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UNDER leaden skies, this is the suitably
enthralled by stories of actual events,” said Cdr will tell you it’s very windy. But that won’t deter gunners were delighted with their marksmanship;
solemn – and impressive – memorial to
Staley. sportsmen. every one of the 100 rounds launched during
the fallen of the Falklands.
York spent her fi rst period around the remote The destroyer’s cricket team dispatched a Exercise Cape Bayonet – a regular exercise
islands in company with HMS Scott (paying Mount Pleasant side in a Twenty20 match, thanks involving all three Services in the Falklands –
There is one fresh wreath among the weather-
her fi rst visit to these waters), plus the islands’ to an unbeaten 54 from S/Lt Ed Rees (who also landed within 60ft of its designated target.
worn tributes.
constant Naval guardian HMS Clyde and tanker bagged three wickets), while York’s footballers Aside from Cape Bayonet, which saw fellow
Among the first duties for HMS York on her
RFA Gold Rover. saw off a challenge from a combined Scott- White Roses involved in the shape of 3 Battalion
arrival in the remote islands was to say ‘hello’ to
The latter’s now homeward bound as Clyde team 4-2. The Yorkshire Regiment, the Type 42 destroyer
the people of San Carlos.
the South Atlantic theatre trades Rover for Although the wind didn’t disrupt sporting has spent much of her time recently patrolling
Dropping in on these isolated, sparsely-
Ruler. activities, it did prevent a visit to the West Falkland.
inhabited settlements is bread and butter to any
RFA Wave Ruler has left UK shores for capital. The island is far less populous than its eastern
warship deployed to the Falklands – offering
12 months in the Atlantic, fi rst taking over The good folk of Stanley could see HMS neighbour (which itself isn’t exactly Manhattan...),
reassurance to the islands of support from the
from Gold Rover. York… and HMS York could see Stanley, so York’s sailors called in at some of its far-flung
mother country.
Later in the year, the fl eet tanker but never the twain did meet as high seas settlements to pass on their good wishes.
Five hundred yards up the bay lies San Carlos
swaps the South Atlantic for the North prevented any thought of disembarking/ West Falkland is also home to two RAF radar
Cemetery, a memorial not to every Serviceman
and joins the concerted effort against drug re-embarking. sites – Mounts Alice and Byron.
killed in the conflict, but to the 174 men whose traffi cking in the Caribbean. Which was a shame, but some people who With each temporarily down for routine
bodies were not repatriated after the conflict. This is the first visit to the islands by Wave did embark were the mobile FOST team. maintenance, York filled the gap, providing an ‘air
Aside from paying their respects on land, the Ruler – the Rover class have been the mainstay of They’re keen to see that the ship’s company meet picture’ for the islands’ military command.
White Rose warship paused to reflect on past South Atlantic operations in recent years. the same exacting standards half-way around the “To sum up, HMS York has made her mark out
sacrifices at sea. The tanker’s not the only rare sight down world as when they’re going through the rigmarole here and the ship’s company can be very proud of
CO Cdr Simon Staley and WO2 David Horler there. of Operational Sea Training off Devon. what they have achieved so far, although there’s
– one of the dwindling number of still-serving France sent her oldest active warship – And evidently, the men and women of York are. still a lot to do,” said Cdr Staley.
Falklands veterans; he sailed with HMS Plymouth helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc, laid down in 1959 The gunbusters most definitely are. That ‘lot to do’ includes visits to South Georgia
in 1982 to liberate the islands – cast wreaths into – and a more modern ‘stealth frigate’, Courbet, to For five hours the destroyer’s main ‘Kryten’ and the South Sandwich Islands this month
the silent waters in memory of HMS Antelope, the South Atlantic for exercises with York. gun (so named thanks to its angular shape and followed by goodwill visits to countries in West
destroyed by an Argentine bomb during the Britain’s fastest destroyer also exchanged resemblance to a certain Red Dwarf character…) Africa in April and May as the Type 42 makes her
landings at San Carlos. pleasantries with the Argentinian corvette hammered 100 high explosive shells at a range in way home slowly to Portsmouth.
“It was a sombre day for many of the younger Drummond as the two ships encountered heavy the South Atlantic islands without any stoppages. Her place south of the equator will be taken by
members of the ship’s company who are too seas in international waters. In pummeling the target, the gun clocked up HMS Portland.
young to remember the war itself, but who were Anyone who’s ever been to the Falklands 1,000 shells since it was installed, while the Picture: AB(WS) Oldland, HMS York
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