Falklands 35~ William Charles Lidbrooke Talman

FCWEM William Charles Lidbrooke Talman HMS Fearless 17 September 1941 – 26 January 2018

In the Talman family there were a few men who served in various branches of the Forces over the generations. Bill’s Maternal Great Grandfather John Burley was listed as a Musician and later an Army Pensioner. John and Louisa Blake married in Portsea in 1869, they went on to have at least nine children. Charles Frederick Burley was one of their younger sons born in 1890. Two of the couple’s children were born in Canada but the younger children were all born in the Portsmouth area.

Charles Frederick Burley was born on 19 November 1890 at 27 Finsbury St, Buckland, Portsmouth. Charles married Ivy Edith Manwaring in Stepney in 1913. The couple went on to have five children, their eldest daughter Ethel Ivy Burley was born in Mile End on 20 December 1914, their youngest children were fraternal twins born in 1923. Ivy was the daughter of Henry Manwaring a Ship’s Engine Fitter, by the time Ivy was 15 years old she was in service to the Jones family in Portsmouth.

There was tragedy to come for the Burley Family, Charles’ younger brother Frank Edward Burley served in the Hampshire Regiment in WW1. Frank was wounded and discharged from service on 6 December 1918 like many he did not live into old age. Frank married Ada Kate Dowling in 1922, the couple had three children Thomas, Ada, and Amy, by 1930 their family was complete. Frank died in 1938 he was just 45 years old. By 1939 Ada was living at Fernyhurst, Nursling in Hampshire, she was working aiding evacuees. Fernyhurst was owned by the Poore family who also had a long military history that indeed could be a book of its own…

Lt Col Roger Alvin Poore DSO was killed in France in 1917, his widow Lorne Marjory Poore had been left with a one-year-old son. As WW2 began to rage Lorne gave refuge to evacuees. On the 21 June 1941 one would have expected the occupants of Fernyhurst to be safe but sadly the house came under a fluke attack and was bombed. Tragically both Ada and Amy were killed along with two other young girls.

Meanwhile in the Talman line William Talman married Eunice Beverley Baker in Bedhampton in 1910. The couple had two children Lucy born in 1911 and William Alec F J Talman born on 8 February 1915. William sadly died in 1915 aged just 33, Eunice however lived to a ripe old age dying in Cornwall aged 97.

William A F J Talman married Ethel Ivy Burley in late 1938. The couple had three children their eldest William Charles Lidbrooke, and his twin sister Eunice were  born on the 17 September 1941 in Cosham, Portsmouth. Four years later younger sister Kath was born. Like his father before him William as known as Bill, he was to follow in his footsteps in more ways than one.

Bill attended the Northern Grammar School in Portsmouth which is now known as Mayfield School. He also attended a school in Northumberland while his father was a Coastguard for a few years. As a teenager Bill wished to follow in both his fathers and grandfathers footsteps which his mother was not in favour of. Bill had asthma which concerned his mother, his father however, encouraged him to apply reassuring his wife that the Navy would not sign him up…

Of course, they did enrol young Bill when he was just 15 years old and as fate would have it, he did not suffer from asthma for many years to come. Bill commenced his Royal Naval training at HMS Vincent, Gosport. The young man excelled through training, particularly enjoyed range shooting at Browndown as his father had before him.

In time Bill married a nurse named Anne in August 1961, the couple went on to have four children three boys and a girl, Stephen, Philip, Eleanor, and Rodney who was named after the battleship.

In 1962 Bill was drafted to HMS Terror in Singapore accompanied by his wife and baby son. Further service over the years included Striker, Lowestoft, Ambuscade, Alacrity with shore-based Dartmouth, Dryad and Collingwood.

Twenty years later on 2 April 1982 the Falkland Islands were invaded. At the time Bill was on Easter leave and was between leaving CinCFleet Portsmouth, next posting HMS Fearless. Bill’s parents were visiting at the time which gave the family the opportunity to wave of HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes on 5 April 1982. By the time they returned home it was Bill’s turn to receive ‘that call’ he was to report to HMS Fearless the following day, he travelled ‘Down South’ and served throughout the Falklands War on HMS Fearless.

