The South Atlantic Medal has been awarded to almost 30,000 troops and civilians who served during the operation to liberate the Islands in 1982. Among its holders is the Duke of York, who flew helicopters for the Royal Navy during the war.
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Eligibility for the medal was recently extended, following a review, to cover individuals involved in the clean-up period after the Argentine surrender.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has now announced, in a statement to the House of Commons, that the medal is to be awarded to the whole archipelago.
“I am pleased to inform the House that in 2015 the South Atlantic Medal will be presented, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, to the Falkland Islands, in recognition of the assistance provided to the Forces of the United Kingdom during the liberation of the Islands in 1982,” said Mr Hammond.
“The Islanders’ individual acts of courage exemplified the indomitable will and personal commitment to defending the Islands’ right of self determination.”
The award of a medal to islands is not unique. Malta was granted the George Cross in recognition of its inhabitants bravery during the Second World War.
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