Falklands conflict units to play role in Thatcher funeral

Margaret Thatcher visits the graves of serviceman at San Carlos cemetery in the Falkland Islands. Credit: David Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

All three Armed Services are to play a role in Baroness Thatcher's funeral in London next week, with particular reference made to the Falklands conflict.

Servicemen and women from ships, units and stations notable for their service during the 1982 conflict will make up the coffin bearer's party. Among them will be members from:

The Welsh Guards

The Welsh Guards was the regiment that suffered some of the heaviest losses during the conflict. On June 8, 1982, 32 Welsh Guards were among 48 British troops who died when the Sir Galahad was bombed by Argentine jets, and many suffered terrible burns.

The Royal Navy/Royal Marines

The Royal Marines, along with the Parachute Regiment, were seen as the spearhead of the Task Force. After landing at San Carlos Bay, they fought at Mount Kent, Mount Harriet and Two Sisters before 'yomping' into Port Stanley.

The Special Boat Service (SBS) also played a role, successfully attacking an important Argentinean position at Fanning Head that overlooked San Carlos Bay.

Former Sergeant in the Welsh Guards John Eirwen Jones, lays a wreath at Fitzroy on the Falkland Islands. Credit: Cathal McNaughton/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Scots Guards

Scots Guards were involved in one of the Falklands' fiercest battles, to take Mount Tumbledown, when British troops faced Argentine soldiers in a vicious fight using bayonets.

On the night of June 13, Scots Guards advanced up the western side of Mount Tumbledown, and the battle raged on all night, finally resulting in a British victory by 8am.The Scots Guards suffered eight casualties, while one Royal Engineer was also killed, and 43 people wounded.

Survivors from the Sir Galahad come ashore following an Argentine air attack. Credit: MARTIN CLEAVER/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Royal Artillery

Part of 3 Commando brigade, which was part of the land forces, 29 Commando Regiment accompanied the Royal Marines, providing artillery support and gunnery observation, including much-needed support with their L118 Light Guns.

Royal Engineers

The Royal Engineers, commonly known as Sappers, provided combat support to troops in the Falklands, from minefield clearing to establishing water points and building bridges.

Sapper Hill, on East Falkland - named after a troop of sappers - was of huge strategic importance during the conflict.

An Officer from the Royal Marines with arms surrendered by Argentine troops. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Parachute Regiment

The Parachute Regiment - 3 Para and 2 Para - were integrated into 3 Commando Brigade and joined the Naval Task Force.

The Paras fought some of the key battles of the war including coming ashore at San Carlos, in northwestern East Falklands, on May 21, 1982, securing a British stronghold by occupying the slopes of the Sussex Mountains.In addition, 2 Para attacked the Argentine-held airfield at Goose Green, on East Falkland, on May 27, 1982, in a lengthy battle that ended with Argentinean surrender. Forty-two members of The Parachute Regiment and attached personnel were killed in action.F lost seven aircraft.

Major General Sir Jeremy Moore, commander of the British Land Forces, is held aloft after the Argentine surrender in 1982. Credit: S&G/S&G Barratts/EMPICS Archive

Royal Gurkha Rifles

The 1st and 7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7 Gurkha) and the Queen's Gurkha Signals left for the Falkland Islands in March 1982. They were later joined by the Queen's Gurkha Engineers.

The Gurkhas were to provide support for the Scots Guards in a battle during the assault on Tumbledown. But when D Company, 1/7 GR, began their final attack, they found that the Argentinians had all fled.The only Gurkha fatality occurred after the war was over, when Lance-Corporal Budhaparsad Limbu struck an unexploded grenade with his spade.


The Royal Air Force (RAF) operated from Wideawake Airfield, on Ascension Island, but flew into the war zone.

Some 17 squadrons operated during the conflict involving aircraft such as Harriers, Chinooks, Phantoms, Canberras, Vulcans, Hercules, Victors and Sea Kings. The RA