A national memorial to remember soldiers who died in the 1982 Falklands conflict has been unveiled in Doncaster today.
About 50 veterans joined civic leaders at the Aeroventure Museum in Lakeside for a short service before the unveiling of a statue in honour of the 255 British servicemen and three Falkland islanders who died in battle.
Six Doncaster soldiers are believed to have fought in the conflict, which claimed the lives of three town men, Hatfield-born Merchant Navy captain Ian North, Edlington paratrooper Stephen Illingsworth and Wheatley sailor Anthony Sillence.
Father Gus O’ Reilly, from Doncaster’s Church of Saint Peter-in-Chains, led the service at 2pm before a crowd which included ex-soldiers, museum trustees and members of The South Atlantic Medal Association 1982 (SAMA82).
Doncaster’s deputy civic mayor Paul Wray and mayor of Whitby, councillor Heather Coughlan, also attended. Whitby is twinned with Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.
Ex-special forces sergeant Gordon Mather, chairman of SAMA82, said: “It was an extremely important mission and was a demonstration of three dimensional warfare between the army, navy and air force.
“Sadly there is the cost of human life in any war and we must remember those soldiers who fought and died and also the civilian casualties.”
Museum trustee and former RAF engineer Bill Fern, 69, said: “It is so important to remember those who have fought and died for their country.
“The memorial’s shape represents the globe and the distance they had to travel to get there. It is a fitting tribute.”
There is also a book inside the museum containing all of the names of British soldiers and the three civilians who died.
Members of the SAMA82 were happy with the site as they had visited for camping trips numerous times over the years.
They also liked the location because the museum has in its collection numerous items from the conflict, including two helicopters, a Harrier jet and an 8ft model of HMS Hermes.