Royal Navy veterans of the Falklands conflict mark 40 years since the 1982 war as well as the sinking of HMS Hermes 9 in 1942 during wreath laying ceremonies

The association marked three important anniversaries as the group held its meeting at the Hotel Maritime this weekend.

As well as reflecting on the 80th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Hermes 9 in Ceylon in 1942 and the 35th anniversary of the association founded by the survivors of Hermes 9, members of the group also marked Falklands 40.

HMS Hermes 10 was the flagship of the British forces during the 1982 Falklands War.

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Rally in Town Square in Old Portsmouth for the 80th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Hermes 9 Ceylon 1942. Photo: Sam Stephenson.

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Falklands 40: April 8, 1982 news headlines

Wreaths were laid by veterans in services at Square Tower Falklands Memorial and Southsea Common Naval Memorial.

Outside the square tower, veteran Falklands rear admiral Richard Melly said the services marked a “time for reflection”.

In a speech, he added that “the Hermès 10 was a remarkable ship in many ways” but “the ship is only part of the story” before paying tribute to the “men who served it “.

Rear Admiral Richard Melly speaks. Photo: Sam Stephenson.

Many veterans in the crowd wore striped scarves in sea green, white and empire blue – the colors of the South Atlantic Medal ribbon – created by the knitters of the “Scarves for Falklands Veterans” association, founded by Rachel Simons.

Barbara Wain and her husband Gordon were among the members of the HMS Hermes Association who attended the meeting.

Her father L. Fenton was tragically lost with Hermès 9, just nine days before his first birthday.

Barbara Wain. Photo: Sam Stephenson.

The world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier, HMS Hermes 9 was attacked by Japanese aircraft on 9 April 1942 off what is now Sri Lanka and was lost along with many of the crew of the ship.

Barbara said: “There were a lot of survivors but my father was lost.

“I think he really had a great life on Hermes 9. It’s so sad he didn’t come back.

“With the sun shining today, I feel like my mom and dad are here.”

Event action. Photo: Sam Stephenson.

After marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War and the role of Hermes 10 in the conflict, the charity traveled by coach to Southsea Common for a second service reflecting the 80th anniversary of the sinking of Hermes 9.

Two wreath laying services were held. Photo: Sam Stephenson.
In the service. Photo: Sam Stephenson.