Bill was a long serving naval man by 1982, he was quite matter of fact about going to War saying, ‘That’s what they pay me for’. His daughter Elly says ‘I think he must have had some nerves but saw “active service” as the ultimate test of his 25 years’ service. We heard some tales of events that occurred during the conflict; some good, some bad and some with humour.’ She also says Bill was proud of the part he played in the war, and he was in no doubt as to the justification for Britain’s reaction to the invasion. His only regret would probably have been the damage to his hearing caused by an air raid siren going off whilst he was standing next to it, the effects of which would handicap him for the rest of his life.’

From the time he signed up as a young eager teenager Bill served over 29 years. After leaving the Navy Bill was employed in a support role with the SCOT project, he retired aged 67.

After his retirement Bill could not resist the call of the ocean but this time, he travelled in style visiting Cape Town, New York, the Mediterranean and the Norwegian Fjords accompanied by his wife Annie.

Elly continues  ‘His proud and loving family remember him as an old-fashioned English gentleman with a very modern outlook, a great source of information and know-how, but most importantly as a brilliant husband, father, grandfather, son and brother.’

Bill died on 26 January 2018 aged 76, he passed peacefully at Milkwood House Care Home, Liss.

Elly ends with these thoughts, ‘A very proud Englishman and a real, old-fashioned chivalrous gentleman, Bill never really stopped being a matelot and enjoyed any and every festival that celebrated the sea, the navy or English/Britishness. Having heard recently what his shipmates have said about him being a “father figure”, having “quiet authority” and a “good guy and very good gaffer”, I know he would be very pleased with those testimonials.’

A family once again who have spanned generations of service through three Wars.

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Andrew Walker

24508985 Guardsman Andrew Walker 1 Welsh Guards 2 November 1961 ~ 8 June 1982 Age 20

Marjorie and John Walker had six children all born in Yorkshire. Denise, John, Heather, Andrew, Brian, and Fern. Andrew Walker was born in York on 2 November 1961 he was very close to his slightly younger brother Brian.

Growing up in York Andrew attended Lowfields Secondary Modern School. Andrew had a passion for Rugby, a very good player he was a member of the York Rugby Club. When Andrew joined the British Army, it was because of Rugby he found himself joining the Welsh Guards. Andrew soon found himself with the nickname ‘Yorkie’ and he became very good friends with Simon Weston, both men played Rugby for the Battalion team.

During his time in the Welsh Guards, he saw service in Northern Ireland, Kenya, and Germany. Yorkie scored the winning try in March 1982 when the Welsh Guards won the cup in Berlin a place that many had been on tour in 1977-79. Yorkie met Jocelyn Johnston in the NAAFI in Pirbright where she worked. By the time Yorkie left on the QE2 the couple were engaged and planned to marry that summer.

Sadly, Yorkie was one of 32 Welsh Guards who lost their lives on the 8 June 1982. His fiancée was left to continue her pregnancy and gave birth to their son Andrew in Glasgow in December 1982.

In 1983 the family went to the Falkland Islands as part of the Pilgrimage that took place that year. For all families the loss of their loved one in the War was deeply sad but for many who still have no grave these trips are so important in the understanding and healing necessary to find acceptance.

Yorkie’s brother Brian joined the Welsh Guards the year after he died. Brian and Jocelyn married in Glasgow in 1986, the couple went on to have a daughter Natalie together. For many children growing up with either scattered memories or none at all is indeed so terribly hard, for some such as Andrew there are none directly of his father but with his stepfather, he was able to share much more than most and gain an understanding of who his father was, the person behind the name.

Tragedy struck the family again when Brian was killed in a motorcycle accident when Andrew was 22 years old. Andrew is married to Sharon; the couple have two sons Ethan and Harrison.

Yorkie was the only serviceman from York to die in the Falklands War. Acomb was once a village now swallowed up into York itself, because of this of course it had a village green where resides the Acomb War Memorial. Prior to the 1970’s when it became a suburb it was a village in its own right.

At Acomb Green there is a Memorial Plaque, the inscription reads ‘IN LOVING MEMORY OF WELSH GUARDSMAN ANDREW WALKER, KILLED JUNE 8TH 1982 AT BLUFF COVE, FALKLAND ISLES. NEVER FORGOTTEN BY HIS LOVING FAMILY & FRIENDS’.

