Blackpool to host parade and service to commemorate 40th anniversary of Falklands War

Blackpool will play host to a ceremony next month which will mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

By Richard Hunt
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 2:28 pm

Veterans of the 1982 conflict and relatives of the fallen will be take part in a parade on Sunday June 12, from St Johns Square to the town’s cenotaph, led by pipes and drums.

At the memorial, a service of remembrance and wreath laying will take place as respects are paid to those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Former Royal Navy man Ian Carr, 59, of Thornton, is a Falklands War veteran who served as a rapidly-trained medic during the campaign while based on main hospital ship, HMS Herald.

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Falklands War veteran Ian Carr will be at Blackpool's 40th anniversary parade and service next month

Aged just 19, saw firsthand some of the terrible injuries, including serious burns, sustained by the casualties and helped treat not only British service personnel but Argentines too.

Ian, a father of four who now works for Blackpool Council’s adolescent services, will be among those attending the service next month and said: “It will be a fitting way to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the war

“Before this conflict, I’d thought the Falklands Islands were somewhere north of Scotland, not realising it was so far away in the South Atlantic.

"The Falklands itself is British territory and every man and woman that served in the Falklands conflict knew that we were going down there to defend British territory and regain it – at whatever cost.”

Ian Carr, (middle, front row) with fellow Royal Navy personnel

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The conflict began on 2 April, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day, and culminated in the Argentine forces surrendering.

Argentina had long regarded the islands as part of its own domain and referred to them as Islas Malvinas.

The islands had become a British Crown colony in 1840 and by the time the conflict broke out 142 years later, generations of islanders had been living there.

Royal Navy hospital ship, HMS Herald

After Argentinian forces invaded the territory, Britain sent a task force on April 5 to liberate the islands and by the time the 10 week conflict ended on June 14, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders had died.

The ceremony in Blackpool is taking place 40 years to the day the final preparations of the Battle for Mount Tumbledown, the fiercest battle of the war which proved decisive for the British forces and brought the war to an end.

Major General Mike Scott, whose rank was Lieutenant Colonel when he commanded the victorious attack by the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards and supporting units in this battle, will lead the parade.

Also attending the ceremony will be Captain Robert Lawrence (Military Cross), whose experiences formed the basis for the film movie Tumbledown, in which he was portrayed by the actor Colin Firth.

The Tumbledown Veterans and Families Association hold a service of remembrance in Blackpool each year and in 2021 laid a plaque to the fallen in the grounds of Blackpool Cenotaph.

Ian, who received the South Atlantic medal after the war, added: “The experiences of the war were very intense and a lot of those involved have stayed close.

"The bonds are not just between the men and women who served, but with the islanders too.”