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Tribute to shipmates lost on HMS Sheffield

Thursday, 4 May 2023

2 Falklands war veterans standing amongst military silhouettes

Two Falklands veterans who served on HMS Sheffield have paid tribute to the shipmates they lost at an art installation at Fort Nelson.

John Galway and David Atkinson were both on the ship when it was hit by an Argentine missile on 4 May 1982 during the Falklands War.

Forty-one years later and the pair laid crosses with the names of those who were killed in action at the feet of 20 naval silhouettes.

Standing with Giants is an art installation currently on display at Fort Nelson as a tribute to the 258 military and civilian lives lost during the Falklands conflict.

HMS Sheffield was the first British ship to be lost in enemy action since World War Two, and the first of four British ships to be sunk by the Argentine air force in the Falklands conflict.

David Atkinson, 66, who was a Leading Radio Operator on HMS Sheffield, made the crosses with the names of every man lost 41 years ago on the ship.

He said: “We wanted to make a gesture for my fallen comrades and having Standing with Giants at Fort Nelson gave us a suitable place to do it.”

Chairman of HMS Sheffield Association, John Galway, 63, said: “We will always remember them – on this anniversary day and everyday.

“It doesn’t feel like 41 years ago but placing crosses at the feet of Standing with Giants this seems a fitting way to remember them on this anniversary.”

Standing With Giants is a community project, set up by Oxfordshire artist, Dan Barton, and a group of local volunteers who create large-scale art installations using recycled building materials.

Created to mark the 40th anniversary of the conflict in 2022, the installation at Fort Nelson is the first time it has been seen in the south. It has previously been displayed at Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire, and at the Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

To complement the art installation Fort Nelson is also staging an exhibition – Falklands 40: What Portsmouth Saw – which tells some of the personal stories of homecomings to Portsmouth after the conflict.

Admission to Standing with Giants at Fort Nelson is free and runs until 9th July.

For more information contact:

Cathy Brooks, Communications Officer at – 01329 848 516

Visit Fort Nelson’s website –

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