Former Falklands governor Rex Hunt dies aged 86

 

Sir Rex Hunt, who was governor of the Falkland Islands during the 1982 Argentine invasion, has died at the age of 86, officials have confirmed.

Sir Rex will be remembered for his "courage and dignity" in facing the invasion, the Falkland Islands government said.

He also served for many years as chairman of the Falkland Islands Association and as president of the UK Falkland Islands Trust and was granted the freedom of the island capital, Stanley, in 1985.

The Yorkshireman took up his post in 1980 and was ousted as governor of the British overseas territory by invading Argentinian forces on April 2 1982.

After refusing a plan to hide in the hills and outnumbered after a fierce gun battle, Sir Rex took the painful decision to surrender.

But he made one final act of defiance when, dressed in full gubernatorial uniform, he refused to shake invading commander General Oswald Garcia's hand.

The islands were recaptured by British forces on June 14 that year after then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher deployed a naval taskforce to the South Atlantic ocean.

During the weeks of the war, Sir Rex stayed in London while his wife and son were in a house in Kent.

Today the Falkland Islands government said in a statement: "We received news of the passing of Sir Rex Hunt with great sadness.

"Sir Rex will forever be remembered in the islands for his years of service as governor, and particularly for his courage and dignity in facing the Argentine invasion in 1982.

"His numerous contributions to our home were recognised in his being granted the freedom of Stanley in 1985.

"A loyal friend of the Falkland Islands, he served for many years as chairman of the Falkland Islands Association and as president of the UK Falkland Islands Trust.

"His passion and commitment to the Falkland Islands will be sorely missed. The thoughts and deepest sympathies of all Falkland islanders are with his family and friends at this sad time."

The Yorkshireman took up his post in 1980 and was ousted as governor of the British overseas territory by invading Argentinian forces on April 2 1982.

After refusing a plan to hide in the hills and outnumbered after a fierce gun battle, Sir Rex took the painful decision to surrender.

But he made one final act of defiance when, dressed in full gubernatorial uniform, he refused to shake invading commander General Oswald Garcia's hand.

The islands were recaptured by British forces on June 14 that year after then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher deployed a naval taskforce to the South Atlantic ocean.

During the weeks of the war, Sir Rex stayed in London while his wife and son were in a house in Kent.

Today the Falkland Islands government said in a statement: "We received news of the passing of Sir Rex Hunt with great sadness.

"Sir Rex will forever be remembered in the islands for his years of service as governor, and particularly for his courage and dignity in facing the Argentine invasion in 1982.

"His numerous contributions to our home were recognised in his being granted the freedom of Stanley in 1985.

"A loyal friend of the Falkland Islands, he served for many years as chairman of the Falkland Islands Association and as president of the UK Falkland Islands Trust.

"His passion and commitment to the Falkland Islands will be sorely missed. The thoughts and deepest sympathies of all Falkland islanders are with his family and friends at this sad time."

PA

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