Royal Marine – Falklands

Marine Falklands (Carl Gustav) (120mm). Resin and white metal from Imperial Gallery.

The image of “the Yomper” became one of the iconic images of the Falklands War. The original photograph was taken by Petty Officer Peter Holdgate, Commando Forces Photographer, whilst working as part of the Commando Forces News Team. After landing with 40 Commando at San Carlos, Holdgate accompanied British forces across the Falklands War zone taking hundreds of photographs. The photograph of 24 year old Corporal Peter Robinson was taken in June 1982 as the Royal Marines proceeded along the Moody Brook track towards Port Stanley.

When news of the surrender of Argentine forces was received, Corporal Brennan produced a small Union bunting flag from his bergen (borrowed from SS Canberra’s bunting locker). Marine Fraser first tied the flag to Corporal Brennan’s radio aerial, which eventually blew off. It was then fixed with masking tape to the radio aerial of Corporal Robinson (who was the last man in the patrol). The photograph itself was entirely spontaneous and not staged. The original Union Flag was returned to Corporal Brennan in Port Stanley, who has it in his possession to this day. The image was used as the inspiration of a statue that was unveiled by Lady Margaret Thatcher on 8 July 1992 on the 10th anniversary of the conflict. It now adorns the entrance to the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea.

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