Falklands 1982

Falklands veteran recalls the fierce Battle of Two Sisters

2022 has marked the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and Forces News has been speaking to veterans who were there.

In April 1982, the Royal Marines of 45 Commando sailed 8,000 miles across the South Atlantic as part of a naval task force to recover the islands following Argentina's invasion. 

After they disembarked, they were ordered to march - 'yomp' in Royal Marines parlance - towards Stanley after helicopters were lost in a transport ship that was hit and sunk by the Argentinians. 

Ian Gardiner commanded X-Ray Company on the gruelling journey across the roughest terrain.

He led his marines during the fierce night battle for Two Sisters, a 1,000-foot-high mountain, on the approach to Stanley.

Describing the chaos of the battle, he said: "You don’t know which bang is friendly, which is enemy. Any night vision that you might have started with is instantly wrecked by the illuminating shells – theirs or ours.

"Communicating [is] very difficult; men get deafened by the noise. The aerials get shot off, get broken. Men get wounded taking cover. The only sure way of communicating with a man in circumstances like that is to thump him in the back and bellow in his ear".

Reflecting on the efforts of his men, Mr Gardiner said: "I’m very conscious that my life and my reputation rests upon the shoulders of teenage boys. Lance corporals, marines, second lieutenants – they were the ones who won the battle for Two Sisters, and they are the ones who deserve the credit."

If you have been affected by any of the subjects in this interview, advice and support is available here.

Head to our Falklands 40 page, where you can find our memorial wall, as well as more Falklands stories, videos and podcasts.