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Introduction I Repatriation I The Royal Navy I Contemporary British Government Policy on Wrecks I San Carlos I Zwanenburg

San Carlos

Service casualty branches - San CarlosIn 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.

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