Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Radnorshire Casualty of the Falklands War

Hansard 14th June 1982:

Mr Eric Ogden, Liverpool,  West Darby:   Is the Minister aware that the Falkland Islanders who have been so tragically killed or injured are personally known to the hon. Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) and myself and that we are proud to call them our friends? Mrs. Doreen Bonner was a fine and courageous lady. She was a third generation kelper, who was much respected and will be missed by everyone who knew her. Mrs. Susan Whitley was a lovely and lively lady of good Welsh parentage, newly married to an excellent young husband. She was a teacher who was dedicated to the children and other people of the islands.

Susan Whitley was killed by a missile, probably fired by HMS Avenger, during the final assault on Port Stanley.  Like her husband - the islands' vet who had spent the occupation cutting Argentinian communication wires with his gelding tool and was subsequently awarded the MBE - Susan seems to have taken a defiant stance towards the invasion, reportedly refusing to dive for cover during the shelling.

Older Radnorians will remember Susan by her maiden surname of Giles and that she was born in Llandrindod and educated at the town's Grammar school.  Hardly forgotten, either in Llandrindod or the Falklands where she was a home economics teacher at the islands' Senior School,  charitable trust was set up in her name and an annual arts and crafts exhibition for Falklands schoolchildren continues to be held in her memory.

Susan Whitely is buried on Sea Lion Island, the most southerly inhabited island in the Falklands.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

certainly remember her father who was a fruitier vending from what is up untill recently the housing association office in temple street next to where ITSdun used to be.
Dennis used to have the wooden boxes full of fruit and the big scooped scales and corrugated sliding door shut,open frontage.Colin Edwards used to work there in his grey smock.

Anonymous said...

Mr Giles had a lovely shop just as described in the earlier comment. It was next to Hurst and
Parfitt's Chemist, and near the shop the older people used to call 'the Dugout'. I also seem to remember that this last place was run by someone who had the nickname of Farouk. Am I dreaming this, or can anyone else remember these details? Llandrindod was a lovely place in those days.

Anonymous said...

I first met Miss Sue Giles when my father was posted to Stanley Falkland Islands in 1979. I was a dizzy 12 year old and she became my favourite Teacher and Confidant. One remark came to mind that I will always remember after other Teachers constantly chastised me was "Don't let anyone tell you Cher that you are never going to set the world on fire nobody has a right to say that. You go for it girl and be the best you can be. Well 33 years later remembering Sue Whitley's words I did make something of myself and all those Teachers who called me Stupid Well you got that a little wrong didn't you?
through the years I have never forgotten that wonderful beautiful lady and remember her fondly. Rest in peace and I will never forget you xxxx

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Miss Giles was our home economics teacher at Bassingbourn Village Colledge in Cambridgeshire I seem to remember her as very kind and patient with really long hair. She taught me how to cook and wash!
iain Leggett