Down South – A Falklands Diary

Richard Booth s Bookshop

Down South – A Falklands Diary with Rear Admiral Chris Parry on Friday the 13th April 2012 at 7pm in Booths Bookshop sponsored by Rohan Hay-on-Wye

To mark the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War Rear Admiral Chris Parry will be giving a talk in Richard Booth’s Bookshop, on the 13th April about his experiences as a Fleet Air Arm officer onboard the destroyer HMS Antrim, during the conflict.

In 1982, the 28 year old Chris Parry was an officer in a crew of four on a Wessex helicopter on the HMS Antrim, spearheading the operation to recover South Georgia from the Argentinians. Early on, they were ordered to land an SAS reconnaissance party on a glacier in hurricane force winds, and blizzard conditions only to have to rescue them in similar circumstances the following day because the troopers could not survive the extremely hostile conditions. Before he took off on this second mission, Chris wrote a note and posted his wedding ring back to his new wife – so unlikely did it seem that he and his crew would come back. However, despite the weather conditions, the SAS party was successfully extracted, although two other helicopters were lost.

This, together with the story of how he detected and disabled an Argentinian submarine and his account of being under attack in ‘Bomb Alley’ during the main Falklands landings – are just a few of the experiences that Chris will recount at Booth’s.

Down South: A Falklands War DiaryThe talk will be based on the diary Chris wrote at the time, which has just been published by Viking Penguin to widespread critical acclaim and described by the eminent historian Niall Ferguson as “a truly gripping historical document”, providing a vivid and eloquent reminder of the dangers and hardships experienced by our forces during the conflict.

Chris went on to command the destroyer HMS Gloucester, the assault ship HMS Fearless and the UK’s Amphibious Task Force before retiring from the Royal Navy as a Rear Admiral in 2008. He now heads his own company, Merl House, which advises leading companies, banks and governments about strategic risk, leadership and future trends. He also writes for specialist journals and major national newspapers.

Chris has got together with two local businesses to organise this talk – Pete and Fiona’s Rohan Franchise and Richard Booth’s Bookshop – two businesses which enjoy supporting and hosting community events. He has been coming to Hay with his wife Jackie for over twenty years to enjoy the town and surrounding countryside, and to browse in the book shops. They now have their own house in Hay and can make the most of the excellent walking opportunities locally, and can spend as long as they like in the book shops. As a result they have come to know Pete and Fiona from Rohan (“excellent walking and outdoor kit”) and Helen and the Staff at Booth’s (“great selection”) really well. Pete and his partner Fiona are particularly excited about being involved with this event. “Chris and Jackie have been coming into our shop since we opened nearly two years ago and we have got to know them well since then. We knew they were nice people and liked them instantly once Chris told us that he’d have been much better off in the Falklands if he’d had Rohan clothes at the time. When he told us about his book and asked us if we’d like to help organise this talk we didn’t hesitate. We feel honoured to be involved and are very excited about it.”

‘Down South – A Falklands Diary’ with Rear Admiral Chris Parry will be held at 7pm on Friday 13th April at Richard Booth’s Bookshop 44 Lion Street  Hay-on-Wye,  01497 820 322. Tickets are £5 and available from Booth’s Bookshop or Rohan Hay-on-Wye.

Fi & Pete Rohan Hay-on-Wye




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