Posted: Mon 6th Jun 2022

Memorial service to be held 40 years to the day a Connah’s Quay Welsh Guard was killed in Falklands war

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 6th, 2022

A ceremony will be held in Deeside later this week to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Welsh Guardsman Sergeant Malcolm Wigley who was killed in the Falklands War. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Sgt Wigley who was 31 and from Connah’s Quay was one of 32 Welsh Guards who died aboard the Royal Fleet Auxilary (RFA) ship Sir Galahad when it was bombed by Argentinian jets on June 8, 1982. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There was no greater British loss of life throughout the Falklands conflict than the attack on RFA support ships Sir Galahad and Tristram. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The ships dropped anchor five miles short of their destination and began to offload instead at Fitzroy Sound. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Aboard Sir Galahad soldiers were preparing to leave but the ships’ presence at Fitzroy had already been spotted by Argentine forces. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Royal Fleet Auxilary (RFA) ship the Sir Galahad

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, killing two RFA crew, and hit by a single bomb, which failed to detonate initially. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Thirty-two of the 48 people who died on the Sir Galahad were Welsh Guards, and many more were badly injured. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Outlining details of the service to Connah’s Quay Town Council last week, Cllr Martin White, Chair of the Connah’s Quay and Shotton Interservices Committee said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Next Wednesday (June 8) is the 40th anniversary of when Sgt Malcolm Wigley sadly lost his life aboard the Sir Galahad along with numerous of his comrades from the Welsh Guards.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We as a committee have met with the family of Sgt Wigley and they have agreed that we can hold the service on their behalf.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Cllr White said: “The service at the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial is being held four decades to the day that Sgt Wigley died.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Welsh Guards from his regiment will be in attendance, his family will be there, and his grandchildren will be laying poppies along with children from Wepre Primary School.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The service, which will last around 15 minutes begins at 10.55am and will include a roll call of all the Welsh Guards who perished in the attack on the Sir Galahad on June 8, 1982.” Cllr White said. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Members of the public are welcome to attend and are asked to assemble at Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial at 10.45 am on Wedensday, June 8. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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