Fax which declared the end to battle for South Georgia in the Falklands War
Petty Officer David Cadwallader was working in the notifications department at the HMS Cochrane naval base in Fife, Scotland, on April 25, 1982 when he received a Telex which stated Argentina had “unconditionally surrendered” the island they had occupied for 22 days.
The invasion of South Georgia took place on April 3, 1982, when Argentine naval forces seized control after overpowering a small group of Royal Marines at Grytviken.
After just over three weeks of fighting, South Georgia was retaken by British forces during Operation Paraquet.
Grytviken, South Georgia Island
However, the battle raged on for the Falkland Islands with heavy casualties on both sides before the British claimed overall victory on June 20.
I commander of the Argentinian Forces in occupation of the islands of South Georgia hereby unconditionally surrendered those Forces under my command
The fax was signed by the commanding officer of the Argentine submarine Santa Fe and the commander of the Argentine land forces, as well as the commander of HMS Antrim and the second in command of the 42 Commando Royal Marines.
Mr Cadwallader brought the document home and it has remained in his family for 35 years.
They have now decided to put their little piece of history up for auction and it is tipped to sell for £800.
Petty Officer David Cadwallader took the document home and remained in his family for 35 years
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In the surrender document the Argentines agreed to alert the British of any hidden defences such as “mines, booby traps and similar latent explosives.”
In return, the British stated the Argentine prisoners of war would be “afforded such rights as are applicable under the appropriate article of the Geneva Convention.”
In full, the document reads: "I commander of the Argentinian Forces in occupation of the islands of South Georgia hereby unconditionally surrendered those Forces under my command including landed Naval Detachments and the crew of the submarine Santa Fe to the commander of the British Task Group, HMS Antrim.
"This instrument of surrender is understood to have been proffered by the hoisting of a white flag at King Edward point at 1705 on 25 April, 1982 and to have been effective at 1715 the same day.
"I order all forces under my command to surrender as at 1715 on 25 April, 1982 and those forces with whom I'm not in direct contact to surrender immediately on notification of this instrument.
"I understand that I am obliged to make safe and to notify the commander British Task Group of any dangerous defence measures for which the force is responsible or of which they are aware, such as mines, booby traps and similar latent explosives.
The fax stated Argentina had ‘unconditionally surrendered’ the island they had occupied for 22 days Falklands War in pictures Wed, March 22, 2017
The Falklands War, also known as the Falklands Conflict, Falklands Crisis, and the Guerra del Atlántico Sur, was a ten-week war between Argentina and the United Kingdom, 2 April – 14 June 1982.
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Surgeon Lt Gordon Brooks with wife Christine and 3-month-old daughter Helen. Britain went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982. The Atlantic Conveyor was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile, and sank 90 miles north-east of Port Stanley
"It is understood that my forces will be treated as prisoners of war and will be afforded such rights as are applicable under the appropriate article of the Geneva Convention provided the above conditions are complied with."
Argentina's military junta decided to invade the Falkland Islands because of their location near to South America which they believed gave them sovereignty over them.
Britain, which had ruled the islands for 150 years, quickly chose to fight to defend its 1,800 inhabitants.
In the short but bitter war, 655 Argentine and 255 British servicemen were killed, as well as three islanders.
Andrew Aldridge, auctioneer at Wiltshire based Henry Aldridge and Son who are selling the item, said: "The vendor who lives in Scotland has decided that the time has come to pass the baton of ownership onto a collector who will appreciate the piece.
"It's a fascinating piece of history relating to the Falklands war."
The auction will take place tomorrow.