Ten thousand veterans of the campaign, their spouses and representatives of bereaved families are invited to attend an event at the National Memorial Arboretum on Tuesday 14 June to mark 40 years since the end of the conflict. Our commemorations will focus on the broad range of military and civilian involvement in all aspects of the Falklands campaign, which was unprecedented in modern times.
The Falklands War started on 2 April 1982 and was the first military action in decades that utilised all elements of the Armed Forces. The conflict lasted 74 days, during which seven ships were lost to enemy action, nine aircraft were shot down, and 255 British personnel lost their lives. Their names are all inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial at the Arboretum.
Commemorative plans for Falklands 40
Commemorations will take place from April 2022 and culminate in the event in June. The morning of the event day will be led by individual military units and guests will have the opportunity to visit their respective memorials at the Arboretum and participate in Regimental activities. In the afternoon the RBL will host a secular ceremony, which will include a live link up to a corresponding ceremony taking place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Stanley Cemetery in the Falkland Islands.
The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE, said: “30,000 sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and merchant mariners participated in the Falklands War and the RBL’s commemorations and programme of activities will honour and remember their service, the many civilians who supported the war effort, and the 255 British personnel who sadly lost their lives.
“There are veterans of the Falklands War who still struggle with physical and mental scars from the campaign, and some have faced life challenges or hardships since then. As we mark the centenary of the RBL this year, we remain committed to ensuring that service and sacrifice in more recent conflict is recognised and all generations of the Armed Forces community know the RBL is here to support them, for life.”
When the Falklands War started ground and air troops were mobilised for the most part by the Merchant Navy with significant collaborative support from both the Civil and Corporate sectors.
The commemorations will also recognise the civilian support and a nation that came together to support the military.
The RBL is working in collaboration on the commemorations with several other organisations including the Falkland Islands Government, the Ministry of Defence, the South Atlantic Medal Association, the Falkland Veterans Foundation, all relevant military associations, and the Merchant Navy.
Those wishing to participate in commemorations or attend the event on 14 June 2022 are asked to contact their respective Regimental or Service Association to register their interest.