By 2017 The Reverend Jane Lisvane
Saturday 20th May 2017
An unforgettable evening in the Cathedral to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Falklands War, the local Servicemen killed in action and the loss of Hereford’s own ship HMS ANTELOPE. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth, provided the music, which was outstanding, with talented soloists as well as pieces for the Band as a whole.
The first half of the evening was a splendid programme of music written for, or arranged for military band; but the second part of the evening was more reflective, as we sang the hymn Eternal Father, strong to save, and a White Ensign, marking the strong connection between the City and the Royal Navy, was presented to the Dean and laid up in the Cathedral. The 27 names of those from Herefordshire and its Armed Forces units who lost their lives were read, and were followed by the Last Post and Reveille. It was an intensely moving and emotional experience as we remembered with sorrow but also with pride those who had been killed.
It was especially poignant for me to meet, at a gathering before the Service, the family of Steward Mark Stephens, who was killed on 23rd May 1982 when a bomb hit ANTELOPE.
As I say, an unforgettable evening. My thanks go especially to Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks and to Kevin Ebsworth of SSAFA for all their hard work in organising the occasion.