Spee, and his two sons, young naval officers.
Previously Von Spee on November first, had defeated off the coast of Chile, in the Battle of Colonel a British squadron and was heading for then, the most strategic Falkland Islands. A large force, under Vice Admiral Frederick Doveton Sturdee was sent to track and destroy the German cruiser squadron. The German had two armored cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the light cruisers SMS Nurnberg, Dresden and Leipzig, plus the colliers SS Baden, SS Santa Isabel and SS Seydlitz.
The British, battle cruisers HMS Invincible and Inflexible, armored cruisers Carnarvon, Cornwall and Kent, plus the armed merchant cruiser HMS Macedonia and light cruisers HMS Bristol and Glasgow. Only SMS Dresden survived and managed to escape. The battle took place 98 nautical miles to the south east of the Falklands, with a minimum loss of lives for the Royal Navy.
This Friday 8 December 2023, at about 10.45 am a detachment of the Falkland Islands Defense Force and the Associations will march to the Battle Memorial. At 10.58am Governor Alison Blake will arrive at the Battle Memorial and will inspect the Parade. Youth Groups will be in attendance.
After prayers Governor Blake will lay a wreath, followed by MLA Jack Ford, the Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, and representatives of the Royal British Legion and Associations.
Members of the public wishing to attend the ceremony are asked to arrive no later than 10.50 am. It is appropriate for decorations and medals to be worn on this occasion.
After the ceremony there will be a march past. Governor Blake, MLA Jack Ford and the Commander British Forces, will take the Salute from a dais at the entrance gates to Government House lawns.
Government also notified that Friday 8th December 2023 (Battle Day) will be a Public Holiday in the Falklands and that all Government Departments (other than those providing essential services) will be closed.