28 May 2012
Last updated at 12:06
Steven Hughes, now an orthopaedic surgeon, joined the army while at medical school and was the Regimental Medical Officer for The 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2 Para) during the Falklands War. Here are some of his own pictures from the conflict.
The battalion were due to leave Portsmouth for a tour of Belize and Central America when they were redirected to the South Atlantic and the Falklands.
All of the soldiers on board the ship were trained in the basics of first aid during the journey. They also trained one soldier in ten as combat medics, who would be responsible for treating casualties and moving them back to safety.
Mr Hughes and his colleagues were the first troops ashore, apart from the special forces, when they arrived via landing craft at San Carlos on 21 May, 1982. In all, some 3,000 troops and 1,000 tons of supplies were brought ashore in order to establish a beachhead.
Their destination was Goose Green, where a fierce battle would take place between the British and the Argentine forces which held the area.
The army medics dealt mainly with people suffering from wounds caused by multiple shrapnel fragments. The dirty conditions meant there was a real risk of infection.
Everyone who was treated in the field hospital survived, Mr Hughes believes. He said it was quite "humbling" to see how well the men recovered.
The medics did not just deal with British casualties - here Mr Hughes is pictured treating an Argentine soldier. "We probably dealt with about twice as many Argentines as we did Brits," he said.
In the Battle of Goose Green the British troops, who were vastly outnumbered, took more than 1,000 prisoners of war and released local residents imprisoned by the Argentines.
Some 17 British troops died in the battle, including commanding officer Lt Col "H" Jones. Initial reports said 250 Argentine soldiers died, although the figure is now thought to have been much lower - possibly below 50.
Steven Hughes also saw the Sir Galahad hit by Argentine aircraft. He says: "Anyone who’s seen those images, that searing flame, the smoke, the tremendous bravery of the helicopter pilots who were virtually parking the back of their helicopters on the deck to pull off the casualties was phenomenal to see."
After witnessing the attack from a headland, Mr Hughes assembled the medics along the shoreline to deal with the casualties. More than 50 men died in the attacks on the landing craft RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram, which had units of the Welsh Guards on board.