Welsh Guard's film shows Falklands War scenes

  • 2 April 2012
  • From the section Wales

A Welsh Guard has shared film footage taken during the Falklands War for broadcast for the first time since the conflict began 30 years ago.

Tracy Evans from Blaenau Ffestiniog captured scenes of the Sir Galahad vessel on fire following an attack by Argentine forces which left 48 dead.

A total of 32 Welsh Guards died, and as many more were injured.

The footage has been unearthed as the 30th anniversary of the conflict is marked in Britain and Argentina.

Mr Evans, who now lives in Australia, told BBC Wales he took his cine camera and as much film as he could carry with him when he was sent to the South Atlantic in 1982.

"I thought this would be an ideal opportunity because it was the first time we'd been to war, an operation on tour.

Image caption Tracy Evans as a young Welsh Guard on his way to the Falklands

"I thought it would be a unique thing. I stocked myself up with as much film as I could carry."

As well as the hit on the Sir Galahad, the film includes footage taken before and after the battle of Mount Harriet, where Welsh Guards played a key role in taking an Argentine strongpoint blocking the route to the capital, Port Stanley.

Will Roberts from Llandudno, Conwy, was involved in that battle and found himself trapped in a minefield.

"The only way out of it was prod and find them. Eventually after hours they cleared a path so we could get out of it. The order was simply follow the man's footsteps in front of you," he said.

Shortly afterwards the Argentines went into retreat.

Mr Evans explained: "Word came in that a white flag had been seen over Port Stanley.

"After confirmation came though, I took my camera out and there's a small scene there where the Welsh Guards are jubilant at what took place."

Image caption Will Roberts suffered sleeplessness and nightmares following the Falklands War

Mr Roberts said: "We heard about a possible ceasefire. On reaching the top of Sapper Hill we took up the higher ground and it was confirmed, and the war was over as such.

"I suffered severe nightmares, sweats. To this day my average sleep pattern is four hours sleep."

However he added: "I'm proud to say I served in the Welsh Guards. A lot of good men went down there.

"Would I do it again? I don't see why not. I was in the Army and the call came."

For John and Gary Griffiths, the attack on the Sir Galahad was to cost them their father, Guardsman Gareth Griffiths.

Gary Griffiths said: "The closer I've got to dad's age when he went down, the more I've thought about it.

"When I was very young I didn't give it much thought because I didn't know what had gone on. But as I got to my late teens, early 20s, I started to think, 'who was he'?"

Image caption John Griffiths (l), with brother Gary, said visiting the Guards memorial in the Falklands 'helped lay lots of ghosts'

John Griffiths described his father as a proud family man, who loved rugby and "loved the Welsh Guards and battalion as well".

"I always remember listening on the news and seeing the ship on fire and I was always conscious it was quite a few days after the ship was hit that we heard dad was missing," he said.

"After we got the news there was a lot of emotion going on. My mum coped very very well with it all going on, with my nan and my aunty and all the family around her."

Mr Griffiths has visited the memorial to the Welsh Guards at Fitzroy above Bluff Cove where the Sir Galahad was hit.

"That was my first part of me really laying lots of ghosts to rest; paying my respects to dad.

"It was having that final conversation with dad and saying goodbye. That was one thing that hurt me when I was younger - that I didn't get a chance to do that."

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