HMS Invincible SWNS

Never-before-seen photos of HMS Invincible illustrate the excitement as she returns home from the Falklands War, 35 years ago.

The photos show how the crowds came out to welcome home the 19,500-ton warship and her crew.

Perched on roofs along Portsmouth harbour, everyone tried to catch a glimpse of the aircraft carrier come in on Friday, September 17, 1982.

HMS Invincible SWNS
Portsmouth adorned in Union Jacks for HMS Invincible's return, SWNS

The seafront was awash with red, white and blue.

With a flotilla of smaller boats even sailing out to ensure a good vantage point of the day’s exciting events.

HMS Invincible left the port on April 5 and in the months to follow some 258 British servicemen were killed and six other ships sunk.

HMS Invincible
Revellers flocked to get a glimpse of HMS Invincible returning home, SWNS

Chris Bonass, 65, a former TV cameraman recalled the electric atmosphere as he took these photos.

He said: “I got up early and went to the Round Tower in Portsmouth Harbour. I stayed there all day until the ship came in.

"There would have been a couple of miles of seafront where people are normally sunbathing which was jam-packed with spectators.

“Families brought their young children, everyone had little flags. It was a great atmosphere.”

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