Island is named after Falklands War hero Craig

Gareth, Richard and Alexander Jones, Craig Island 17th February 2012
Gareth, Richard and Alexander Jones, Craig Island 17th February 2012

AN ISLAND in the Falklands has been renamed in memory of a soldier who was amongst the last to be killed during the 1982 war.

Craig Jones, 20, from Bugbrooke, was among the last to die in the short battle between the UK and Argentina, on the final day of the conflict in June.

Since then his dad Richard and mum Pamela have looked on the islands for a spot to name after their son as a lasting memorial to his sacrifice.

After overcoming local laws to acquire an island, they now want ‘Craig Island’ to be a haven for wildlife.

Mr Jones, together with his other son and his grandson, recently travelled with a Falkland Islands priest to what used to be known as Little Rabbit Island for a dedication service.

He said: “We put down a lovely metal plaque that the RAF engineers at Mount Pleasant made for us. We built a little cairn round it in this quiet protected little place and it was nice to be there.

“We’re getting on a bit and we wanted somewhere tangible. We wanted something we could pass on to our son and grandson and so they could remember what it all means. We’re so pleased to have it.”

Paratrooper Craig died on June 13, 1982 as British troops entered Port Stanley.

The last time Mr Jones saw his son was at Northampton rail station shortly before he was deployed.

The family had celebrated the news of the end of the war in a pub, but Mr Jones then took a phone call telling him Craig had been killed.

He added: “It was a great high and then a great low. It was very difficult for us.

The Jones family, now of Worcestershire, had been looking for a piece of land for several years when Mr Jones met a member of the Falklands veterans’ association, who made some local enquiries.

Some time later a Falkland Islands farmer, Carol Phillips, offered to donate Little Rabbit Island, to get around laws preventing non-islanders from owning land there.

Mr Jones said: “The islanders were really good about it. They’re grateful and a bit embarrassed that so many people died for their freedom.”