Matthew attended a meeting of Falkland veterans to discuss issues surrounding the loss of life on RFA Sir Galahad.
On 8th June 1982, during the Falklands conflict, the Sir Galahad was bombed by three Argentinian planes as soldiers from the Welsh Guards were being prepared for disembarkation in Port Pleasant, Fitzroy. The vessel was hit and caught fire with the whole episode being captured by television cameras who later broadcasted images of Royal Navy helicopters hovering in thick smoke to winch survivors from the burning landing ships. This has ensured that the attack has remained firmly in the public’s consciousness. 56 people, including 48 members of the British Armed Forces, were killed and a further 150 were injured. The attack accounted for nearly a fifth of all British losses during the Falklands conflict and was Britain's greatest military loss of life in a single day since the Second World War. Worst hit during the bombings were the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, who lost 32 of their number.
In his new book Too Thin for a Shroud: The Last Untold Story of the Falklands War, Galahad survivor Crispin Black uses recently declassified documents to set out how a series of perceived planning and communication errors across senior chains of command contributed to the loss of life that day.
Full disclosure of the attack has been withheld by the Ministry of Defence until the year 2065 under the terms of the Public Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Members of Parliament have now committed to seeking all information surrounding events of that day.
Matthew said “I vividly remember the bombing of Sir Galahad and was humbled to not only meet my constituent and Welsh Guards veteran, Tom Thorne, but also other survivors including Simon Weston. The victims of that day were young men who were serving their country and the Falkland islanders and simply want to know how the terrible event came about.
"I will be promoting efforts in asking the Veterans minister to provide every possible assistance. The people on that ship were real heroes and we must not let them down.”