WAR HERO: Who is Simon Weston? Falkands war survivor who suffered severe burns when his ship was bom
IT has been 35 years since the Falklands War when British troops sent to defend our South Atlantic territory from invading Argentine junta forces.
The two-month conflict led to the deaths of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers – with one former Welsh Guardsman becoming friends with the Argentinean who bombed his ship.
Who is Simon Weston?
He is a 55-year-old former Welsh Guardsman who was severely burnt when his ship was bombed in 1982.
Simon Weston suffered burns to half of his body when the Sir Galahad was hit by an Argentinian.
A total of 48 men were killed after the vessel was fired on by First Lieutenant Carlos Cachon.
He survived the attack and went on to even befriend the man who bombed the ship.
He has become an author and motivational speaker, receiving a CBE in 2016 for his charity work.
How does he feel about his experience?
He wrote in The Radio Times: “I spend a lot of time doing motivational speaking. I understand all there is to know about self-doubt. For a long time I was down and depressed and suffering terribly with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
“But I realised the best thing anyone can do in life is believe in who you are, like who you are, and be confident. As long as you do the right things and try to live your life the right way, you’ve got a chance.”
What happened in the Falklands?
On 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a remote UK colony in the South Atlantic.The move led to war with the British.
The UK, which had ruled the islands for 150 years, quickly chose to fight. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said the 1,800 Falklanders were “of British tradition and stock”. A task force was sent to reclaim the islands, 8,000 miles away.
The conflict lasted just over two months from April to June. The fighting ended on June 14 – 35 years ago.
It was a brief but bitter war after Argentine forces landed on the Falklands to stake a territorial claim.