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News Stories

June 2007 Press Releases

The Falklands conflict - Southampton commemorates
01/06/2007

Residents and visitors to Southampton will be taking part in a series of events being held in the city to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

The port of Southampton played a key role in supporting the task force as they sailed to the Falklands Islands in 1982 and the city of Southampton will host a series of events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the conflict.

The main focus of the activity will be over the weekend of 9th-10th June when HMS YORK, Royal Naval Type 42 destroyer and RFA Largs Bay, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Bay Class landing ship dock vessel, will be open to the public.

HMS YORK is a Portsmouth based Type 42 Destroyer. Her main role is Area Air Defence and the primary weapon system on board is the SEADART Anti-Air missile.

RFA Largs Bay came into service in 2004 and is the modern replacement for the Sir Galahad class. RFA Sir Galahad was bombed during the Falklands War with the loss of 48 Welsh Guards, RFA, and other troops, the biggest single allied loss of the war. The 176 metre Largs Bay is twice the size of the Sir Galahad, she has a large flight deck capable of operating 2 Sea King size helicopters and can carry nearly 400 troops (up to 700 in full war spec). She has 1200 meters of vehicle carrying capacity and an internal dock to launch and recover landing craft from her stern. She features the latest integrated bridge and ship control technology which allows this highly capable ship to operate with only 65 RFA crew.

These ships will be alongside 46 and 47 berths within Eastern Docks in Southampton from 8th-11th June. HMS YORK will be open to the public on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June from 10am-5pm and RFA Largs Bay will be open on Saturday 9th June from 10am-5pm only.

Access to the docks will be on foot only via dock gate 4 and access to the ships will be controlled by the Royal Navy security in conjunction with ABP staff.

On Sunday 10th June the QE2 will host a commemorative lunch for veterans.

The QE2 set sail from Southampton on course for the Falkland Islands on 12th May 1982. The ship was used as a troop carrier and transported 5 Infantry Brigade which comprised of the Scots Guards, Welsh Guards and Ghurkhas to the South Atlantic.

To commemorate the important role it played in the conflict a plaque will be unveiled by Major General M. Scott CB CBE DSO of the Scots Guards and Brigadier J F Rickett CBE of the Welsh Guards at approximately 12.00 noon.

A Harrier from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS will salute the veterans and vessel with a flypast at 2.00pm.

At 3pm on the Sunday, veterans, representatives from the armed forces and city dignitaries will attend a commemorative service at Holyrood Church, led by the Reverend Ian Johnson with music provided by the Portsmouth Band of Her Majesty`s Royal Marines. On completion the Band will lead the Commemorative Parade from Holyrood Church to the Civic Centre where the Mayor and Sheriff of Southampton, the Deputy Lieutenant and Commanding officers of HMS YORK and Largs Bay will receive the salute.

The Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Barnes-Andrews said, "We are proud to be hosting a series of events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the conflict, and to honour the islanders and the service men and women who fought for their liberation."

Further information on the events and a map of the route of the march can be found at www.southampton.gov.uk/whatson

Ends

Notes to editors:

For further information on the commemorative events contact Craig Lintott on 023 8083 2077 or email craig.lintott@southampton.gov.uk.

For further information on HMS YORK contact Lieutenant Commander Bill Lauste Royal Navy at Fleet Media Operations, Fleet HQ, Portsmouth on 02392 625372 or email Bill.Lauste602@mod.uk.

For information regarding the Falkland Island Campaign and 25th Anniversary Commemorative Events planned for 14-17 June 2007, please take a look at the Official Website www.falklands25.com.

For further information on RFA vessel Largs Bay contact First Officer Nick Covill on 02392 625379/07734 869874 or e-mail nick.covill617@mod.uk.

For further information on the QE2 contact Eric Flounders, Cunard Corporate Communications Manager on 0207 940 5390 or e-mail eric.flounders@cunard.co.uk.

If you would like pictures of the HMS YORK and RFA Largs Bay please contact SCC Media Officer, Sarah-Jayne Wareham on 023 8083 2001.

Parade route:

. Start in High Street outside of Holyrood Church (at approximately 3.40pm)
. Through the Bargate Monument
. Along Above Bar Street
. Left into Civic Centre Road (on side of road by KFC)
. Saluting Dais on right (after 80 metres)
. Turn right into Civic Centre Car Park
. Finish (approximately 980m)












Sarah-Jayne Wareham
Public Relations Officer, Communities, Health and Care
023 8083 2001

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