City marks 35th anniversary of loss of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War

Survivors from HMS Sheffield make their way through a guard of honour into the Service at Sheffield Cathedral
Survivors from HMS Sheffield make their way through a guard of honour into the Service at Sheffield Cathedral
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Sheffield paused for reflection today to remember the 20 lives lost when a ship named after the city was sunk.

The strongest turnout in recent memory marked the 35th anniversary of the loss of HMS Sheffield during the Falklands War.

More than 200 people - survivors, veterans and families - paid their respects at the service.

The bell from the ship tolled 20 times at Sheffield Cathedral, once for every life lost when she was hit by an Argentine missile on May 10, 1982.

The names of those who died were read out, and the sounds of The Last Post echoed around the church.

Two minutes’ silence was then observed.

Sheffield Lord Mayor Denise Fox laid a wreath, along with Type 42 Association’s Sheila Ellson.

HMS Sheffield was a type 42 destroyer.

Survivor Shaun Lee, 53, laid the third wreath at the service.

Mr Lee was an 18-year-old able seaman the day the ship was sunk.

He was in his bunk when the missile hit.

“It was not a bang, more like a dull thud,” the Cleethorpes man said.

He spent ‘four or five hours’ fighting fires and jettisoning ammunition before the call to abandon ship.

Mr Lee said he wasn’t scared. His training got him through the awful events.

It was only after he was taken to the safety of the Ascension Islands by oil tanker that ‘reality loomed’.

He remembers little of how he got home.

“Some of it is a vague memory,” he said.

HMS Sheffield Association chairman Nick Wilkinwas pleased with the turnout.

“It’s very good,” Mr Wilkin, himself a veteran, said.

“I would say it’s the highest number in recent years.

“It’s becoming more popular as well.”