St Helena Government is pleased to announce that the volunteer crew of the RMS St Helena who, along with HMS Ledbury and HMS Brecon, sailed to the Falkland Islands during the conflict in 1982, are able to apply to be the proud recipients of the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette). After a long campaign and case brought to the Medal Review Team and the Honours and Decorations Committee, a decision was reached in June 2014 and the qualifying period was extended from 12 July to 21 October 1982 (when the airport at Mount Pleasant was completed). 32 years later those who served on the RMS St Helena and others who served but missed out on the medal due to the initial cut-off date, are finally able to get the recognition they deserve. SHG UK Representative Kedell Worboys MBE commented: “I am delighted that after many years of campaigning, particularly by Ian McVitie, the Officers and Crew of the ‘old’ RMS who volunteered to sail to the Falklands in 1982 will be given the recognition they deserve. Although the conflict had ended by the time the RMS reached the territorial waters of the Falklands, at the time of volunteering the Officers and Crew knew the risk of becoming involved in the hostilities was very real. I hope that those eligible will now apply for the South Atlantic Medal and wear it with pride.” The names of the volunteer crew who served on the RMS St Helena during this time are attached. Freddie Green and Patrick Williams are still serving on board the RMS.
The volunteer crew are now encouraged to apply for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette). Those who served on board during this time are eligible to apply (via the attached MOD application form). Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2014 onwards, and should be submitted to the MOD Medals Office (the full address can be found at the bottom of the attached application form).
Applications may also be submitted electronically to DBS-MODMOHonsAwardsE1a@mod.uk, but electronic applications must contain a scanned handwritten signature. Application forms must be completed and signed by the veteran him or herself. If deceased, the veteran’s next of kin must complete the form and a copy of the death certificate should be provided. The awards will begin to be despatched towards the end of October and applications will be dealt with in date order. A campaign for eligibility for the South Atlantic Medal (without rosette) began 30 years ago by Ian McVitie who served on HMS Ledbury and went South with the RMS St Helena and HMS Brecon. He was joined in the campaign by Nigel Morris in 2011 who served on HMS Diomede. St Helena Government has supported the campaign through Parliamentary Questions taken to the House by Sir Bob Russell. In 2007, the then Governor, the late Michael Clancy, awarded the St Helena Badge of Honour to the St Helenian Officers and Crew of the RMS on the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. SHG 19 August 2014