robtonks.co.uk: About me | Spare 1 | Spare 2 | Spare 3

Welcome!

This site has been up for some months now and due to the massive response I have had by the way of emails I am going to expand and continue to develop the site. I will shortly be adding a new menu system and some new pages and subject matter.

The idea of this site:

paintingI promised several people that I would post my pictures of the pilgrimage on the web as soon as possible after my return to the U.K so that we may all share in my experience.

Since the site went live I have received a very good response from all those that have accessed it, shame I did not put the guestbook on earlier so some of the comments could have been published publicy rather than being emailed to me but either way I am very grateful for the kind and constructive comments I have received, it has made the whole project worthwhile. Anyhow as I have been encouraged by you all to continue to expand the site and add new subject matter, please watch this space as I am currently developing new content.

Guestbook: Please sign my guestbook and leave your comments so as to help me to develop ideas and content for this site so it will remain fresh and continue to grow.


Those that visited my last site will have noticed that it has completely changed and the recent 25th Falklands Anniversary pictures have now been removed. (Picture depicted above is oil painting of HMS Glamorgan, HMS Arrrow and HMS Alacrity on the 1st May 1982 bombarding the airfield at Port Stanley. This was the start of HMS Glamorgans war in 1982. click here for larger image)

Please note: Any blue links on a white background within this site will connect to images. There are further links to images on the right hand panel of each parent page.

Whats the Pilgrimage all about?

Back in early 2007 I approached Combat Stress reference a few issues I had with regard to the conflict inUJC London 1982 (another story) anyway to cut a long story short Morgan O'Connell (ex RN) arranged for me to revisit the islands as part of the 25th year anniversary of the Falklands Conflict Pilgrimage. Morgan thought the visit would help resolve the issues I had discussed with him on a previous occassion. So on the 3rd of November 2007 I met up with other Combat Stress veterans at the Union Jack Club in London so we could prepare for the visit. On the 4th of November we were joined by the South Atlantic Medal Association pligrims which included 6 ex HMS Glamorgan veterans (albeit one I had already travelled up with on the Saturday), these guys were Kevin (Smudge Smith), Nigel (Dotty) Fielding, Mark Gentry, Dave Bellamy, Alan Carslisle and Wally Walsh. Having reintroduced ourselves we got on brilliantly and were already starting to bond before the trip down South. The night prior to our departure we all met with the other veterans for a reception at the UJC with the guest of honour being Maggie Thatcher. We managed to get a group photo of all the Glamorgan lads with Maggie holding a picture of our ship. This picture will be posted on this site in due course once we get an official copy.

Journey Outbound


Kevin SmithWe were divided into groups alphabetically for the coaches to take us to Gatwick. This system of travel by bus remained with us on arrival at the Islands and the return journey. As I enjoy flying the flight itself was brilliant, to make it even more pleasant they spaced us out quite well on the plane so we all had plenty of elbow and leg room. Unless of course you were really tall like Dotty Fielding pictured standing next to me in the picture above then the journey was probably not as comfortable, although we were allowed to walk around the aircraft once we were underway and stretch our legs! There were the usual in flight movies (only fools and horses etc) and plenty of food and drink. The atmosphere was already starting to build. (Kevin 'Smudge' Smith Pictured above left).

Dave BellamyThe seats were pre allocated on the plane so we all got mixed with people we had not previous met. This was a good thing and gave us a chance during the long flight to make new friends and listen to other peoples stories about the Falklands war and their reasons for revisiting the Islands. Some of us however had never even set foot on the islands before as many of the warships returned to the U.K shortly after the war ended without landing anyone ashore. (Dave Bellamy pictured Right).

As a result of never setting foot on the Islands I had no idea what was in-store and Iwas very excitede and apprehensive at the same time as were most people.

pam&anne(Pam & Anne )

Pam Jones and Ann Townsend both lots their son's with the Para's at Mount Longdown. They were a joy to meet and under the circumstances and coped extremely well. They were certainly one of the lads so to speak.


Click here for the arrival.........

Version: 19 March 2008