Okehampton’s Royal British Legion (RBL) commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War recently in a special service at All Saints Church.

The service was attended by two local Falklands War veterans along with members of the RBL and veterans’ breakfast, a musician from Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band and councillors Julie Yelland and Kevin Ball.

Secretary of Okehampton’s RBL, Karen Stephens, who organised the event, said: ‘I was very proud of them all. There were only 20 people there but what was nice was that four members of the veterans’ breakfast were there.

‘The Falklands War is often a forgotten war which is why we are doing our best to remember them. Okehampton didn’t have anyone injured in the war, but we lost about 250 British soldiers. We have a jar of poppies which represents every one who died.’

Reverend Tim Newcombe led the short service during which Cllr Ball read an epitaph and one of Okehampton’s Falklands War veterans laid the poppy wreath at the base of the war memorial in the churchyard.

A member of the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band also played the Last Post, which was followed by a two minute silence to remember the fallen.

Darren Kelly, chairman of the Okehampton branch of the RBL, reflected on the importance of remembering the injured and fallen, saying: ‘We should remember all soldiers whether they have done one day in the army or many years. It’s not about how long they have served for, it’s about the oath of allegiance to give up their lives in service that all soldiers take and that’s why we should remember them.’

The Falklands War was declared in 1982 when former prime minister Margaret Thatcher authorised a military operation to retake the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory, following an invasion by Argentinian forces.

The war lasted 74 days during which 255 British military personnel and 649 Argentinian soldiers were killed.