Falklands Forty – 100th Cyclists’ Memorial Service and Updates
Our latest Falklands Forty update! The team, sponsored by SafeLane, attended the 100th Cyclists' Memorial Service in Meriden - read more and meet a new team member, Gary Carr.
In June, we first wrote about the Falklands Forty initiative, and introduced you to some of the team of dedicated cyclists and veterans, headed by Gus Hales, who will be peddling across Britain next year to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
In this update, we bring you the latest training news, introduce you to another member of the team, and detail how you can get involved.
The Falklands War 40th anniversary remembrance cycle ride
Gus has brought together a team of like-minded Falklands War veterans who all share a love for cycling. They will be riding to raise awareness of the attributes it took to win the war – endeavour, endurance and comradeship – and to pay homage to those who fought in it.
In solidarity with the team, we are proudly sponsoring them – and not only will some of The SafeLane Family be joining the ride, but you can too!
The ride will begin on the 5th of June 2022, averaging 12.5 -14mph so that anyone may participate. It will be comprised of two core groups, covering 40 – 60 miles per day.
Falklands Forty itinerary so far…
Day 1 will commemorate the sea born operations – setting off a day before the D-Day anniversary. Gus and the Falklands Forty team will remember the naval and amphibious operations. They will also remember the brave soldiers who died when a MM-38 Exocet missile struck the HMS Cardiff, as well as those who died on the Sir Galahad.
Day 2 will commemorate the Falklands War land battles. Many say the war was won in the Brecon Beacons, a training area in Wales resembling the terrain of the Falklands Islands. As such, the Falklands 40 will cycle over the Beacons and into Brecon to pay their tributes.
Day 3 will commemorate those who lost their lives in the Sea King helicopter that crashed into the ocean, killing twenty members of the SAS.
Day 4 will be to remember the air campaign. The Falklands 40 will visit the RAF museum in Cosford which houses the Harriers and Vulcan Aircrafts that were integral to winning the war. They will also be encouraging local cycle groups, schools, vintage cycle clubs, and more to join their ride.
Day 6 will be for remembering the cyclists who died during World War I and World War II. The first British death during the First World War was a reconnaissance cyclist in the 4th battalion of the Middlesex regiment named Private John Parr. They will then move onto the ‘Falklands Arms’ Public House for a celebratory beer, commemorating the Argentinian surrender.
At the 255-mile point, the cyclists will stop and remember the 255 British military members and civilians killed during the Falklands campaign.
On Day 7, the cyclists will ride in silence and quiet reflection out of respect for the fallen.
Day 8 will see the conclusion of the Falkland Forty’s journey, where they will visit some of the graves of the brave soldiers who fought during the Falklands War. Some were as young as 17 when their lives were cut short.
Meriden – 100th anniversary cyclists’ memorial service 2021
Ahead of next year’s ride, some of the Falklands Forty team went on a joint training ride recently, cycling to Meriden to visit the Cyclists’ War Memorial. The national memorial was erected in 1920, commemorating cyclists killed during the First World War. A bronze plaque was added in 1963 to commemorate cyclists killed in World War 2.
Since 1921, it has been tradition for cyclists across the country to pay their respects at the memorial every year. This made the 2021 event the 100th Memorial Cyclists’ Service. In 2020, the event was only hosted online due to the global pandemic, making the 2021 event even more special.
If you want to support Gus and the Falklands Forty as they ride to remind us of the Falklands War, the sacrifices, the victory and the core values of endeavour, endurance, and comradeship, you can contact us or join the Facebook group.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Falklands Forty?
Falklands Forty is a team of cyclists comprising of veterans from the Falklands War. They aim to raise awareness about the conflict that is sometimes forgotten, despite its lasting impact on Britain.
What are the Falklands Forty team’s three core values?
Endeavour – those who fought in the Falklands Islands did not know where they were going and what they would be faced with when they got there – they were pushing into the unknown.
Endurance – soldiers had to walk very long distances, carrying heavy packs, not knowing how far they would have to go or how long they would be fighting for.
Comradeship – the only way to get through the hardships of the Falklands War was to forge friendships and embrace camerarderie.
Why are SafeLane Global and the Falklands Forty teaming up?
In 2020, SafeLane Global completed clearance of the Falklands Islands – having removed thousands of landmines that were laid during the war. This task took 11 years to complete. SafeLane employs many ex-services personnel and feels a strong connection to the Falklands Islands and its people, in addition it’s home to plenty of keen cyclists! When the Falklands 40 sought support, SafeLane eagerly agreed to sponsor them and get involved.
When will the Falklands Forty ride be taking place?
The ride will begin on June 5th 2022, marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War conflict. They will be departing from Cardiff Castle, and they will conclude their journey 8 days later at Aldershot. They will be travelling 40 – 60 miles per day.
Can I join the Falklands Forty cycle route?