06:00 21 April 2022
An “inspiring” young Falklands War hero who died in the conflict could receive a memorial 40 years later.
Frank Armes, 21, an avid Norwich City fan who grew up in the Heartsease area, joined the Royal Navy on January 17, 1978, which was a lifelong dream.
The marine engineer was tragically killed on May 25, 1982, along with 18 other crew members, while stationed on HMS Coventry off West Falkland.
He was said to have been at the front of the ship in the engine room at the time of the attack which also left 30 injured.
And now his pal, Gavin Scott, 58, from Costessey, who met Mr Armes during Navy training after he arrived aged 16, has launched a Crowdfunder to raise 2 £000 for a permanent memorial bench in the city.
Mr Scott, who was an able seaman and on HMS Penelope during the war, said: ‘Frank had a wicked, dry sense of humour. He was one of those people you aspired to be like. was a great sportsman, he loved Norwich.
“The attack on HMS Coventry and Frank’s death have marked me for 40 years. He was my friend and my brother in arms. People in the services become my family.
“It’s soul destroying when you lose a ship.”
The father-of-three, who left the navy in 1988, said it was heartbreaking and wrong that there was no permanent memorial in Norwich for people to remember the 255 British servicemen who died in the conflict of the Falklands.
“It’s the forgotten war. Many of the soldiers who lost their lives were young men,” he added.
Mr Scott thought there was strong support from people living in Norwich for a memorial bench and was shocked at the response to his fundraiser which has already raised £1,200.
He said the lack of support from Norwich City Council contrasted with the community support from organizations in Stalham which would mark the life of Royal Navy serviceman Richard Dunkerley, 22, who lived in the town and died on May 21, 1982 , while on HMS. Ardent, with a memorial service.
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: ‘Officers have been in contact with Mr Scott to push forward the idea of placing a memorial bench in one of Norwich’s parks.
“The council is also pleased to engage with any organizers wishing to plan an official commemorative event in Norwich.”
To donate to the memorial bench, click here.
The Falklands War
Fighting broke out by air, land and sea between Argentina and the UK in 1982 during 10 weeks of undeclared war.
The conflict involved two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic – the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
It started on April 2 when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day.
On April 5, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before launching an amphibious assault on the islands.
The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on June 14, returning the islands to British control.
A total of 649 Argentine servicemen, 255 British servicemen and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.