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NEWS > History & Politics > Tim Slann Falklands Pilgrimage

Tim Slann Falklands Pilgrimage

A poignant visit to the Falkland Islands after 42 years.
Tim with Ms Alison Blake CMG, the Governor of the Falkland Islands
Tim with Ms Alison Blake CMG, the Governor of the Falkland Islands

Tim Slann (6261) and Dean Lee, both Falklands War veterans from Guernsey, recently returned to the islands in the Atlantic 42 years after the war between the UK and Argentina, sparked when the latter invaded.

The visit took place after meeting the Falklands Island Games team last year, who had requested to speak to any veterans who were on Guernsey and it turned out to be an emotional moment. The seed was sown, and Tim and Dean decided that Easter 2024 would be a good time to visit the Islands.

They flew from RAF Brize Norton on an Air Tankers’ A330 aircraft, an experience in itself, the Air Tankers being the aircraft that run the MoD contract for the Air Bridge to the Falkland Islands. On arrival they met with the Island Games team members they’d connected with in Guernsey and were introduced to lots of new faces.

The islands have changed immensely, Port Stanley itself has doubled in size and communication by road has improved beyond belief. The Government is much wealthier with fishing licences and tourism being the main source of income, as well as sheep farming and the drilling for oil. As in June 1982, all Falklands War veterans are welcomed with open arms, which was very humbling.

There was a poignancy to their pilgrimage, with Tim and Dean laying wreaths to honour those known to them who lost their lives, including Guernsey serviceman, Petty Officer Peter Brouard. They made some good friends on their visit, including many of their tour guides (who refused to take payment from veterans) and enjoyed hearing the stories of their involvement with the British troops.

Both of them are still recovering from the long journey back, especially as it involved travelling through Birmingham Airport! Would they return? Well Tim mentions that the local secondary school currently doesn’t teach Design & Technology as they don’t have a teacher, so perhaps he could persuade Mrs Slann to accompany him for a few years!

Both Tim and Dean were Leading Hands at the time, Tim was a marine engineering technician on HMS Intrepid and Dean Lee an air engineering technician with 801 NAS onboard HMS Invincible. The 74-day conflict led to the deaths of 649 Argentinians, 255 British service personnel and three islanders before Argentina surrendered.

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