Chris Shirling-Rooke, CEO of Mersey Maritime, writes:
“We marked a poignant anniversary over the last weekend, coming as it did with the shadow of war once again hanging over the world, with 02 April being the 40th year since the Argentinian military junta invaded the Falkland Islands and occupied sovereign British territory in the South Atlantic Ocea. Three days later, on 05 April, a UK task force set sail to recapture the Islands and restore freedom for the Islanders.
“Sometimes it is easy to forget the scale of the operation that this involved with some 25,948 UK Armed Forces personnel, alongside around 3,000 civilian crew from the Merchant Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Chinese civilian crew, forming the Task Force involved in the liberation of the Falkland Islands. War is hardly ever without a heavy human cost and of those many thousands of personnel, some 255 died during the campaign. In addition, three civilian Falkland Islanders also lost their lives during the war.
“Yet fortunately the conflict lasted only 74-days and following several weeks of intense fighting, Argentine forces surrendered on 14 June 1982, a date that has since been known in the Falkland Islands as ‘Liberation Day’ and is a national holiday.
“Mersey Maritime pays tribute to the bravery of our armed forces personnel and all those involved with this major operation which we know was so gratefully received by Falkland Islanders both then and now, not least in acknowledgement of their right to self-determination and their choice to remain a UK Overseas Territory.
“Over the coming weeks we will mark, via our social media channels, some of the key events of the conflict and we would encourage all our Members to take a moment to reflect at this poignant time. We will particularly think of the Atlantic Conveyor, a merchant ship registered in Liverpool and operated as part of Atlantic Container Line’s (ACL) fleet of container vessels, which was hit on 25 May 1982 and sank under tow a couple of days later.
Members and others are encouraged to follow the latest from the period of this anniversary via Twitter here: https://twitter.com/falklands40th