The Mayor of Colchester will be joined by soldiers and civic dignitaries at a service to be held in Hollytrees Museum Gardens, next Tuesday (14 June), to commemorate The Parachute Regiment’s involvement in the Falklands Conflict and remember those killed in action.
Both Regiment’s 2nd and 3rd Battalions, which were based in Aldershot, in Hampshire, and Tidworth, in Wiltshire, respectively, during the conflict, are now in Colchester’s Merville Barracks. Both battalions were sent as part of the British task force after the Argentine invasion on April 2, 1982.
The commemoration, which begins at 11am, will be attended by the Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Tim Young, Mayoress Ms Nicola Goodchild, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, High Steward Sir Bob Russell, Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin, Commodore Rob Bellfield CBE ADC Royal Navy, the Leader of Colchester Borough Council Cllr David King, and other guests, who will lay wreaths at a drumhead altar. The service will be led by the Reverend Nigel Kinsella CF, Senior Chaplain, 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, and the mayor’s Chaplain Rev Sue Howlett.
The event marks the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands, when the Argentine military occupation of the islands ended on 14 June 1982. The war between the UK and Argentina lasted 74 days and saw 255 British military personnel, three islanders and 649 Argentine soldiers died, with many more wounded.
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Tim Young, said: “The Falklands War is a significant moment in the history of our country, and it is important that we remember the bravery of the 33,000 British troops who travelled to the South Atlantic to restore peace and freedom to the islands and honour the ultimate sacrifice of those who fell.
“I would encourage everyone to join the service in Hollytrees Museum Gardens to remember and reflect on their bravery and sacrifice.”
Colonel James Loudoun, Deputy Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, said: “The Falklands War is an important part of the Parachute Regiment’s history. It is fitting that we pay tribute to those who lost their lives and remember with pride the achievements of our predecessors, which set the standards we expect of today’s paratroopers.”
Photo: © MOD Crown Copyright