A SPECIAL ceremony has taken place to mark the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War.

The ceremony at Clacton War Memorial, on Marine Parade West, took place on Wednesday.

The event, organised by the Clacton British Legion with support from Tendring Council, involved readings, prayers, laying of wreaths, the Last Post and Reveille.

The service was conducted by the Rev David Lower with Jamie Robinson as Parade Marshal, who read the roll of honour for the Scots Guards.

Clacton soldier Sgt Stuart Giles, who serves with Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade, read the roll of honour for 2 and 3 Para.

The Falklands War took place between April and June 1982 following an invasion of the islands by the Argentine military junta.

Mr Robinson, a Scots Guardsman, was among the troops who sailed from Southampton on the QE2 to the Ascension Islands and then to the war zone.

On the morning of June 13, the Scots Guards were moved by helicopter from their position at Bluff Cove to Goat Ridge for the assault on Mount Tumbledown, overlooking Falklands capital Port Stanley.

Mr Robinson, who is chairman of Clacton Royal British Legion, said: “It was horrendous. On Tumbledown the Scots Guards weren’t up against conscripts, we faced the Argentine marines.

“At one point they had us pinned down until our commander took the decision to fix bayonets and charge.

“It was terrifying to start with, but once you get going the training kicks in. We were so close that at times it came down to hand-to-hand conflict.”

After 12 gruelling hours the British Army took Mount Tumbledown. Mr Robinson’s company lost seven men.

At day break the Argentinians surrendered and headed back into Port Stanley waving their white flags.

“For myself, it is important to commemorate what happened - 255 people lost their lives in what was the last war on record fought by the British Forces.

“I also lost my best mate over there.

“The first time we did this commemoration was five years ago, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands and we had a great turnout.

“We had about 150 people this year, including the youngest standard barer in Essex, NJ Jones-Turner, who is 14.”

The Tendring Technology College student, carried the standard of the Manningtree and District Branch of the Royal British Legion.

A number of wreaths were laid, including one by Clacton Royal British Legion president Dan Casey and another by council chairman Mark Platt.

Mr Casey said: “It was a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in the Falklands and all those who took part in the conflict.”

“It was good to see us veterans joined by some younger people such as NJ and I thank everyone who attended the service.”

There were eight veterans present who had been awarded South Atlantic medals for their part in the Falklands War.

The Falklands War began when Argentina invaded and captured Port Stanley. Following fighting on both land and sea the British Forces regained control.

Almost 650 Argentine soldiers were killed and more than 250 British service personnel died.