The terrain was really rocky it must have been very difficult to attacking soldiers to cross in the dark, when it was wet.
Combatants from both sides of the conflict are frequent visitors to the Island.
On some occasions, Argentine conscripts who arrived in the dark had hired our Tony to show them where they had been (at the time, they’d had no map, and were just left there with no food and told where to point their rifles).
During the attack, there was a sniper on top of these rocks. Our guide had given a tour with the Scots guards one of them had climbed up with a bayonet on the the night of the attack.
When he returned he’d said simply we won’t have any more trouble from him. The stark reality of war, this isn’t John Wayne.
Nearby, this grassy area is where a helicopter made 5 trips ferrying injured men back to the field hospital (including Robert Lawrence featured in the BBC Drama Tumbledown).
The pilot had no night vision equipment. At one point, the helicopter skids became tangled on a fence and the pilot had to fly backwards, 5 feet from the ground in the pitch black, to free the helicopter.
As the Scotts guards reached the top, the sun was rising and they could sea Port Stanley.
At that point the war was effectively over and Margaret Thatcher would announce “White flags flying over Stanley” in the house of commons.
It was the last time British forces used fixed bayonets in combat and the Tumbledown assault itself cost the lives of 9 Scotts Guards.
These men were made of Iron. Around the cross that marks the top of tumbledown, they’ve left pictures, small bottles of whisky and such like to fallen friends.
But that’s not all. I found out, that most military crosses setup by the ministry of defence, face north. The Scots Guards had asked for it to be moved to face Port Stanley.
Admin and bureaucracy had taken too long, so the Guards took leave, flew over and with picks and shovels, re-cemented the cross to face Stanley (and nobody seems to have complained or attempted to put it back).
Back from our sobering adventure, we wander around the town. The graveyard.
Christ Church Cathedral. On the right is the whalebone arch, built in 1933.
Historic Dockyard Museum.
Inside, a re-creation of a small general store.
There were loads of interesting things in the museum. Too many to show here, so just for fun, I’ve included a commode.
What could be more British than a red double decker bus.
These, days, its used for day trips. Basically, there are 2 sorts of journeys in the Falklands trips around Stanley where you can walk and travelling around the Island which can take up-to 8 hours !.
The red telephone box. Not for show, these actually contain working telephones.
The Mizzen Mast from SS Great Britain.
The Falkland Islands Police station and HM Prison Stanley.
A day earlier on the cruise, we’d been given a talk on the Island. It was joked that the prison can only hold 17 people, so if you’re the 18th person theyl just send you home 🙂
Interestingly, the police run an exchange program with the UK, and its quite common to run into a scouse, brummy or cockney bobby on the beat in the South Atlantic.
On the right is the 1982 Liberation memorial. Behind it, is the Secretariat Government building and the top floor on the right is where the Argentine surrender was signed.
Well, the only thing I didn’t get to do, was eat fish and chips and drink a pint of beer in a “British” pub in the Falklands. All the pubs were full with diners, so we had some coffee and a nice cake instead.
One special thing for me was this monument.
Only a while after Margaret Thatchers death, when poeple in Manchester and Liverpool were hosting street parties and “ding dong the wicked witch is dead” reached number one in the UK…
I see this. A monument to Margaret Thatcher, on a road called Thatcher drive. She is a hero to the people of the Falklands. When she visited the Islands for the first time (she visited twice, the only UK prime minister to do so) security had to close-in around her. Not for her safety, but because the Islanders wanted to carry her down the road shoulder high !.
As our guide said. Some people might not like her but when we needed her she helped when nobody else would.
An amazing experience. I’m not sure what I’d find to do if I was there for 2 weeks, but the Falklands are a must see sight for any serious traveller.
Sorry this update has taken so long, loads on at work. Near and Far the search for adventure continues…