Falklands

Falklands: 1982 bombing of Sir Galahad remembered by survivor

Survivor and former Welsh Guardsman Neil Wilkinson was badly burnt when the RFA vessel was hit at the height of the Falklands conflict.

Some people might find parts of this interview upsetting.

A Falklands veteran who survived the bombing of RFA Sir Galahad has recalled his harrowing memories and told of his long road to recovery, 40 years on.

Forces News has spoken to Welsh Guardsman Neil Wilkinson as memorial services to remember those who were lost are held to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

The veteran was serving in 1st Battalion Welsh Guards when the Falklands conflict began in April 1982 and sent his wedding ring back to his wife before deploying to the South Atlantic, saying that he had had a premonition that "something was going to happen."

On 8 June, Mr Wilkinson was on board RFA Sir Galahad – one of two landing ships attempting to bring ashore Welsh Guards and their supplies into Fitzroy on East Falkland – when the ship was hit by Argentinian jets.

Realising he had badly burned his hands after the attack, he was one of several on board being taken to the top deck.

Mr Wilkinson received treatment at a field hospital, soon realising the extent of his injuries, but 50 crewmen and soldiers were killed in the attack on the vessels.

Still receiving mental health support from the military charity Combat Stress, the veteran has since returned to the Falkland Islands to build friendships with the islanders and pay respect to his fallen comrades.