Argentina surrendered to British forces in Port Stanley on the 14th of June 1982. The Falklands conflict was over. In the months after the fighting ended troops and their equipment shipped out, graves were dug and memorials were put up across the islands for those killed in battle. British military personnel were identified, most buried at sea or repatriated to the UK. But for 237 deceased Argentine soldiers, their hastily buried bodies remained unidentified for decades and their families were left unable to claim their loved ones who’d died fighting in the islands. Their memorials read simply: “Argentine Soldier Known Only By God”
Then in 2012, a team embarked on a project to change that. The International Committee of the Red Cross began a mission to collect DNA samples from each of the unknown graves in the hope that they could give the Argentine soldiers back their names and provide answers to relatives. Reporter Beth Timmins went to the Falkland Islands for the 40th-anniversary commemorations earlier this year and tells this moving story on this final podcast of our Falklands40 series.
If you want to find more episodes on the Falklands War, you can go back through the Dan Snow History Hit feed and look for episodes that begin with 'Falklands40'. This special season goes through all the key moments of the Falklands War, the tactics, the equipment, the challenges and of course the human stories of those tested by the extremes of war on a rocky island in the middle of the freezing Southern Atlantic. Find explainers and analyses from eminent historians and powerful testimonials from serving officers on both sides.
Presented by Dan Snow and Beth Timmins
Produced by Beth Timmins and Mariana Des Forges
Mixed and Mastered by Dougal Patmore