Where were you on July 11, 1982?

I was standing on the jetty at Southampton waiting for the Great White Whale to come alongside. My feet were covered in a fine black soot from the shed we had been made to wait in. We'd been up since 0200 and had travelled from Guz. The timing of 1100 took forever to come about. We could hear the ship and her escorts but they kept the families in the shed (which had been used to store coal) so our view was limited.

You could only hear the top notes of the piccolo and occasional crash of the cymbals of the RM Band over the cheering and horns and the engines of the floatilla. The rest of the music just floated away above the crowds.

I cried and cried when the first Bootie came down the gangway and was given a red rose to give to his wife, sweetheart, mum, sister or daughter. My husband was gone, but the rest of his Unit was now home. They at least, were safe.

The pictures from that day will always be etched on my mind. I have never regretted going to see her come in. It was closure for me and a proud day for the UK.

http://users.comcen.com.au/~raiment/ (go to the return 1, 2, 3 thumbnails)

Anyone else remember that day?


War Hero
Very moving post. Thank you.

I went to Pompey for the HERMES return.

Very moving, even for those of us who had stayed at home and not been directly involved.

A difficult day for you, today.

Thanks you for sharing the memory.

(edited once for mongtype)


Lantern Swinger
I was at home in Exeter on survivors leave, the day after my mother drove me to Plymouth for the Board of Inquiry. The A38 was lined from Exeter to Plymouth and the North bound lane turned into a car park. It was very similar to the return that the Canadian fatalities receive today. On the Monday Union Street was absolutely packed, with Jack, Royal and Perce drinking together all having the utmost respect for each other.


War Hero
I was on leave Niner having returned to Guz on the 24th June first ship back

Although i do remember refuelling with the canberra which was at the other side of an RFA we where playing patriotic music as we swooped in having sunk the islas de estados and survived a torpedo attack all in a nights work

I always remember the Canberra returning always thinking of the achievement it had done and was totally detached from the fact i was there wierd feeling


War Hero
Still down south on the PENELOPE, but not sure of exactly where, but probably in Bomb Alley. We didn't leave for home until 23rd August.


War Hero
not sure if we hooked to the fart or the bedspread before we where told to feck off as we where as much use as a chocolate teapot, and for Brigham Bomb Alley was Alacrity avenue we used to have Banyans on Swan Island


Niner_Domestic said:
...waiting for the Great White Whale to come alongside.
Certainly do, was on her and then on that momentus move to Plymouth as mentioned above; except of course that there were people lining the roads for most of the way, beer was passed into the coaches, beer was bought in pubs, what an atmosphere! What a run ashore when we got back to Guz.



Lantern Swinger
Starboard side aft, procedure alfa - Hermes - preceding the best run ashore I have ever had in Pompey. Mind you, the Missess was really pissed off as she was advised (by the Squadron Liaison people - 826) not to come to Portsmouth (they wanted to do something at Culdrose which turned out very emotional).


War Hero
I was fortunate enough to be pumping brown blamanche onto the setee. 2 1/2 years old. Sprog...
I remember the crowds as well, but also the meet and greet the next day with HRH Prince Phillip and MGen Sir Stuart Pringle at Stonehouse.

I tried everything to get the black soot off my feet when we got home as the next day was a dress smart day for the M&G and women were to wear dresses. Luckily, the kidlet acted as the distraction when she announced in her twowanese outside voice that HRH was ugly and had a big nose so the darker-than-should-have-been-worn tights went unnoticed (too bad my face was beet red though).


War Hero
Joint_Force_Harrier said:
If it was about 2:30 I was prob doing double maths at Deeside High School.
Jeez JFH, I was just up the road from you at Castell Alun... but as Jul 11th 1982 was a Sunday I was no doubt in front of the telly watching the proceedings, before going out to kick a ball around (was also the day of the WC final)

Sorry for you loss niner, wonderful articulate posts as always. :sad8:


I was in Gib Commcen throughout the Falklands War, one of the rare drafts where we didn't get pier head jumps to STUFT ships. This could have been due to the similarity of the Gib sovereignity issue with the Spanish although I've never had this confirmed. I cannot recall exactly what I was doing but can narrow it down to either being on watch, being on the beach or being on the piss! Or all three!!!
Ships_Cat said:
Joint_Force_Harrier said:
If it was about 2:30 I was prob doing double maths at Deeside High School.
Jeez JFH, I was just up the road from you at Castell Alun... but as Jul 11th 1982 was a Sunday I was no doubt in front of the telly watching the proceedings, before going out to kick a ball around (was also the day of the WC final)

Sorry for you loss niner, wonderful articulate posts as always. :sad8:
Double Maths Homework then!!!
Was in NTD Faslane . Sunday and Duty----

Think I watched the homecomings on the TV though--definately
lump in throat stuff. Was spare waiting for Courageous to
return [August -Friday the 13th !!] and had been attached to Warspite .

Diaries are good for remembering and 1982 was some year .
Happy days though.

:nemo: :nemo:


War Hero
Mod Edit:

Please stick to the theme. There is another thread dedicated to Thatcher's State Funeral elsewhere
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