Falklands War veteran Simon Weston given Freedom of the City of London

Mr Weston suffered 46 per cent burns to his body and face when the HMS Sir Galahad came under attack in 1982

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The Independent Online

A hero’s welcome

Falklands War veteran Simon Weston received a standing ovation as he picked up the Freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall today, the first time this has happened during the traditional question-and-answer session in living memory. Mr Weston suffered 46 per cent burns to his body and face when the HMS Sir Galahad came under attack by Argentinian forces in Port Pleasant in June 1982.

He has since undergone 90 operations to reconstruct his face. “To get an ovation at any time is massive, but the first ovation at the Q&A is extremely flattering, as is the Freeman. It’s huge, in fact, because they’re not things you set out for in life,” he said.

Why did he receive the award?

Since the war, Mr Weston has been patron of a number of charities which support people living with disfigurements. He also set up a national youth charity, the Weston Foundation, which was active from 1988 to 2008. He is a freeman of the City of Liverpool and was awarded an OBE in 1992.

Does he still think about the Falklands?

The islanders are still on his mind. He welcomed the end of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s term of office as Argentina’s President, saying she had “been nothing but unfair” and “very cruel” to the islanders by creating “uncertainty surrounding everything because of her constant vitriol”.

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