In Pete’s own words:
50 of us from all three services arrived at MPA on the 8th November, tired after a 8 hour delay at Ascension, due to bad weather in the Falkland’s, but pleased to be back. We were met by our host families who looked after us for the week. On the Friday we had an early start and were transported in a group of 20 Land rovers to San Carlos cemetery travelling through a howling blizzard!! We awaited the arrival of the Duke of Kent, (by helicopter!) and after a short service he placed his wreath followed by the veterans. I laid our Ardent wreath on behalf of our Association.
Over the next few days our hosts and drivers took us to all the main battle sites plus wildlife sightseeing. Unfortunately I was unable to get to Campito Hill, but on Monday 12th arrangements were made for me to travel by ferry to Ardent’s resting place, I was accompanied by two ex-Yarmouth’s who came with me for moral support together with a Merchant seaman from the British Tay and an ex-Intrepid with a family wreath in memory of Lt Brian Murphy. Father Peter (the Roman Catholic priest, an ex submariner) came and gave a moving short service. I laid another wreath and poppy petals and poured Pusser’s Rum on the water for those still on watch below. We then disembarked at Port San Carlos and carried on to Goose Green to finish the day. We also visited the Memorial Wood, where I found most of the crosses commemorating our shipmates placed during the HMS Ardent Association visit in November 2011.
This was a trip I will never forget especially the way the Islanders could not thank us enough for what we did all those years ago. After the first day’s horrendously cold weather we had 5 days with the temperatures in the low 20’s. (I had an e-mail from my hosts there today to say they have thick snow!) On the way back we were delayed at Ascension for 5 hours because of thick fog at Brize Norton!