Brighton panto man returns to Falklands

Brian Ralfe on his return to the Falklands

Brian Ralfe on his return to the Falklands

First published in News

A Falklands veteran has returned to the island 30 years after the conflict.

Brian Ralfe, the founder of Brighton’s Alternative Panto, has just returned from the South Atlantic having spent two weeks touring former battle zones with The Duke of Kent.

Mr Ralfe was a Gunner during the bloody conflict aboard a helicopter support ship which spent most of its time in San Carlos, which was affectionately known as bomb alley by servicemen in 1982.

The 58-year-old was one of 50 military persons chosen for the 30th anniversary visit as guests of the Falkland Government.

During his trip, Mr Ralfe visited the war graves of former comrades, including Brighton’s Steven Prior who died at Goose Green.

He said: “I still can't take in all that happened during our visit.

“The hospitality, gratitude, outstanding warmth and generosity of the islanders were overwhelming.

"Much of this experience has brought back so many memories, some good and of course some really sad.

“Visiting the graves of my former colleagues was very emotional but I have no regrets.

“It is something I have wanted and have waited 30 years to do.”

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Comments (2)

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11:22am Tue 11 Dec 12

localboy78 says...

Perhaps he will be able to persuade the narrow-minded islanders to vote for independance from the UK, or some kind of shared or full sovreignty with Argentina (which is no longer a brutal, fascist, military dicatorship like it was at the time of the invasion).

It makes me sick that the islanders pay not a single penny in tax to the UK but yet we spend a fortune maintaining a military presence there, and also represent their interests via the UK's Foreign Office.

If they truly want to be a British Overseas Territory then they should pay tax to the British treasury!

Maintaining those islands with a population of around 2000 (half of which are military personell), that lie 8000 miles from the UK (and only 400 from Argentina), is a tremendous waste of money to the UK taxpayer, and also isn't worth the damage it does to our relationship with Argentina and other Latin American countries.

It is time for the UK to sever links with the Falkland/Malvinas Islands and allow them to finance and govern themselves entirely. If they want to sign a defense co-operation agreement with the UK then that is fine as long as they pay for it!
Perhaps he will be able to persuade the narrow-minded islanders to vote for independance from the UK, or some kind of shared or full sovreignty with Argentina (which is no longer a brutal, fascist, military dicatorship like it was at the time of the invasion). It makes me sick that the islanders pay not a single penny in tax to the UK but yet we spend a fortune maintaining a military presence there, and also represent their interests via the UK's Foreign Office. If they truly want to be a British Overseas Territory then they should pay tax to the British treasury! Maintaining those islands with a population of around 2000 (half of which are military personell), that lie 8000 miles from the UK (and only 400 from Argentina), is a tremendous waste of money to the UK taxpayer, and also isn't worth the damage it does to our relationship with Argentina and other Latin American countries. It is time for the UK to sever links with the Falkland/Malvinas Islands and allow them to finance and govern themselves entirely. If they want to sign a defense co-operation agreement with the UK then that is fine as long as they pay for it! localboy78
  • Score: 0

7:28pm Wed 12 Dec 12

BritBob says...

The Falkland Islands have got absolutely nothing to do with Argentina.

Britain claimed the Falklands in 1765. Argentina did not inherit them from Spain. In 1833 the Royal Navy removed a small Argentine garrison from the Falklands that had been set up with Britain's permission by Vernet. Vernet switched allegiance and turned his hand to piracy, hence his removal. The settlers were allowed to stay under the British flag. In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed a treaty called the 'Convention of Settlement' to settle all existing differences and to restore a state of perfect harmony to both nations. Argentina had protested about the British presence on the Falklands right up to and including 1849 but not make another sovereignty protest until 1941 (Peron). Under international law sovereignty claims are usually considered defunct if there is a gap of 50 years or more between protests. The Falkland Islanders have the right to self determination under the UN Charter. Argentine governments since the time of Peron have used the Falkland Islands (the Great Malvinas Lie) as an excuse to distract their population during harsh economic climates. The Argentine claim to the Falkland Islands is no stronger than Canada claiming Alaska because its closer.
The Falkland Islands have got absolutely nothing to do with Argentina. Britain claimed the Falklands in 1765. Argentina did not inherit them from Spain. In 1833 the Royal Navy removed a small Argentine garrison from the Falklands that had been set up with Britain's permission by Vernet. Vernet switched allegiance and turned his hand to piracy, hence his removal. The settlers were allowed to stay under the British flag. In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed a treaty called the 'Convention of Settlement' to settle all existing differences and to restore a state of perfect harmony to both nations. Argentina had protested about the British presence on the Falklands right up to and including 1849 but not make another sovereignty protest until 1941 (Peron). Under international law sovereignty claims are usually considered defunct if there is a gap of 50 years or more between protests. The Falkland Islanders have the right to self determination under the UN Charter. Argentine governments since the time of Peron have used the Falkland Islands (the Great Malvinas Lie) as an excuse to distract their population during harsh economic climates. The Argentine claim to the Falkland Islands is no stronger than Canada claiming Alaska because its closer. BritBob
  • Score: 0

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