Falklands 40 Veterans

Paying tribute to those who delivered liberation

In the spring of 1982, thousands of British forces travelled to the remote, bleak Falkland Islands off the east coast of South America in response to invasion by Argentine forces.

Carried by a mighty task force of Royal Navy vessels and Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships, and assisted by cruise liners, tankers, cargo vessels and even tugs, 27,000 women and men were mobilised.

As winter descended on the South Atlantic, a bitter war raged for six weeks, resulting in the liberation and ongoing guardianship of the archipelago.

The Falklands Veterans

First-hand accounts from those who were there

Meeting at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, the veterans discussed a wide range of topics - from their feelings on the outbreak of the invasion to returning to the islands in calmer times and at peace.

Enlightening, emotional and evocative, this series of interviews brings into stark focus the realities of war and the sacrifices made.

In the spring of 2022, fully four decades after the outbreak of war, Royal Navy veterans Steve Tinney, Mark Eve, and John Strachan, sat down with current recruits in the service to discuss their experiences from the Falklands.

Watch Royal Navy Accounts

In the spring of 2022, 40 years after operating in the South Atlantic, Royal Marines Commando veterans Stephen Griffin, Marty Wilkin and Russell Craig, spoke with new recruits about their experiences in the Falklands.

Watch Royal Marines Accounts

Royal Navy Veterans

Part 1 | Before the conflict

Starting the series of interviews, the veterans discuss their initial thoughts on discovering they were being sent to war,
and their knowledge of the Falklands beforehand.

"Nothing can prepare you for something like this." - Mark Eve

Mark Eve served as Stores Accountant on HMS Hecla.

He was 23 at the outbreak of war in 1982.

Part 2 | During the war

In this second discussion, the veterans talk about what it's like doing their duty in extreme conditions, miles from home.

"Suddenly here it was for real" - John Strachan

John Strachan served as a Weapon Engineering Mechanic on HMS Broadsword.

He was 23 in 1982 when he was sent to the Falklands.

Part 3 | Reflecting on the war

In this last video, the veterans reflect on what the war meant to them, returning to visit the Falkland Islands years later, and the Royal Navy of today.

"Very proud, very proud..." - Steve Tinney

Steve Tinney served as a Marine Engineering Mechanic on HMS Brilliant.

He was 31 in 1982.

Royal Marines Veterans

Part 1 | Sent to war

In the first of the series, the Royal Marines veterans discuss the feelings they felt as they were being sent to war, their journey to the Falklands in cramped conditions, and how they busied themselves en route.

"Awful would be an understatement." - Stephen Griffin

Stephen Griffin was a Royal Marines Commando.

He was working in the Headquarters and Signal Squadron, the Brigadier's main communications hub, in the Assault Operations Room.

He went down to the Falklands on HMS Fearless.

He was 23 in 1982.

Part 2 | Weathering the storm

In the second of the series, the former Marines discuss their Falklands experience further, including the extreme weather and the importance of strong teams and friendships.

"I knew we had great strength." - Marty Wilkin

Marty Wilkin was a Royal Marines Commando.

He was initially on board RFA Stromness, a refrigerated stores ship converted to transport over 400 troops to the Falklands.

He was 26 when war broke out.

Part 3 | Contemplations, pride and peace

In the last is the series, the veteran Commandos discuss their pride in what they and their comrades achieved, the importance of training, advancements in knowledge and equipment, and what recruits today can learn from the war.

"Our determination and training ... put us in a good place." - Russell Craig

Russell Craig was a Royal Marines Commando.

He was working in the Defence Section (what is now 30 Commando) defending the Brigade Headquarters.

He travelled to the islands on HMS Fearless.

He was 23 when sent to the Falklands.

Discover how the war unfolded

Falklands 40 timeline