The Etched in Memory exhibition, which celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Falkland Islands, opened on 10th June 2022.
The Etched in Memory exhibition covers everything pertaining to the war, from the build up to the invasion up to the de-mining project which ended in 2020.
This is the largest exhibition we have put together since moving into the Historic Dockyard Museum in 2014, with nearly half of the ground floor now dedicated to 1982.
With it being the 40th Anniversary, it was important to do this display justice. A year and a half's work went into this exhibition and we truly hope we have created something that celebrates those that liberated the Islands justly.
The first section of the exhibition covers the build up and background of why the invasion of South Georgia and the Falklands took place.
It also covers the events of Invasion Day and how Sir Rex Hunt, NP8901 and the FIDF did all they could to protect Stanley from the invading forces before having to stand down.
The International Response of the outbreak of war is also included and how Resolution 502 was passed by the UN Security Council. This demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities, an immediate withdrawal of all Argentine forces and called on the British and Argentine governments to seek a diplomatic solution to their differences.
Many of the stories included in this exhibition come form local people who lived through the war. The most harrowing of which explain what life was like immediately after the invasion under an unknown and aggressive power.
How the Task Force formed and set sail within a matter of days is also explored and explained. As is the re-capture of South Georgia, the civilian arrests that occurred in Stanley, the loss of the Belgrano and the amazing story of Black Buck.
The 21st May is a day this is remembered fondly amongst those that lived through the conflict as it was the day the British landed. The high level of planning that went into the landings is explained in detail in the display as is the execution of Landing Day.
Whilst the Argentines thought it unlikely that the British would land in the San Carlos Waters, they were still able to carry out several air attacks on the incoming ships. This led to the loss of HMS Ardent, HMS Antelope, HMS Coventry and the Atlantic Conveyor.
After braking out from Port San Carlos & San Carlos, the troops began to advance across land towards Stanley.
With roughly 900 Argentine troops situated around Goose Green & Darwin and with over 100 civilians locked up in the community hall, the settlements were seen as an important area to recapture, not least to strengthen the British position and influence over East Falkland. 2 Para made their way over land to Goose Green, what ensued after their arrival was a fierce two-day battle. The outcome of which seen the British victorious and the civilian prisoners freed.
While 2 Para were fighting for Goose Green, 45 Commando was undertaking an epic 85 mile yomp across open, boggy ground exposed to foul weather and possible air attacks. Also, the lack of helicopters, meant the men had to carry everything they needed as a fighting unit. The men finally found their respite at Douglas Station.
After days of advancing overland towards Stanley the British troops were now prepared to advance Stanley. To achieve this would mean undertaking several battles on the mountains surrounding Stanley.
The events of the nights between 11th-14th June following the battles of Mount Longdon, Two Sisters, Mount Harriet, Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge are explained within the exhibition, as is the subsequent surrender which came about as a result of the British troops achievements on the mountains.
The surrender which was signed on the morning of the 14th meant the end of 74 days of fierce fighting.
Whilst the war was 4 decades ago, the after effects are still felt today as is our unwavering gratefulness for those who fought and those that gave their lives for our freedom. To acknowledge this we have created a wall of remembrance which features the names of all 255 servicemen and 3 local ladies who died during the conflict.
This room also features the art work of John McDermott, a Falklands veteran who suffered from PTSD and found an outlet through his art. The work of Combat Stress is also featured to help bring to light the suffering that some still suffer as a result of the war.
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