He certainly will…

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Ronald Tanbini

24239030 Guardsman Ronald Tanbini 2 Scots Guards 4 August 1956 ~ 14 June 1982 Age 25

Ronald Tanbini was born in Dundee on 4 August 1956, the eldest of five children born to Ronald and Laura Tanbini. The Tanbini name however is Italian and came from Ronald’s Grandfather Alberto. Alberto born in Palma, left Italy for a better life with his cousins and brother, had he had just £2 more for his fare then he would have continued to New York with them, sliding doors…

Alberto made a life in London running a Fish & Chip shop on Oxford Street before later selling out the corner building to H Samuel the jewellers. Alberto married Christina Scott in 1923, the couple went on to have ten children. Ronald Tanbini was their sixth child born in London, October 1934. The couple later made a life in Scotland.

Ronald Sr became a vehicle transporter driving vehicles from southern ports to their destinations, through his work he met his bride to be Laura. Ronald and Laura married in the mid-fifties in Dundee, their eldest son Ronald was born soon after their marriage.

Ronnie Tanbini grew up in Dundee, he attended Charleston Primary School and later Logie Secondary Modern. In 1972 he joined the British Army at the Guards Depot as a Junior Guardsman, after passing out, in 1974 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards in Münster, West Germany. During his service Ronnie saw exercises in Kenya, Belize, and Canada as well as a tour on Operation Banner in Londonderry in 1976.

During his service Ronnie also spent two years in the Battalion’s Assault Pioneer Platoon after which he was chosen by his Company Commander to be driver of his armoured personnel carrier. In 1978 he was selected for promotion to Lance Corporal, subsequently he was posted to the Guards Depot, later he returned to 2 Scots Guards as second in command of a rifle platoon section. 1979 saw a return to the Guards Depot as an instructor.

During his last posting Ronnie returned to 2 Scots Guards who were by 1980 posted to Chelsea Barracks in London, during this posting Ronnie took part in the ‘Trooping the Colour’ in front of Queen Elizabeth II. It was after partaking in the exercise in Kenya in 1981 that Ronnie moved from Right Flank to Left Flank Company where he was a member of 13 Platoon.

Ronnie met his bride to be Kathleen Quinn whilst posted in West Germany where she worked in the NAAFI. Friends for some time, they eventually began a romance and married in London in August 1980, their only daughter Danielle was born the following year in late summer of 1981.

Ronnie was known as a hardworking and cheerful man, an experienced soldier, a likable character with a nature that was firm but fair. During the Falklands War his Platoon Sergeant John Simeon selected Ronnie as his bodyguard while he sited an anti-tank weapon during the assault on Mount Tumbledown during the night of 13/14 June. During the Battle for Mount Tumbledown both men sadly lost their lives.

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Mark Higgitt

Today’s Veteran ‘Class of 82’ Mark Higgitt first told the story of HMS Ardent bombing and subsequent sinking in his book published in 2001 https://www.lumebooks.co.uk/book/through-fire-and-water/

This year he has added a documentary of the story which may be viewed on Vimeo or here on the HMS Ardent Association page https://hmsardent.org/knocker?fbclid=IwAR0A6CsoyqtWdr6JXDCcsat0mMUfgw9SkQIOvocYOj6bJpza_UEaRFQvcwU

Mark we thank you for your service!

Falklands 35 ~ Laurence George Watts

Lofty at Ascension Island 1982

P032593N Corporal Laurence George Watts 42 Commando Royal Marines 12 February 1955 ~ 12 June 1982 Age 27

Laurence George Watts was born in Hertfordshire on 12 February 1955, he carried the name George as did his father and two generations of Watts before him. Laurence was known as Larry but mainly Lofty.

Jane Turner was the daughter of Thomas and Martha Turner, she was baptised on 28 February 1830 in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The daughter of a wheelwright it appears that Jane married Edward Watts in 1861. Jane had for a while been in service, by 1851 her father was a widower.

Edward and Jane lived for some time in Watford but by 1881 they were living with their family in Harrow on the Hill, Hendon, Middlesex. George Watts was born in 1864, it appears he was their second son. George became a bricklayer whilst still a teenager, he went on to marry Sarah Ann Bristow in late 1890 in the district of Hendon.

