Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HMS Clyde honours the men of '82

SALUTING their fallen forebears, four sailors from HMS Clyde honour the crew of HMS Coventry after restoring their memorial.
The ship’s company of today’s Falklands guardian have spent the past few weeks tidying up monuments and memorials peppered around the archipelago as their vessel patrolled the islands.
Either Clyde or the RN’s South Atlantic Patrol Ship regularly maintain some of the outlying memorials – most recently HMS Portland’s sailors smartened up the Coventry on Pebble Island monument last summer.
Just a few months later, however, the ferocity of the South Atlantic weather meant a return to Pebble Island was in order, so the men of Clyde duly obliged.
The sailors have also tackled three other memorials during their recent patrols of the Falklands: 2 Para’s monument at Goose Green, 42 Commando’s on Mount Harriet, half a dozen miles outside Stanley – and the scene of bitter fighting in the final days of the 1982 conflict – and the HMS Sheffield cenotaph.

The latter stands on Sealion Island, overlooking the point several miles away where the Type 42 destroyer was fatally hit by an Argentine Exocet missile.
Elsewhere a bit of Brasso and some good old elbow grease sufficed to spruce up memorials, but on the exposed Bull Hill where the Sheffield cross and cairn are located, the elements had taken their toll.
The Clydes found the stone wall surrounding the monument had been damaged by storms the previous work. It was returned to its normal state before a formal salute to Shiny Sheff’s 20 dead.
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