The daughter of a Falklands Conflict soldier who was killed during the bombing of the Sir Galahad 40 years ago has dedicated her life to keeping his memory alive.
The Council is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict (April 2-June 14, 1982) and all those who lost their lives during the battle.
Katie Gibby, of Rhondda, was just five months old when her father Mark Gibby, of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, went off to battle in 1982. He never returned home. Mark Gibby was one of the 48 men, most of them Welsh Guards, killed when Argentine jets attacked the ship on June 8, 1982.
Although she has no personal memories of her father, Katie, a mother-of-two, has suffered with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is grateful to the support she receives from the Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service and the Valley Veterans group.
Katie Gibby said: “I have always been passionate about anything associated with the Armed Forces and I am so proud of my father, who gave his life for his country and for the people of the Falkland Islands on that fateful day. He was only 22-years-old.
“All of my life I have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions and grief, even though I didn’t really know my father – it is a different type of grieving. But the Valley Veterans and the Council’s Armed Forces Veterans Service have been a huge support to me.
“Paul Bromwell, of the Valley Veterans, was a friend of my father, and that is also agreat comfort to me to hear his stories and recollections of him. The Valley Veterans are not just a support group, we are a family. Once you are part of a veterans’ family, you are part of a family for life.
“Even though I am not a veteran myself, just a family member, the Armed Forces Veterans Service, is always there to offer me support when I need it. It is there for so many people, many who would be lost without its guidance.
“When I was growing up, I felt very angry that my father was suddenly taken away from me forever, thousands of miles away from home. Now I am an adult and a parent myself, I can see that he gave his life in the pursuit of the freedom of so many people. I am so proud of Guardsman Mark Gibby and the great sacrifice he made.”
Guardsman Mark Gibby sailed from Southampton on May 12, 1982, weeks after his 22nd birthday, arriving in the Falklands on May 25, A total of 48 men aboard the Sir Galahad died in Bluff Cove on Tuesday, June 8, 1982, 32 of whom were Welsh Guards. Many more were injured. The destruction of the Sir Galahad by Skyhawk jets came just six days before the end of the Falklands War.
Combat Stress – 0800 138 1619
Help For Heroes – 0300 303 9888
SSAFA – 0800 260 6767
The 1982 Falklands Conflict, which began 40 years ago, lasted for 10 weeks, resulting in the deaths of more than 900 people. The Argentine invasion of the British-held Falkland islands led to the deaths of 255 British military personnel, three islanders and 649 Argentine soldiers during the 74-day Conflict.
Valley Veterans is a veteran-led organisation, supported by the Council and based in Rhondda Cynon Taf. It was founded over 10 years ago as an informal support group for PTSD sufferers. It is now a vibrant community hub with more than 140 active participants. The group holds an Armed Forces Breakfast Club every Thursday, attracting up to 60 veterans each week.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, a commitment that was reaffirmed in 2018.
The Council’s Veteran Advice service provides free, impartial, dedicated information, advice and support to members of the Armed Forces Community within Rhondda Cynon Taf. The service covers a range of areas, including Benefits, Adult Social Care, Finances, Employment and Housing.
The Council’s Veteran Advice Service
The Local Authority was presented with the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious Gold Award in 2017 in recognition of its approach to supporting the Armed Forces community locally.
The Rhondda Cynon Taf Veteran Advice Service is available for all past and present Armed Forces personnel and their families. Email: VeteransService@rctcbc.gov.uk or call 07747 485 619 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm)
Posted on 25/04/2022