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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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War Memorials






Broadcast on BBC News Bulletins ©BBC

4 May 1982:


"The British ship HMS Sheffield has been hit by an Argentine missile fired from a fighter bomber.

It is not clear how many of the 268 crew have perished.

The sinking has shocked the British nation and foiled any possible diplomatic solution to the current dispute over the Falkland Islands between Britain and Argentina.

The ship caught fire when a French-made Exocet missile penetrated deep into HMS Sheffield's control room. The blaze caused a poisonous smoke and most of the crew abandoned ship.

A major rescue operation has been launched in the South Atlantic as relatives thousands of miles back in the UK wait for news of their loved ones.

The 4,100-ton destroyer was struck as it carried out a scouting mission off the Falkland Islands, although its exact position is a secret."


HMS Sheffield Memorial

Memorial to those who died on HMS Sheffield on Sea Lion Island

©Martin Dunkin


The missile which hit HMS Sheffield on Tuesday 4 May 1982 caused the deaths of 20 men. The wounded were evacuated to HMS Hermes while the Captain and remaining crew fought to save Sheffield but early in the afternoon the order was given to abandon ship; the frigate Arrow took off most of the 260 survivors. Sheffield finally sank on Sunday 9 May not far from where the original attack occurred


Inscription on HMS Sheffield Memorial
©Martin Dunkin


Lt. Cdr D. I. Balfour
Pte. LMEM A. J. Knowles
CWMech M. Till
PO. D. R. Briggs DSM
L/Man L. C. Keung
WEM B. J. Wallis
C.A D. Cope
L/Ck T. Marshall
L/Ck A. K. Wellstead
WEA. A. C. Eggington
PO A. R. Norman
MAA B. Welsh
Sub. Lt. R. C. Emly
Ck. D. E. Osborne
Ck. K. J. Williams
PO. R. Fagan
Ck. A. C. Swallow
Lt. Cdr. J. S. Woodhead DSC
Ck. N. A. Goodall
WEA K. R. F. Sullivan


From The London Gazette

8 October 1982:


Petty officer Marine Engineering Mechanic David Richard Briggs

"On 4 May 1982, HMS Sheffield was struck by an Exocet missile fired by an Argentine aircraft. Petty Officer Marine Engineering Mechanic Briggs was in the vicinity of the After Section Base and set in motion the initial fire-fighting effort.

He then moved forward to his action station at the Forward Section Base but at this stage personnel were being evacuated from this area on to the forecastle. However, he led his team back to recover important equipment which was necessary to continue the fire-fighting operation. Unable to wear breathing equipment due to restricted access through a hatch, Petty Officer Marine Engineering Mechanic Briggs and his team re-entered the smoke-filled section. In conditions of increasing smoke and almost no visibility, Petty Officer Marine Engineering Mechanic Briggs made several journeys to the Forward Section Base to pass out much valuable equipment. Sadly, on the last attempt, he was overcome by smoke and rendered unconscious, subsequent attempts to revive him proving unsuccessful.

Petty officer Marine Engineering Mechanic Briggs demonstrated leadership, bravery and devotion to duty in trying to save his ship."






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