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Introduction I Repatriation I The
Royal Navy I Contemporary British Government
Policy on Wrecks I San Carlos I Zwanenburg
In 1982 at the request of the Ministry of Defence,
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission undertook the design and construction
of a cemetery and memorial at San Carlos on the Falkland Islands. Initial
drawings were prepared by Commission staff from a pencil sketch made by the
late Professor Sir Peter Shepheard, who was the Commission's Honorary Artistic
Adviser from 1975 - 2001. The plans were approved by Mr Ewen Broadbent, the
then Second Permanent Under Secretary of MOD on 12th November 1982.
Blue Beach Cemetery and the memorial standing within it cost £50,000.
The headstones are of Orton Scar limestone and the memorial panels are of
Broughton Moor light sea green slate from Cumbria. Despite considerable difficulties
of transport and construction, the work was completed with the assistance
of 8 Field Squadron Royal Engineers and the Brigade of Gurkhas. The cemetery
was dedicated on 10th April 1983.
The Falklands Conflict lasted just under three
months, 25,000 British servicemen and women were involved, 780 were wounded
and 255 died. Of these, 64 were repatriated to UK and one to Hong Kong. 174
have no grave but the sea and 16 were buried on the Falklands, - their scattered
graves are cared for by the Falkland Islanders. There are two isolated single
graves from the conflict at Goose Green and Port Howard on West Falkland.
The civil cemetery at Port Stanley has a military plot that contains 33 war
graves, (21 of the Great War and 12 of World War II).
On 21st May 2002, the 20th anniversary of the landings at San Carlos on East
Falkland, a service of remembrance was held at the cemetery. Over 300 islanders
and personnel from the garrison joined the Governor Mr Donald Lamont, in
remembering those who lost their lives in the campaign. Two Royal Navy ships
were anchored on San Carlos Water for the occasion, the Destroyer HMS NEWCASTLE
and the patrol ship HMS LEEDS CASTLE, a former North Sea fisheries protection
vessel. She was the smallest ship in the Task Force which set sail for the
Falklands in 1982.