• 40 Years Ago: Falkland Islands War

    From Paul W. Schleck@21:1/5 to All on Sat Apr 2 09:10:47 2022
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated, rec.radio.amateur.policy, uk.radio.amateur

    Hash: SHA1

    "Les Hamilton was the amateur radio operator who told the British
    government the islands had been invaded and the only person in Britain
    to be in regular radio contact with islanders during the Argentinian


    "The Falkland Islands weekly Penguin News reported this week on the
    death in England of Reginald (Reg) Silvey, one of the perhaps lesser
    known civilian heroes of the war in 1982, but almost certainly the one
    whose activities put him most at risk of arrest and possible


    Did 'ham' radio operators on the Falklands really contact the
    U.K. during the Falkland War? (Yes)


    "Kasanzew was right in one respect: the islanders refused to accept
    Argentinian rule, and many of them went to great lengths to make the
    occupiers' lives as miserable as possible and to assist the British
    task force. Resistance ranged from the comic - Eric Goss, the farm
    manager at Goose Green, managing to persuade the Argentinians that the
    odd lights probably emanating from British special forces in Falkland
    Sound were due to moonlight reflecting off seaweed covered rocks - to
    the downright dangerous: Reginald Silvey, the former lighthouse keeper,
    spent the war broadcasting details of Argentinian troop movements on an
    illegal-held radio. At the perilous extreme, several fully-armed local
    men went into battle with the men of the parachute regiment at Mount


    "When ham radio operator Bob North, a debt controller in North
    Yorkshire, heard a south Atlantic call sign crackling faintly through
    his headphones he reacted with great excitement. "It was about 20.00
    GMT," he recalled, "two days after the invasion. I heard a station
    trying to contact me with a VP8 call sign. I suddenly realised that
    this could be in the Falkland Islands. I told the VP8 to repeat his
    call, which he did, telling me that his call sign was VP8QE, his name
    was Reg, and that he was in Port Stanley. Could I get some urgent
    messages through to his relations?" Eight thousand miles away in a
    small stone cottage, lighthousekeeper Reginald Silvey, redundant since
    the invading forces extinguished his paraffin light on Cape Pembroke,
    was taking the first step of a defiant campaign that would increasingly
    frustrate the Argentinian forces. Alone in his house, Silvey was
    reasonably sure he would not be disturbed, but took a risky measure to
    give him a little more security. He got hold of a notice, signed by the
    Argentinian governor, General Menendez, indicating that the house had
    been cleared by the military police and should not be entered by
    Argentinian forces. The notices had been produced on Stanley's ancient
    printing press for official use, but, thanks to a casual run-on, extra
    copies were circulating. Nevertheless, Argentinian signals troops
    searched with increasing frustration for the source of the radio


    "Back in 1982 I was a BBC journalist and also an amateur radio operator -
    I still am. That means I have a call-sign - G3UML - and some expertise
    in long-distance short-wave communications."


    "So I took up a vigil in room 701, listening carefully across the 14, 21
    and 28 megahertz bands for anything from VP8 - the international
    call-sign prefix for the islands.

    And about six hours later, I struck gold. On 21.205 megahertz at 1600
    London time, that rather distinctive accent, a bit West Country - a
    Falkland Islander.

    And what a story he had to tell - a true scoop, an exclusive of the
    greatest magnitude.

    The voice was that of Bob McLeod, and he lived in the settlement of
    Goose Green on East Falkland. His call-sign, I realised, was VP8LP but
    he was anxious that it shouldn't be used. I have much of what he said
    that day recorded on an old-fashioned audio cassette."



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  • From Jim Stewart ...@21:1/5 to All on Sat Apr 2 14:28:44 2022
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.policy, uk.radio.amateur

    love how Les had a verbal pinch up with the Glasgow news reaer Vic Kusin
    over occupation of s21 on a Sunday morning....he ended up calling him 'Angela'...tee he what a giggle ....

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