Sarah Ann was born in Northend, Buckinghamshire though her mother and siblings were born in Hertfordshire. Sarah Ann was the daughter of a farm labourer who it appears moved around with work, often the case in those days. Reuben Bristow married Sarah Ann Coster on 11 November 1865 in Rickmansworth. The couple it appears had at least eight children, the first a daughter born the year after their marriage. The eldest two were born in Rickmansworth, three in Northend Buckinghamshire and then younger siblings in Middlesex.

George and Sarah Ann also went on the have a large family, their eldest child George William Watts was born the year after they married. George died in 1933

George junior was Lofty’s paternal grandfather. By his late teens George William was a gardener but was about to change direction as life and technology moved society forward. As World War one was raging George William Watts married Florence Violet Andrews in the district of Hendon in early 1915. George and Florence had three sons Ronald Arthur, Percy Henry (named after his uncle) and the youngest Dennis George.

By 1921 the family were living in Pinner Hill Road by then George William was a photographic emulsion mixer for Kodak Ltd. As the boys grew up, they went in different directions workwise. Ronald served in the British Army, Percy became an executive for Guinness and Dennis as his father before was employed with Kodak as an engineer.

George William’s younger brother Percy Henry was born on 8 November 1897, Percy served in the Royal Navy in WW1. On 1 April 1918, Percy transferred to the Royal Air Force having joined the Naval Royal Air Force in 1916. Leading Aircraftsman Percy Henry Watts died on 7 March 1919 he was just 21 years old. A fitting tribute that his nephew was named after him.

Dennis George Watts married Mary King In the district of Watford in 1951. Mary’s parents had at one time been in service to the Duke and Duchess of Bedfordshire, in fact when their Bann’s were read in January 1925, they were both living at Chenies Manor House. Mary was the middle child of three, Herbert continued his work as a gardener after the family moved to Chorleywood.

Dennis and Mary went on to have three sons, their eldest Lofty was born in on 12 February 1955, brothers Nigel and Richard followed and by 1962 the family was complete. Richard also later served in the Royal Marines. Dennis died on 6 March 2009, Mary on 14 August 2012.

Lofty attended primary school in Croxley Green, Rickmansworth. He passed his eleven plus and was later schooled at Rickmansworth Grammar School. Mr Harrison was the form tutor of RSH form where Lofty began his secondary education in 1966. His school friend Jane Anderson remembers him ‘Larry was a gentle giant who I remember with fondness from school. He was kind to me when others weren’t, and he stood up for what was right.’

Although Jane remembers him as Larry, she remembers how gained his nickname as he shot up in height, looking taller than many for his years.

Lofty went on to join the Royal Marines when he was still 17 years old, just six months shy of his coming of age. Stationed in Scotland he met Susan in a hotel in Arbroath. The couple dated for a couple of years prior to marrying on 9 April 1977 at Barry Church, Carnoustie.

Susan remembers Lofty as a man that was easy to talk to and who loved to dance. He excelled at PE and enjoyed both cricket and rugby. Susan was in the Naval Reserves when she met Lofty continuing after their move to Exmouth giving up only when she found out she was expecting their first child. Lofty was also a member of the Inshore Lifeboat crew.

In 1982 Lofty deployed to the Falklands with 42 Commando, he was in K Company. During the second week of June the attacks on Argentinian positions heated up as British Troops made their way to take Stanley and liberate the Islands. 42 Commando was tasked with taking Mount Harriet. Lofty, a corporal and section commander, was killed during the attack.

When Susan received the ‘Knock on the Door’ she was staying with her mother in Scotland. During the last trimester of her pregnancy with the couple’s first child, she was one of many widows left to bring a child into the World alone.

Lofty and Susan’s daughter was born on 25 August 1982 in Scotland, named Laura after her father, like many Falklands babies she was to grow up not knowing her father.

Lofty was repatriated, his funeral like so many in November 1982, he is buried in the Western Cemetery, Arbroath.

In 2010 Susan and Laura made a trip to the Falkland Islands. During that visit Laura amazingly found her dad’s foxhole.

We thank Lofty and his family for their service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Anthony Roy Streatfield

24463538 Lance Corporal Anthony Roy Streatfield REME 21 February 1960 ~ 8 June 1982 Age 22

Anthony Roy Streatfield, it appears was born in Mill Hill, London on 21 February 1960.  Tony, as he was known was the youngest son of Ernest and Rosina Streatfield who married in 1948. The Streatfield family had a long history it seems in North London and further generations back in Holborn.

