40 years on: Falklands heroes relive their war exclusively for new Pull Up A Sandbag series on Ustreme

Falklands heroes will be reliving their experiences of the conflict as part of a new series of heart-wrenching and inspirational interviews filmed exclusively for Ustreme.

Former Paratrooper Denzil Connick, who suffered catastrophic injuries the day before the conflict ended and had to have his leg amputated, is interviewing fellow Falklands heroes for the new series of Pull Up A Sandbag.

Brigadier Julian Thompson, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands War, is among those interviewed.

During an emotionally-charged interview, he spoke to Denzil – who served under his command during the conflict – about being woken up in bed at 2.15am to be told of the Argentinian invasion and impending mission to liberate the islands.

He also spoke of about the responsibility of leading his men during the 10-week conflict and of the tragic death of his good friend, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones, the commanding officer of 2 Para who was killed in action during the Battle of Goose Green and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

He said: “I sent him there. That is my responsibility. But you have to put that in the cupboard, get on with the war and mourn afterwards. 

“You can’t dwell on it. But you do feel responsible for sending people into those situations.”

He recalled his feelings on the Argentinian surrender on June 14, saying: “No more of our young men are going to die.”

The series of eight interviews has been filmed to mark the 40th anniversary of the war, which lasted 10 weeks and claimed the lives of more than 900 soldiers and civilians before being concluded with an Argentinian surrender on June 14th 1982.

Former Royal Navy officer Chris Parry – who launched the depth charges said to be the first ‘shots’ fired in the recapture of the Falklands and was part of a daring mission to rescue 16 SAS troopers – is among the guests, along with Falklands islander Terry Betts and HMS Sheffield survivor Chris Purcell.

Chris was a 22-year-old Able Seaman on board the 4,100-tonne destroyer at the time it was hit with an Argentine Exocet missile on May 4th 1982, killing 22 crew members.

During his interview, Chris revealed he had just stepped back on deck of HMS Sheffield to wait for the kettle to boil in the galley below when the missile hit, killing those he had been speaking to just moments earlier.

Forty years later, Chris, from Portsmouth, revealed he is still fighting his own battle of the Falklands, suffering from survivor’s guilt at getting out of the horror alive.

Ustreme founder, Jim Davidson OBE, who entertained troops during numerous visits to the Falkland Islands, said: “It has been an absolute honour to invite Falklands veterans into our studios to talk about their experiences of the conflict.

“Many people are still naive about what happened during the Falklands War and it is a privilege that we are able to play some part in telling the stories of the brave men who fought, on the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

“There was not a dry eye in the house during filming. The stories these men have are fascinating, heartbreaking and inspirational in equal measure. They are heroes. Every one of them.”

  • Pull Up A Sandbag will be streamed exclusively on ustreme.com from June 1.
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