A terminally ill British ex-soldier is fighting for recognition after he fought in the Falklands

·4-min read

A terminally ill former British ex-soldier is using his dying years to fight for recognition for the Argentinian men he fought in the Falklands.

Edward Denmark, 59, is campaigning for justice for the Argentinian veterans he battled against in 1982 as he claims they have been snubbed by their government.

He took up the crusade after discovering that up to 15,000 of his former enemies have been 'punished' for their part in the war - denied pensions, healthcare or medals.

Edward was diagnosed with deadly blood cancer in 2016 and may only have years to live.

But he has dedicated what time he has left to lobbying the Argentinian government to acknowledge and help their forgotten soldiers.

Edward is the subject of an upcoming documentary titled 'The Forgotten Men Of The Falklands War'.

The film, currently in production and due for release in 2021, shows the the dad-of-two travelling to Argentina - where he met with some of his old enemy.

He said he joined the cause after making contact with an Argentinian ex-soldier following the publication of his book, 'Not For Queen And Country'.

He learned that while those who fought on the Falklands Islands were recognised for their efforts, those who fought on the Argentinian mainland were not.

In contrast, those who served for the British forces in the ten-week war all received medals - including those who stayed on home soil.

Edward, from the Wirral, Merseyside, is now campaigning to get his former enemies pensions and access to healthcare.

He said: "A soldier contacted me - he asked me to send a letter of support. But then it ended up me going to Argentina.

"It's humanity before politics for me - I believe that's the way forward. I'm trying to help. I feel aggrieved and upset.

"They fought such an important role and they have been ignored. It's totally ridiculous. It beggars belief.

"It's about getting the recognition they deserve. [It's] unjust and morally wrong. I want these men recognised for their courage and dedication to their country.

"I think the reason is financial. If it was just down to giving them a medal, I think they would do it.

"It's going to make a big difference to a lot of lives. Some of these guys are living in poverty."

Edward served as a gunner in the British Army in the Falklands, where his regiment was said to have been involved in shooting down of 14 planes.

He was also posted in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

He said: "[The Argentinians] never seemed like a really bad enemy, if that makes sense. It was almost like a chivalrous war.

"Some guys said: 'You've got some balls going over there'. But they all invited me into their homes.

"I've always said that I have no animosity, no hatred towards them.

"It may sound like an odd thing - to be helping my enemy as one of the last things before I die.

"But it's about helping a fellow soldier. The war was nearly 40 years ago - how long can you hate people?

"I've had people saying I'm a traitor. I said: 'I went there and put my life on the line - I'm entitled to an opinion'.

"I've got such a passion for what I'm doing that I want to make a difference, I don't want this illness to define me."

Funding for the documentary, which is being produced by filmmakers in Liverpool, is now being sought.

It is hoped that, if enough cash is raised, the project will be completed and released next year - with a response from the Argentinian government.

Edward was diagnosed with multiple myeloma four years ago and now receives treatment for the disease.

He said: "It's all about treating to give you time. But the treatment is horrendous. It's like your worst hangover ten times.

"But I'm grateful - I survived the Falklands and a lot of lads didn't. I've seen my son and daughter be successful. Some men never got that chance."

Edward is married and has two grown-up children.

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