Ready For Anything

A Falklands war veteran who suffers horrific burn injuries learns to cope in the outside world when he is discharged from the 3rd para unit.


6. 6

The Argentinean army surrendered on the 13th June their men threw down their arms. Many of them questioned why they were there in the first place as nothing reminded them of home. Everything was in English even the people on the Islands.

Back home there was jubilation. Margaret Thatcher was elated she quoted a speech from Sir Winston Churchill. The people rallied round and waited for the return of our men. Those who did make it back would never be the same again. They had seen and done things that they would live with for the rest of their lives.

On the 11th of July 1982 the Canberra returned to Southampton to a victory celebration; hundreds of boats escorted the ship back to port.

The victory had secured the popularity of the conservative government; productivity rose by 3% but there was also resignations from Lord Carrington the then Foreign Secretary and Ted Rowlands Junior Foreign Minister after he disclosed in Parliament that Britain had broken the diplomatic codes; the same codes that the Argentinean Military used. This disclosure by Mr Rowlands immediately served to deny British access to valuable intelligence.

Although the war was now over; the battle for normality was just beginning for many.

Even those not wounded found the adjustment back into civilian life hard to grasp.


The operating team scrubbed up ready for the task ahead as Tony lay unconscious under the aesthetic. He dreamed about the time his father bought him so toy soldiers as a seven year old boy; they were in two plastic bags with Germans in grey and Americans in green his father had also made him a wooden board with a bridge and hills where the enemy were hiding. Tony had tanks and guns where he re-enacted a full scale battle making sound effects as the bombs and home made grenades made out of rolled up tin foil were thrown onto the enemy lines.

Tony even had barbed wire barricades made from wooden lolly sticks and chicken wire.

The operating team from Guys Hospital led by Doctor Allen had to perform a primary excision whereby they used a dermatome to remove healthy tissue from Tony’s arms and inner thighs to cover the wounds to his back and legs. Then the wounds were heavily bandaged. They would have to be removed every eight hours then redressed to stop infection and to check to see if the grafts had taken. The burns to his face were healing well a crust was forming which would drop off in a few weeks hopefully there wouldn’t be much scarring. When Tony awoke from the surgery the pain was unbelievable. He cried out and the nurse came over and gave him a pain killing injection. Over the next twenty four hours they took him back into theatre to change the dressings which could not be carried out whilst he was a wake.

His mother and father came to see him and were as shocked as Suzanne when she first saw him. Eleanor Parker knew she had to be strong for her son so when he awoke she tried to act as normal as possible even though inside her heart was breaking.

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