Medal to be awarded to Falkland islanders

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Falkland Islands are to be collectively awarded a medal in recognition of the “indomitable will and personal commitment” of their residents to defending their right of self-determination during the Argentine occupation.

The South Atlantic Medal has been awarded to almost 30,000 troops and civilians who served during the operation to liberate the islands in 1982.

Among its holders is the Duke of York, who flew helicopters for the Royal Navy during the war.

Eligibility for the medal was recently extended to cover individuals involved in the clean-up period after the Argentine surrender.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has now announced, in a statement to the House of Commons, that the medal is to be awarded to the whole archipelago next year.

“I am pleased to inform the House that in 2015 the South Atlantic Medal will be presented ... to the Falkland Islands, in recognition of the assistance provided to the Forces of the United Kingdom during the liberation of the Islands in 1982,” he said.

David Cameron said next year would also see the unveiling of a bronze statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands.