On the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, local faith leaders and veterans will gather at Hereford Cathedral to remember all impacted by the conflict, including the 28 men from Herefordshire who lost their lives.
Veterans of the campaign and their families, bereaved family members, and civilians who supported the Armed Forces will come together for a commemorative and thanksgiving service at 3:30 pm on Sunday in Hereford Cathedral.
One of the veterans of the conflict who now lives in landlocked Herefordshire shares his reflections of the conflict. Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks will mark the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands quietly. This far-flung conflict of the British saw him make a narrow escape from two Exocet missiles, which missed his ship HMS Ambuscade on 25 May 1982.
“My memories of the war remain vivid to this day, especially the realisation that in war, death surrounds you every moment of every day – and yet it is shared with all those around you – and that sharing somehow helps make it bearable.
“The ocean was also an additional major factor. We experienced everything from calm seas and fog to hurricane strength winds, blizzards and huge seas. Returning to the Falklands years later and speaking to those liberated by our forces brought home to me how important it was to ensure that peace and freedom are protected.
“At times I did feel a sense of fear but my faith helped me put things into perspective – The example of Jesus' immense courage in the hours before his death on the cross and then his resurrection and love for us really helped.
Philip served on board the frigate during the Falklands War in 1982 when his ship was actively involved in directing naval fire support to land forces, including the attack by the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment along Wireless Ridge on the night prior to the Argentinean surrender.