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Falklands 40th Anniversary

Falklands War 40th Anniversary

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This year, we mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War. The conflict started on 2 April 1982 and utilised all elements of the Armed Forces. It lasted 74 days, during which 255 British personnel lost their lives.

Anniversaries and remembrance are incredibly important and hold profound meaning for the veteran community. Memories are enlivened, emotions heightened, and some can find themselves struggling to cope.

Each individual's experience and needs will be unique. However, this page contains some useful tips that may help you through this difficult period of remembrance.

Advice for veterans:

  • Prepare for the anniversary in advance, make plans for healthy distractions.
  • Commemorate – remember the fallen in an authentic way. If you know you’ll struggle with a large event, plan something smaller which works for you.
  • Remind yourself that your distress is temporary and fluctuates in intensity. Take each day step by step and be kind to yourself.
  • Talk – don’t suffer in silence. Avoiding talking is a powerful maintaining factor. It takes courage to talk, but usually those that do find huge relief and comfort.

Advice for families:

  • Be aware that the date of the anniversary is often the peak. However, the impact of anniversaries can be felt well in advance and some time after. Understand that your veteran may be out of sorts or irritable. Ease their burden where you can; be interested in their feelings and experience.
  • Offer space to talk without pressure to do so.
  • Help to schedule activities you know your veteran enjoys.
  • Take good care of yourself, too. You can only give your veteran the support they need if your needs are taken care of, too.
  • Help the children to understand why Mummy or Daddy are not themselves.

Get Help


Self-help Online


Developed by the clinical experts at Combat Stress, these resources aim to provide guidance and support to former military personnel experiencing mental health issues.

Falkland island penguins

Falklands War Timeline

Some veterans may find the following content upsetting.

The Falklands War drew upon all facets of the British Military and, sadly, 255 service personnel lost their lives in the conflict. Many more were seriously physically or psychologically injured by the event, which lasted 74 days.

Anniversaries are important times for veterans as they offer the chance for reflection and remembrance. However, with that comes potential distress. 40 years on and Combat Stress are still seeing veterans come forward, seeking help for the first time.

Below is a timeline of some of the key dates that will be in veteran's thoughts throughout this 40th anniversary period.

Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.

First task force ships, including the aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible, leave Portsmouth and other locations. The fleet of more than 100 ships will take nearly three weeks to sail the 8,000 miles to the Falklands.

South Georgia recaptured by the Royal Marines. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tells Britain to “rejoice” at the news.

First British attacks. British bomb Stanley (capital of Falklands) airfield and shoot down three Argentine aircraft.

Argentine cruiser General Belgrano sunk with loss of 368 crew (700 survive). The sinking causes shock among the British task force and the British public. British anti-war campaigners claim the Belgrano was sailing away from the conflict and was outside the exclusion zone.

HMS Sheffield sunk by Exocet missile with loss of 20 crew.

Argentina junta rejects British peace proposals.

UN Secretary-General announces that UN peace talks have failed.

British troops land at San Carlos Water on East Falkland. Three thousand troops and 1,000 tonnes of supplies are landed at San Carlos Water to establish a beachhead for attacks on Goose Green and Stanley. Only two British warships survive unscathed. HMS Ardent is sunk with the loss of 22 crew. HMS Argonaut and HMS Antrim are hit by bombs which fail to explode – two die. Thirteen Argentine aircraft reported shot down.

British frigate Antelope hit and sunk.

HMS Coventry sunk in air attack with the loss of 20 lives. Container ship Atlantic Conveyor destroyed by Exocet missile with loss of 12 crew.

Battle for Darwin and Goose Green – 17 British troops die and 250 Argentine soldiers killed in a fierce battle that lasted a day and night. British troops vastly outnumbered but take more than 1,000 Argentine prisoners of war. Commanding Officer Lt Col H Jones is killed leading an assault and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

British take Argentine positions of Mount Kent and Mount Challenger.

British landing craft Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram bombed by Argentine aircraft at Fitzroy with 51 Welsh Guards killed.

Mount Harriet, Two Sisters and Mount Longdon taken by British forces. Three islanders killed during naval bombardment of Stanley. HMS Glamorgan hit by land-launched Exocet missile, killing 14 crew.

Final Argentine positions Tumbledown Mountain, Wireless Ridge and Mount William taken by British forces.

British forces liberate Stanley. General Menéndez surrenders to Major-General Jeremy Moore. Ceasefire is announced at 3.30pm local time.