Pipers from around the world are being asked to play to remember all those who died during the Falklands War (Picture: Imagepast/Alamy Stock Photo).
Falklands 1982

Falklands War veteran urges pipers to unite to remember fallen servicemen

Pipers are being asked to play the Crags of Mount Tumbledown – composed by a soldier while under Argentine fire on the Falklands hill.

Pipers from around the world are being asked to play to remember all those who died during the Falklands War (Picture: Imagepast/Alamy Stock Photo).

Pipers across the world are being asked to come together this June and play on their doorsteps, streets or on a hillside to remember those who were killed and wounded in the Falklands War.

Forty years on from the start of the conflict, Falklands veteran Graham Hopewell and Scots Guards Lance Sergeant Mark Macrae launched the call for musicians to take part in the commemoration event.

They are asking pipers to perform the Crags of Mount Tumbledown, a march composed by a Scottish soldier while under Argentine fire on the Falklands hill, at 11am on 18 June as part of a day of national commemorations.

On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces invaded the islands, which had been in British hands since the 19th century, sparking the sending of a Royal Navy task force south to recapture them.

A naval and land campaign followed which resulted in the recapture of the islands on 14 June and lasted 74 days – at the cost of 255 British, three Falklanders and roughly 650 Argentines' lives.

The march was composed on the back of a ration packet by Pipe Major James Riddell, of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, during the final battle of the war in June 1982.

Watch: 40 years on – a timeline of the Falklands War.

As well as pipers across the country playing the march, the same day will see a parade and service of remembrance in Edinburgh to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the war.

Mr Hopewell said he felt "honoured" to play in the anniversary commemorations. 

"It's important that we remember all those who lost their lives," he said.

"The Falklands has always stayed with me. I was one of the lucky ones, but I think everyone was affected by it in some way. 

"When I came back, I had no one to talk to about it and I found it hard getting my head round it all."

He was a 19-year-old drummer with the Scots Guards when he was sent to help recapture the Falklands, and remembers fighting in bleak, freezing conditions, and losing close friends in battle.

One memory he said he will never forget is coming under air attack in Bluff Cove on 8 June.

Watch: The woman who drew official pictures of the Falklands frontline.

Shortly after he landed on the island in the South Atlantic, Argentine air forces hit the British transport ships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, resulting in the loss of 48 British lives.

"We heard a massive explosion," said Mr Hopewell. "When the planes came over the top, we just started shooting at them. There was no time to think about it and the adrenaline was just going.

"Later on, when we heard the ships had been hit, we realised it was real.

"I knew many of the Welsh Guards who were on the ships, and a close friend was killed in the attack.

"That was a huge shock, and it made us more determined to go on, so they hadn't lost their lives for nothing."

Mr Hopewell and Lance Sergeant Macrae have joined military charities, Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, to take part in the event which will see the famous march played.

Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said she hoped "pipers in every part of Scotland, as well as the rest of the world" will join in the event.

And Mark Collins, interim chief executive of Poppyscotland, said playing the Crags of Mount Tumbledown "will be a fitting tribute to everyone who played their part in the Falklands conflict".

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