THE Camber opposite the Stanley waterfront, the capital of the Falkland Islands, is inscribed with the names of Royal Naval ships that have been stationed in the Falkland Islands over many decades. The names BARRACOUTA, BEAGLE, PROTECTOR, ENDURANCE and DUMBARTON CASTLE are etched in white stone into the hillside commemorating all the ships that have served the people of the Falkland Islands over the last 45 years. CLYDE has now taken her place amongst those illustrious vessels by marking her name in pride of place next to DUMBARTON CASTLE.
The task seemed straightforward until the shear size was considered. Each letter is ten metres high by five metres wide and is made from roughly 4 tonnes of rock. They are laid on top of the scrub and bog that make up The Camber, with each rock manoeuvred into place by hand. CLYDE has now taken pride of place opposite Philomel Street and will be best viewed from the Globe Tavern, a regular venue for the Ships Company during any trip to Stanley. Time was limited, with a four day period assigned for the task. This was made more demanding due to the limited number of the Ships Crew available as important maintenance was taking place onboard at the same time. As such the Ship's Company were broken down into work parties.
During the first two days, sleet, 40 knot winds and snow had made the ground very boggy, as Lt Johnny Mason, CLYDEs Gunnery Officer, was to find out on a number of occasions whilst at the wheel of one of the Landrovers. Over the first three days the two working parties selected and moved over 20 tonnes of stone from the overhanging escarpment by hand, forming the 10m high letters. On the final day the letters sprang to life as they were painted white, making them stand out against the foliage. The Ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Marcus Hember said: It is a privilege to lay such a permanent reminder of what CLYDE means to the Falkland Islanders. In true Royal Navy fashion my Ship's Company embraced the challenge working extremely hard with a robust sense of humour to achieve this unusual task in challenging conditions. CLYDE has made her mark positively over the years through her enthusiastic can-do approach and professionalism, and it is very gratifying to have that recognised by the people of Stanley granting this singular honour