But Robert Don Griffin was one of the troops who went to the Falkland Islands – and never came back after British forces fought to free the islands from an Argentinian invasion 40 years ago.
And this week, Robert, from Crookes, was remembered by his family and his former sea cadet unit in a service at St Matthews Church, on Carver Street.
Former King Edward VII School pupil Robert was a former drum major with the cadets – and his relatives presented the organisation with a drum major’s mace engraved in his memory.
Robert died on June 8, 1982. He had been aboard a Royal Navy landing craft, a boat carrying troops and equipment ashore.
It was said to have been dispatched in poorly charted waters and under significant threat of air attack, and took important equipment to troops at Goose Green on the Falklands.
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Shortly afterwards, the landing craft was bombed and sunk by Argentine Skyhawk jets. All but two of its crew were killed including, Robert. He was aged 22, and his body was never recovered.
Sgt John Daley, from Sheffield sea cadets, described the presentation of the mace, and the service, as ‘beautiful’.
Sheffield sea cadets
He said: “Robert was a former Sheffield Sea Cadet and drum major for the unit.
"In 2018 the family came over to meet Leona Roberts, Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Falkland Islands, when she presented a flag to our ship’s company.
"Robert's sister Mandy noticed that our Mace was looking a little old and suggested maybe the family would purchase and present a new one to the unit. Sadly, Covid prevented this happening, but this presented an opportunity for a more fitting handover.”
The mace was finally handed over at the service on Wednesday (June 8), exactly 40 years to the hour after the loss of the landing craft.
Also there, with Robert’s family, were the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Dame Hilary Chapman; the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Mac MacPherson OBE; members of the Indefatigable Association (the military training base where Robert trained); The HMS Fearless Association; with guests online from the Falkland Islands.
Sheffield sea cadets chaplain, Fr Grant Naylor, oversaw a formal blessing and handover of the new mace, which has been inscribed in Robert’s memory, to the present Drum Major
A bugler from the Royal Marines band played.
Falkland Islands politician MLA Roger Spink sent a personal message to the family and the guests.
He said: "Please send our thanks to all those present today, we live under a government of our choosing today thanks to the sacrifices of our liberators. The people of the Falklands are eternally grateful."
Robert is still remembered at his former school, King Edwards, near Broomhill, where a stone was laid in the grounds in his memory in 2015.