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Collingwood lays crosses in Falklands memorial

By Connor Steel

STAFF at HMS Collingwood have created a field of remembrance to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, a conflict that saw sailors from the training establishment train before heading to the South Atlantic during the three months between April and June 1982.

The tribute has been called the ‘Falklands 40 Field of Remembrance’, which has seen a total of 258 crosses placed into the ground; one for each of the servicemen, Merchant Navy sailors, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fleet personnel and Chinese / Falkland Islands civilians who tragically lost their lives.

Last Monday morning saw the first of the crosses laid by the Executive team and other officers, who were led by Commanding Officer Captain Catherine Jordan. The same afternoon trainees were invited to take part, with salutes and moments of silence held by each to honour the fallen.

During the week other departments and sections of the base were given the chance to lay their own crosses; each sailor able to ‘adopt’ one of the 258 names and honour their lives. And it did have an impact on everybody with three giving short insights to a press release.

AB Morrison said following his tribute: “I found it quite emotional, which I wasn’t expecting. I laid two crosses for people who died before my time, but I felt a real connection with them.”

AB Bellamy agreed with his colleague’s thoughts saying, “It was a real privilege to be able to do this, especially as they lost their lives in the same career we are in now. I have a cousin who served in the Falklands, so I have a family connection to the Conflict.”

And AB Crawford concluded, “It’s a real honour to do this, especially as this happened within living memory. I laid a cross for someone with a Scottish surname and I’m Scottish too, so I felt a real connection there.”

The construction of the field will give all staff at HMS Collingwood the chance to take a moment to remember someone who was lost exactly forty years ago; with some taking part in the recent Fareham Falklands event held on May 14, in which they exercised their Freedom of the Borough status.

PICTURED BY KEITH WOODLAND: Trainees lay crosses in memory of their predecessors who lost their lives in Falklands War in 1982 as 40th anniversary is marked nationwide.