The Falklands Forty’s much-anticipated bike ride is underway, with the team visiting the Hereford area yesterday as they set off across the country.
Forty years ago, on the 14th of June 1982, the Falklands War ended. Seventy-four days of fighting had resulted in 255 British fatalities, leaving a traumatic legacy that is still felt today.
Four decades later, a group of Falklands War veterans are remembering the fallen and commemorating the war’s conclusion in a unique way: by cycling across the United Kingdom.
They are known as the Falklands Forty.
The bike ride will have eight stages, each of which hold special significance and meaning for the veterans and their families. The ride will begin on the 5th of June 2022 and conclude over 330 miles later on the 12th of June 2022.
Some of the Falklands Forty members include:
- Gus Hales – Royal Engineer Paratrooper: “My sense of gratitude for surviving the Falklands War and having 40 more years of life than those who never returned is immeasurable. In that respect, my deepest wish is to live life to the full, on behalf of all those who never came home.”
- Gary Steele – 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment: “I’m doing this to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of my friends and comrades during the Falkland’s war in the most positive and uplifting way I can.”
- Michael Leather – 9th Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers: “I have never stopped reflecting on the Falklands and the brutality of it, but my thoughts about it especially since I have become involved in this ride, are far more positive and reconciliatory to date.”
- Graeme Armstrong – Royal Engineers: “Although I live thousands of miles away in the USA and it is a long way to travel, I wouldn’t miss this ride for anything. I have always kept in touch with my former army colleagues and one of them (John Hare) was the team leader for ‘SafeLane Global’, the organisation that cleared the last mine in the Falkland Islands after 39 years.”
- Chris Warner – Navy (HMS Plymouth): “I carry my “shrapnel” with me on memorable occasions to reflect and remember the 255 servicemen that weren’t as fortunate to get back home”
- Angela Hales – QA Royal Army Nursing Corps: “I feel it is a great privilege to once again support these men [Falklands War veterans] and other cyclists on their epic adventure, a very fitting tribute to the endurance and courage of all those years ago.”
- Kevin Robinson – 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment: “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to join other Falkland War/OP CORPORATE veterans on this epic cycle ride from Cardiff to Aldershot, promoting awareness of the Falklands war and its 40th anniversary, in addition to raising funds to support veteran charities whenever possible.”