Posted: Fri 16th Feb 2024

Deeside Senedd Member honours fallen Connah’s Quay guardsman during Falklands visit

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 16th, 2024

A Deeside politician has laid a wreath at a Falklands Islands cemetery in memory of a Connah’s Quay guardsman who died in the war with Argentina in 1982.

A cross-party delegation from the Welsh Parliament, including Alyn and Deeside member, Jack Sargeant, James Evans MS, Laura Anne Jones MS, and Alun Davies MS, embarked on a seven-day visit to the Falkland Islands to strengthen ties between Wales and the Falklands.

Their visit encompassed a series of meetings with local government officials, farmers, the fishing industry, and scientific research centres, alongside exploring the islands’ rich historical sites and diverse wildlife.

Highlights of their trip included visits to Goose Green, where they learned about the experiences of islanders during the 1982 war, and to San Carlos Cemetery, to honour those who died for the Falklands’ liberation.

Mr Sargeant laid a wreath in memory of Sergeant Malcolm Wigley from Connah’s Quay.

There was no greater British loss of life throughout the Falklands conflict than the attack on RFA support ships Sir Galahad and Tristram, bombed on 8 June 1982 by Argentine jets.

The struggle to liberate the islands was entering its closing stages, with British forces closing in on the capital, Stanley.

To support that final assault, the two RFAs were due to deliver troops to Bluff Cove – not 15 miles from Stanley.

The ships dropped anchor five miles short of their destination and began offloading at Fitzroy Sound.

Aboard Sir Galahad, the Welsh Guards refused to leave, one of those was Sgt Wigley.

The Welsh Guards had been messed around in the campaign to date.

They had been told they would be delivered to Bluff Cove – five miles from Fitzroy – and delivered to Bluff Cove they would be, despite the protestations of Royal Marines.

Argentine forces had already spotted the ships’ presence at Fitzroy.

On the South American mainland, Skyhawk jets from Grupo 5 de Caza – 5th Fighter Group – better known as Los Halcones, ‘The Hawks’, lifted off to intercept, each carrying three 250kg bombs on a round-trip to the Falklands of almost 1,000 miles.

Leading the final assault was Carlos Cachón, told by his commander to “take charge of the formation and lead it to glory.”

Two of his bombs – plus one from a wingman – hit Sir Galahad, exploding in the tank deck, galley, and engine room, while Sir Tristram was strafed and hit by a single bomb, which failed to detonate initially.

Sgt Wigley was among the 32 Welsh Guards who lost their lives during the attack on Sir Galahad, which also left several others severely injured.

On that fateful June day, five RFA crew members and a total of 55 Welsh Guards aboard the two ships made the ultimate sacrifice.

Writing on social media, Jack Sargeant MS said: “It was an honour to lay a wreath on behalf of my Alyn & Deeside constituent in memory of Malcolm Wigley during a delegation to the Falklands.

“Sergeant Malcolm Wigley of the Welsh Guards was a son of Connah’s Quay who lost his life alongside his brothers in arms on 8th June 1982 aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship the Sir Galahad.

“We must never forget those who have sacrificed for our freedom.”

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com
Latest News

  • Calls for urgent clarity of future of nuclear energy developments in North Wales
  • Wales’ Ombudsman under scrutiny: Inquiry into political neutrality pushed after official’s resignation
  • Three finishes bottom of the pile in Which?’s best and worst mobile phone provider survey

  • More...

    Calls for urgent clarity of future of nuclear energy developments in North Wales

    News

    Wales’ Ombudsman under scrutiny: Inquiry into political neutrality pushed after official’s resignation

    News

    Three finishes bottom of the pile in Which?’s best and worst mobile phone provider survey

    News

    Senedd passes Bill to simplify consenting process for major infrastructure projects in Wales

    News

    Wales Wildfire Board launches new ‘WildfireWise’ awareness campaign

    News

    MS welcomes ‘enthusiastic’ Flintshire pupils to the Senedd

    News

    Flintshire wins share of £100m Welsh Government transport and active travel improvement funding

    News

    Check if your business is eligible to benefit from grants to help reduce running costs

    News

    Flint Air Cadets Showcase Skills to Civic Leaders

    News