In April 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands – in late 2005 it was my turn to invade, well, for four months – and the only shooting that I did was of the amazing islands, and the wonderful wildlife. As it’s the 30th Anniversary, I thought I’d share a few more of my photos from there (I have a few of my wildlife ones on my “photos” page if you’re interested)
As on other RAF bases, Mount Pleasant Airfield has a need for RAF Photographers to photograph everything from technical defects on aircraft, to VIP visits to the base, ceremonial events and group photos. They help to provide support to the police and security forces protecting the unit, and also document history as well as helping to publicise life on the unit. Another of our roles in MPA when I was there was processing any images taken by the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Tornadoes, when scrambled for any potential incursions into Falklands airspace.
The rugged beauty of the Falklands also makes it a photogs heaven, and being an RAF photog there meant that I got more opportunities to get out and about and see more of the islands than the average military person on deployment to FI. Please excuse the colours – I used a little point and shoot camera for some of these, and it just couldn’t cope with the UV levels in the Falklands! The sky there is bluer than you could ever imagine, and the air is so clear, so free from pollution it’s amazing. If you want to know what it’s like to breath real fresh air – go there!
Mount Pleasant Airfield, as seen from the top of Pleasant Peak.
Memorial at the top of Pleasant Peak – an ammo tin with polishing kit is beside it so visitors can give it a polish after their rock climb up to the memorial.
Welsh Guards memorial at Fitzroy, dedicated to those who lost their lives on the Sir Galahad, after an Argentinian bombing raid on it in June 1982.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Sir Galahad memorial, near the Welsh Guards one – dedicated to the memory of the others who also died in the bombing.
Argentine war cemetery.
The spot where Colonel H Jones died, marked with a memorial and white painted stones marking exactly where he fell.
The wreckage of an Argentinian Pucara aircraft, left where it fell 30 years ago.
Darwin House. If you ever get the chance – go there for afternoon tea!! They do a fantastic massive pot of tea and plate-loads of biscuits, and it feels like you’re relaxing in someones living room – without feeling uncomfortable. As we’d been walking, we’d left our boots at the door and it didn’t feel in the least bit weird!
The Famous Whalebone arches outside the Port Stanley Church
The 1982 memorial in Port Stanley
You can’t get more British than red phone box & red post box!
The Totem Pole outside Port Stanley – how far home??
Elephant seal and a duck pal on Sealion Island
Rockhoppers hopping rocks – as they do…
A Caracara perches on the memorial to HMS Sheffield and all who lost their lives on it, just off Sealion Island
Who says penguins can’t fly????
I truly loved my time in the Falkland Islands, and one regret that I will have, if I do get redundancy in June, is that I won’t get the opportunity to go and live there for 4 months ever again. If I go back it will be as a tourist, instead of feeling like part of this amazing place, and having a purpose – to help protect the FI and give the people there a choice.