Service held to remember Hartlepool sailor who died aged just 18 in Falklands conflict

A memorial service was held at the weekend for a Hartlepool sailor who lost his life in the Falklands War aged just 18.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 1:39 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 1:39 pm

Family members, friends and several forces organisations came together to remember Ian Edward Turnbull who was killed when the destroyer HMS Coventry was sunk in 1982.

The service took place at the Eighth Hartlepool Boys Brigade where Ian was a member before joining the Royal Navy.

It was attended by members of Ian’s family, the Hartlepool Royal British Legion, the Bikers Branch of the legion and Hartlepool Royal Naval Association.

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Ian Edward Turnbull.

The President of Hartlepool British Legion, retired Colonel Ian Simpson said: “By word of mouth, 55 people rose early on a Sunday morning to pay respects to one of Hartlepool’s true heroes.

"He only left the boys’ brigade about 8-10 months before he was killed.

QSome people who were members with Ian are still there so there is still that link to Ian.”

He tragically died when HMS Coventry, which Ian was a cook on, sank after being struck by three 1,000 enemy bombs on May 25, 1982.

Members of Ian Turnbull's family at the service with Hartlepool Biritish Legion President Ian Simpson (left), standard bearer Andrew Barker and Marion Hall of the British Legion Biker Branch.

Nineteen crew members in total died.

Tuesday, June 14, marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Falklands War.

Information from the Falklands 35 internet blog states Ian was the only son of Edward and Norma Turnbull, of Lyndsay Road.

He went to Brierton School, and was a member of the Eighth Hartlepool Boys Brigade.

Ian Simpson by the memorial stone at Eighth Hartlepool Boys Brigade.

After leaving school he joined the Royal Navy as a chef.

Ian was described as a popular gentle giant who was affectionately known as "Tiny”.

He celebrated his 18th birthday in February 1982 and was due to start a submariners course in August of that year.

In a twist of fate he was loaned to HMS Coventry for three weeks to do some “sea time” before the war intervened.

His ship was selected as part of an advanced group task force sent to retake the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion.

Ian’s mother Norma died just ten years after his loss.

His nephew was named David Ian Edward in his memory.

A remembrance parade to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands campaign will be held at Hartlepool war memorial in Victoria Road at 11am on June 14.

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