When the Falkland Islands was invaded in April 1982, Tony was a Lance Corporal with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. On 8 June 1982 sadly Tony was on board the RFA Sir Galahad, he was one of the 48 men killed that day.

The Sir Galahad was later sunk and is now an official War Grave.

Tony married in 1981, the couple had one daughter at the time of his death.

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Doreen Bonner

Doreen with her nephew

Doreen Bonner 24 December 1935 ~ 12 June 1982 Age 46

Doreen Browning was born on 24 December 1935, one of five children she had three sisters and one brother. When Doreen was just 17 years old, she married Harry Bonner. Harry and Doreen had two children, both girls named Shirley and Cheryl. Shirley died as a child; Cheryl passed away on 30 June 2006 aged 49, Harry is also no longer with us, hopefully they are all together again.

During the Falklands War there were casualties on both sides as there are in any War. As we honour those we lost, it is difficult for all of us who lost people we loved during that time. There is never an easy answer to the why and the how with death, all we know is that along with birth it is the only thing that all us humans have in common, it is a surety, we just know not what the number on our ticket is.

Doreen was a civilian, one of just three lost tragically towards the end of the War and even more tragically by British fire, during the bombings of Stanley. Though each death is tragic in its own way, compared to events such as WW2 it is amazing that from the time the Falkland Islands were invaded, all throughout the War only three civilians died.

Let us always remember Doreen in our thoughts as part of the 258 and at the same time be thankful to our Task Force that they did such a Stirling job to retake the islands so swiftly with so little loss of life to both our Troops and the Islanders.

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

 

Falklands 35 ~ Terrence Wayne Perkins

D180507J  Marine Engineering Mechanic (Mechanical) 2 Terrence Wayne Perkins HMS Glamorgan 18 May 1963 ~ 12 June 1982 Age 19

Terrence Wayne Perkins was born in Cardiff on 18 May 1963.

Known as Terry there is very little information about this sailor. These stories are about the people, the families the history rather than the military side of what happened.

Terry was one of the unlucky ones who died when HMS Glamorgan was hit by an Exocet missile early on 12 June 1982.

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Glen Stuart Robinson-Moltke

C01350H Lieutenant Commander Glen Stuart Robinson-Moltke HMS Coventry 9 February 1944 ~ 25 May 1982 ~ Age 38

Glen Stuart Robinson was born on 9 February 1944, the eldest son and second child of five.  Glen was from Mirfield near Dewsbury, Yorkshire he had one brother and three sisters, all of the Robinson children’s names began with a G.

Glen’s brother Garth says

‘Lieutenant Commander Glen Stuart Robinson served as First Officer of HMS Coventry and lost his life when she was sunk on May 25th, 1982. His surviving family believe he was the senior Royal Naval casualty of The Falklands Conflict.
Glen was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on February 9th, 1944, the second child of Commander Harry and Lydia Robinson.  He had an older sister, 2 younger sisters and a younger brother.

Glen was educated locally at Heckmondwike Grammar School where, in his final year, he was head boy.  Following Officer training at Dartmouth he specialised in gunnery and served on HMS Penelope as well as a tour as naval attaché to The Royal Canadian Navy.

His 2 daughters from his first marriage both served as naval officers on short term commissions.
His marriage to a Danish National resulted in his name change to Robinson-Moltke and produced a son and a daughter.
At the time of writing there are 8 grandchildren
.

Memorial plaques exist at both the Parish Church in Mirfield where he was brought up and at the English Church in Copenhagen where he married his second wife.’

Glen’s family had a long history in the Mirfield area on his father’s side, but his mother Lydia was born in Winnipeg on 28 February 1916. Lydia’s family moved back to England when she was 19 years old. Harry and Lydia married in Huddersfield in 1940, their first two children were born during WW2.

Harry was the second son of Edward Robinson and Mary Purver Scales born on 18 January 1911. Harry’s older brother Keogh was born in 1904. Over the decades and centuries life changed so much as two World Wars hit our shores. Often people who were living simple lives staying in areas for generations barring seeking work elsewhere, suddenly men joined up and followed completely different paths to their ancestors…sliding doors.

