During the Falklands War of 1982, many losses were suffered, both, by the British forces and the Argentinian army. However, few people remembered that 17 servicemen were killed from the Merchant Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The Merchant Navy Association decided to right this wrong by unveiling a new monument dedicated to those who lost their lives while serving in The Merchant Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary during the Falklands War.
The memorial is made using Portland stone, topped with polished black granite panels in the shape of a compass rose, which actually forms a sundial. The bronze anchor and chain form the gnomon.
The memorial was dedicated on Merchant Navy Day 4 September 2005 by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC.
After unveiling the memorial Admiral West paid tribute to the crucial contribution made by the Merchant Navy during the Falklands War which saw the loss of the merchant vessel Atlantic Conveyor as a result of enemy action.
He said, "Men and women of the Merchant Navy worked shoulder to shoulder with those of the Royal Navy during the campaign to liberate the Islands, as they did in the two world wars of the last century, and have done so since."
Also in attendance at the memorial ceremony were Captain John Sail, Chairman of the Merchant Navy Association, Commodore Bob Thornton RFA and Lt Col Ben Bathurst, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.
A guard of honour was provided by Royal Naval Reservists from HMS President, along with the Royal Marine Band from CTCRM Lympstone.