Falklands War report kept for 30 years donated to charity for veterans
A government report on the Falklands War signed by Margaret Thatcher has been donated to a veterans’ charity to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the conflict.
A copy of the Falklands Island Review was given to The Poppy Factory by Lord Lee of Trafford, a former Tory MP who served as Defense Minister immediately after the 1982 war and worked closely with the former Prime Minister.
The document, also known as the Franks Report, will be the centerpiece of a special exhibition on the Falklands at the charity’s visitor center in Richmond, south-west London, which is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks and will show how those affected by the conflict have been supported by the charity.
Lord Lee’s copy of the 1983 report is signed by both former Prime Minister and former Defense Secretary John Nott.
Lord Lee said: “I was particularly interested when the Franks report came out and somehow managed to get Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Defense Secretary John Nott to sign three copies. , which I kept for more than 30 years.
“I sent a copy to the Falklands for display in the museum there.
“Because I live in Richmond and have been a long time supporter of The Poppy Factory, it occurred to me that a second copy should be here for the community to see.
“The Falklands were an example of the courage and tenacity of our armed forces, as it was by no means certain when the task force set out that it would succeed.
“Very unfortunately, 255 of our soldiers lost their lives and others were injured. It is important that we remember them, alongside all those who have given their lives in other conflicts.
He also donated a cover note from Tory MP Ian Gow, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, who was killed seven years later in 1990 in an IRA bombing.
The Richmond peer donations coincide with the 40th anniversary of the start of the conflict and with the charity’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
The Poppy Factory was originally founded by Major George Howson MC, a British Army officer, five years after he was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. He wanted to provide employment for veterans injured in the First World War .
The factory was originally used to create remembrance wreaths and poppies, but has since evolved into an organization that aims to help veterans with health issues find work in England and Wales .
Its visitor centre, which was opened by its godmother the Duchess of Cornwall last November, will host several other exhibitions currently in development.
Deirdre Mills, Managing Director of The Poppy Factory, said: “We are extremely grateful to Lord Lee for this wonderful and timely gift.
“It will take pride of place in our new exhibition, which will be entirely dedicated to the Falklands and those members of our community whose experiences have been shaped by the legacy of this conflict.”