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Montevideo, May 18th 2024 - 06:48 UTC



Falklands: soon release of files on bombing of RFA Sir Galahad at Bluff Cove

Wednesday, March 27th 2024 - 11:03 UTC
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RFA Sir Galahad ablaze after the bombing raid by the Argentine air force, 8 June, only a week before the surrender of the occupying Argentine forces  RFA Sir Galahad ablaze after the bombing raid by the Argentine air force, 8 June, only a week before the surrender of the occupying Argentine forces

Two secret Falkland Islands War files related to the bombing of the navy support ship Sir Galahad could soon be released, Defense minister Andrew Murrison told the Commons. “Government was considering releasing the files related to the disaster, subject to legal checks,” he said and suggesting more details could be released in coming months rather that years.

The two Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing vessels, Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram landing Welsh Guards were attacked by Argentine air force Douglas A-4 Skyhawk on June 8, 1982 at Bluff Cove.

The development comes after a North Wales veteran Les Peake hit out at the “incredulous” wait to release official files on the tragedy. Some 48 crew members on board the Sir Galahad died, with many more injured. Following the disaster, some blamed the Welsh Guards aboard for not having left the ship earlier, thereby leaving the ship vulnerable to attack.

In the Commons, Conservative former minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith was among the MPs urging the Government to unseal the files to exonerate those soldiers who have had their “reputations trashed”. Mr. Murrison told MPs: “I recognize the substantial public and parliamentary interest in this matter.

Consequently, I visited very recently the National Archives in Kew to review the RFA Sir Galahad files.” “As a result, we are looking to release a further two files subject to MoD legal confirming that individuals' rights under the Data Protection Act would not be contravened.”

“In relation to the five files of witness statements I want maximum transparency, subject to the Public Records Act and ensuring personal data is protected, and I will provide further updates shortly.”

Last week Mr Peake was among many veterans who attended a reunion event in Cardiff on March 23, where they called on UK Government ministers to change the rules and immediately unveil the official records to reveal how the Sir Galahad became an open target for Argentine bombers.

Jessica Morden, Labor MP for Newport East, said: “On Saturday I attended the first remembrance and reunion event for the survivors and the families of those who were lost on the attack on Sir Galahad, to whom and I know the minister knows this and I thank him for his earlier response it is deeply important the remaining documents from the board of inquiry are released so we can get to the truth of what happened on June 8, 1982.”

“For those who have lived with this for 42 years, can the minister he has told us what he might release can he tell us when we will have those decisions?” Mr Murrison replied: “It is important that this is handled quickly and we are moving at pace to ensure that we can do so, with of course the caveats that I have just described.”

After facing further questioning about a deadline, Mr Murrison suggested it was “not years” in the future. Conservative former minister Sir Iain told MPs: “The key point here is the minister says they are moving at pace, but this is decades after this has happened, and there is no question now that there was some kind of a cover-up that took place.”

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  • Islander1

    Dear Mercopress,
    Please advise the source of your information that the bombing of those two ships did not, and never took place at Bluff Cove.
    This hast been the invention largely of the UK press for 42 years and they still believe it thenselves.

    The 2 Ships were in Port Pleasant Bay at Fitzroy- not far from Bluff Cove - waiting for landing craft(that never actually appeared there to transport the remaining Welsh Guards to join their mates at nearby Bluff Cove)

    That is why the Memorials to that tragic day are actually at Fitzroy overlooking where the 2 ships were at anchor.

    Mar 27th, 2024 - 12:44 pm +4
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