Veterans gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the victory in the Falklands

Falkland Islands veterans and their families gathered in Edinburgh on Saturday to mark 40 years since the end of the conflict.

The undeclared war lasted 10 weeks from April 2 to June 14, 1982, after Argentina invaded the occupied islands.

It claimed the lives of 255 British troops who were remembered as part of a wake in Edinburgh on Saturday.


Falkland Islands veterans and members of the wider military community remember the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict during a parade and memorial service in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Veterans who had served in the Falklands gathered in Charlotte Square, joined by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Scots Guards Pipers and Drummers’ Association.

They marched down George Street, culminating in a memorial service in St. Andrew’s Square as members of the public lined the streets.

The pipers played at The Crags of Tumbledown Mountain and were joined at the same time by 120 pipers from other parts of Scotland and even from New Zealand.


The Band of the Royal Marines lead Falkland Islands veterans and members of the wider military community during a parade in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/Pennsylvania)

They were joined by Secretary of Justice and Veterans Keith Brown, who delivered a reading and laid a wreath in memory.

Mr Brown was a signalman for a Royal Marines mortar company and was posted to the Falklands in 1982.

He said he doesn’t “talk about it much” unless he meets others who have served.

“I guess it’s kind of shorthand: if someone else was there, he knows certain things, you don’t have to repeat them,” he said.


Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Robert Aldridge joins Attorney General and Veterans Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown (Jane Barlow/PA)

He joined the military after he lost his job.

Mr Brown added: “I lost my job and wanted to get in shape so I decided to try out for the military. The first recruiting station I went to was on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. It was a recruiting station for the Navy. There wasn’t a big family tradition, it was just what I did at the time.

“I am delighted that we were able to partner with Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland to hold a memorial that will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices made 40 years ago during the Falklands War.”

The Attorney General was also joined by a fellow veteran, the Reverend Angus Smith, who had served in the Falklands as a padre in the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards.

“It’s great that we can still share our grief in this way,” Mr. Smith said. “It’s still there and I guess it’s for everyone.


The flag bearers joined the military, Falkland Islands veterans and members of the broader community of the armed forces in service (Jane Barlow/Pennsylvania)

“It was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had in recent years. The thought that went into this is really beautiful. The first person I met today was the wife of a great friend of mine who was one of the first men to die in the war. Today we just looked at each other and couldn’t talk.”

The event was organized by Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland.

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said: “It was great to see so many people gathered today to pay their respects to all those who served in the Falklands.

“For veterans and their families, today was a very important day as we remember those who gave their lives 40 years ago. Even now, many of those who served still live with the physical and mental scars of the conflict.

“It was also an opportunity to recognize the extraordinary resilience of our armed forces and the vital role they continue to play today.

“We are delighted that people of all ages have become interested in our training program in recent months, taking the opportunity to learn more about the Falklands and other conflicts and their impact on our recent history.

“It was especially touching to hear the iconic bagpipe tune ‘The Crags of Tumbledown Mountain’ being played at 11am both here in St. Andrews Square and by our worldwide bagpipe band all over the world.