Beach-head tribute to war dead
Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne during a service at San Carlos cemetery to commemorate the Falklands War
Heroes of the Falklands War were honoured today at the remote beach-head where they fought and died 30 years ago.
Veterans of the 1982 War laid wreaths and saluted their comrades at the British war graves at San Carlos on the island of East Falkland.
They were joined by Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne who later also laid a wreath at the Argentine cemetery at Darwin, near Goose Green.
The 15-minute service was part of a week of commemorations in the Falkland Islands marking the 30th anniversary of their liberation.
In 1982 San Carlos bay, overlooked by what came to be known as "bomb alley", was the setting for the biggest British amphibious landings since D-Day.
Standing in the cold harsh wind at the circular stone cemetery - the main memorial to the 255 UK servicemen who died in the conflict - veterans, politicians and family members of the fallen, watched as five wreaths were placed beneath a monument.
Amongst those laying a red poppy wreath was former paratrooper Martin Margerison, 55, from North Wales. Mr Margerison, who had been a 25-year-old Corporal during the war, saluted as he placed his wreath on behalf of the members of 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment.
Four hundred and fifty men from the Regiment defeated 1,200 Argentines in bitter fighting at the crucial battle of Goose Green, during which 17 British troops and 47 Argentine soldiers lost their lives. The battle lasted a day and a night and was to become one of the most well documented during the 74 day conflict.
The service was conducted by Reverend Richard Hines, who is overseeing all the services during the 30th anniversary commemorations and was brought to an end as two bugles played the last post and people sang the British National Anthem.
The country's military government invaded the Falklands, citing a territorial claim dating back to Spanish colonial times. At least 655 Argentinians died defending the "Malvinas" from the British Task Force. The cemetery has more than 125 head stones for "unknown" soldiers.