HMS Sheffield Falklands: Forty years on, we take time to remember them

Forty years ago today, HMS Sheffield was struck by an Argentine missile during the 1982 Falklands conflict.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 11:00 am

There were 268 crew on board, 20 were killed and many were injured.

It was the first of four Royal Navy ships sunk and was an event that changed the nature of the Falklands conflict both for those in the South Atlantic and those at home.

Speaking on Sunday at a commemoration event in Portsmouth, veteran Clive Carrington-Wood, said: “HMS Sheffield did sober up the navy. One of my friends had been very gung-ho – and that changed.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

HMS Sheffield on May 4, 1982

And members of the ship’s crew told how they still carry the grief and trauma of the attack to this day.

“I still get up in the morning and do a body check – clenching my teeth, checking my arms, listening to my heartbeat, and then I will spend five minutes doing meditation to calm down,” former petty office Guy ‘Tug’ Wilson said.

Speaking to our sister paper, The News in Portsmouth, veterans told how the Falklands conflict and fate of HMS Sheffield was unknown to many of today’s public – and how ‘extremely frustrating’ that was.

“It’s something they should have heard of and it isn’t.

“We should show more respect for our armed forces,” said Alan Knowles, the son of sailor Alan John Knowles, who died in the attack at the age of 32.

In a naval city like Portsmouth, that’s surprising. I wonder how much more so it is here in landlocked Sheffield. How often do we hear of HMS Sheffield and those who perished when it’s not a special anniversary?

Forty years on we’ve been sharing stories about the conflict from veterans of the ‘Shiny Sheff’ and others who served in the Falklands.

We’ve read the tales of a war waged across the seas far from home.

But the Falklands often gets forgotten among the other wars and conflicts through the years.

Yet to those involved, to those who served and those who lost loved ones, their memories do not fade and their suffering must not be forgotten.

Today, especially, we will remember them.