As the nation celebrates 40 years since the end of the Falklands War, the chairman of Kent County Council paid tribute to Kent military personnel who fought in the brief but bitter conflict.
Ceremonies are being held across the country throughout this week to remember the events of four decades ago that culminated in the surrender of Argentine forces to British troops as they recaptured overseas territory in the South Atlantic.
Portsmouth and Southampton, where quickly summoned Task Force ships were sent to reclaim the islands, were among those commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of hostilities on Tuesday June 21, including with church services and a helicopter flyby RAF Odiham Chinooks.
Veterans also gathered at Invicta Barracks in Maidstone to honor those who died during the campaign.
On Monday June 20, Lesley Game will also remember Falkland veterans at a flag-raising ceremony at County Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week 2022.
Supported by KCC Armed Forces Champion Oliver Richardson, Advisor Game will also host a Reserves Day reception next Tuesday (June 21) at Invicta House in Maidstone. Kent Reservists and Veterans are welcome to come in uniform.
Former Welsh Guardsman Mr Richardson served from 1982 to 1993, including in the Falklands, as well as in Northern Ireland and the Gulf War.
Kent County Council chairwoman Lesley Game, who is also chairwoman of the Kent & Medway Civilian-Military Partnership Board, said: “The Falklands conflict claimed many hundreds of lives and left many of our brave servicemen with wounds, both physical and mental, which they continue to endure to this day.
“Today we remember their enormous personal sacrifice and that of their loved ones. I also recognize the heavy toll that war can have on all aspects of life and I am keenly aware that too often the scars of conflict soldiers are not visible.
“As a strong supporter of mental health awareness, I urge all serving personnel, veterans and their families in need of assistance to contact one of the various support networks in Kent.”
For organizations that provide a wide range of practical assistance to our county’s military community, visit: www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/supporting-armed-forces/support-for-armed-forces-families
Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on April 2, 1982, claiming it had inherited the islands from Spain in the 1800s and wanted to regain sovereignty over them after 150 years of British rule.
The resulting conflict lasted only 74 days, but 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen lost their lives, as did three Falkland Islanders.
The famous historic Medway Dockyard in Chatham remembers the Falklands War through a photographic exhibition.
‘Everything Has Changed’ features 40 images of occupied Port Stanley taken by photographer and journalist Graham Bound. You can find out more about the exhibition here: thedockyard.co.uk/whats-on/falklands-40-everything-changed
The Royal British Legion also held the Falklands Forty Challenge in May and hold their annual Cycle Ride fundraiser from Aylesford to Ypres in July. If you would like to get involved, visit: rbli.co.uk/fundraising-upcoming-events
You can also read more about the Falklands War on the National Army Museum website here: www.nam.ac.uk/explore/british-army-and-falklands-war