Harry’s  mother Mary’s middle name of Purver came from her grandmother Elizabeth Burgess Purver. Elizabeth was the daughter of a Parish Clerk, she married Frederick Anscombe a Goldsmith in 1853, their daughter Kate was born in London the following year and in time she married George Scales.

Harry went to Dartmouth as a cadet but his parents as many in those days were unable to support him, he worked prior to WW2 in sales. At the start of WW2 Harry volunteered for officer training and hence served with the Royal Navy for the duration, he continued afterwards as a Lt Cdr with the RNVR. The Naval tradition continued for the next couple of generations. Harry adopted Purver as his middle name, he died in 1995 aged 84. Lydia died in 2006 aged 90.

Harry’s father Edward was a Landscape gardener who also liked to paint. His grandson, Glen’s brother, still has some of his paintings. Edward’s father was also a gardener. The family have a long history in the area of Dewsbury in Yorkshire.

Glen first married in 1967 and had two daughters. His second marriage to Christine Moltke bore a son born in Canada and a daughter who was named after her maternal grandmother.

Glen was a career naval officer who in the autumn of 1981 was appointed Executive Officer of HMS Coventry. In January 1982 Glen was on board ship on exercise when in just three short months life was about to change for many. The Falkland Islands was invaded on 2 April 1982. Glen sent his wife a telegram which said, ‘Going South’. Glen like so many had hoped there would be a diplomatic resolution, it was not to be the case.

When the HMS Coventry was hit initially Glen was it seems concussed and helped to reach the upper deck. Sadly, Glen hit his head again on the stabiliser fin jutting out of the hull. His body was not recovered.

Between his father, Glen, and his daughters they have served our country well.

We thank you for your service!

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…

Falklands 35 ~ Reflections 40 years…

When I married almost 45 years ago never in a million years did I think that one day I would utter the words ‘I have outlived my husband by 40 years’.

We had so many plans, hopes and dreams. In fact we had the next 25 years mapped out in our minds…and then…

Initially, when I started writing the Falklands 35 blog the plan was to write some of the stories of veterans, to make sure they had a little of their story out there, the press have covered very few out of almost 30k over the years. Then I realised that there was very little out there about ‘The Fallen’ too. Some had more than others but many had nothing at all, what of these men?

Five years later I am on the home stretch and down to single figures to complete at least something for the 258. It has been a rollercoaster ride of learning, some things the hard way, emotions that hit you from nowhere and beautiful, tragic and sometimes intriguing stories that surface. Along the way many things have been shared that are not always for publication.

For someone who used to have trouble finishing anything, five years has been a huge commitment! My groundwork was the ten years I spent studying in my 40’s which gave me a little insight into both research and trying to work with a brain that is not always cooperative.

During this five years I have also written two books, the first one I must have started at least ten times. I am not ashamed to have Complex PTSD nor to be on the ADHD spectrum. The latter is a gift when you are doing this kind of project!

Many people do not know that I was a Bereavement Counsellor in Palliative Care in the early 90’s. From disappointments in every day life, to loss of a loved one, our youth, a pet, a dream, everything is ultimately about ‘Grief.’ Ultimately as the book says, ‘Until we reach acceptance, we will be forever wearing black’.

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped with information to aid the writing of this blog so that we may have our history out there, not to be forgotten. The emotions it has evoked, the healing it has provoked, the blessings it has brought has reached far and wide.

Yesterday I went to Buckingham Palace for the first time in 40 years, in April I spoke at St Paul’s that was my first service there in 40 years. From 2011 when a Tsunami of emotion hit me at Merville Barracks it has been quite a journey.

If anyone wants to get a copy of my latest book you can buy it here

Life has not always been easy but I can honestly say that this project has brought some very unexpected gifts and is a legacy to be proud of.

Once the ‘Fallen’ are completed then there will be space to add more Veterans of the ‘Class of 82’ including women so doctors and nurses too… Be in touch…JJ

© Jay Morgan Hyrons

NB Each blog text is copyrighted. Each blog is individually researched and written by the author, unless otherwise stated as personal quotes. Every care is taken to ensure that the information in each blog is accurate though occasionally public records are incorrect. If you have any further information or would like to add to this story, please contact the author…