‘It just seems like another lifetime’

Former Royal Marine Commando and Falklands war veteran Kevin Bedford from Abbeystead
Former Royal Marine Commando and Falklands war veteran Kevin Bedford from Abbeystead

SERVING with the marines seems like a different lifetime to dad-of-two Kevin Bedford.

As a quality director for Guinness, his job includes ensuring your pint of the black stuff tastes just right.

But Mr Bedford, who lives in Abbeystead, joined the Royal Marines aged 20, in around 1979, and the mountain and arctic specialist was part of 45 Commando.

He said: “We landed on the far side of the Falklands and yomped (military slang to describe a long-distance march carrying full kit) across the island. We were involved in the battle of Two Sisters.

“I remember the gun fire coming down on us and pinning us down. We were pinned down for quite a long time. Then the command was given to advance.”

The ferocious fighting, between June 11 and 12, 1982, led to the loss of eight British lives.

Kevin said: “Once we captured Two Sisters, we went through to Port Stanley.

“It just seems like another lifetime.

“To be honest, you’re a young man. You’re very highly trained. You are in one of the most professional units in the military, in the world, and you’re there to do your job and you do it.

“When the Argentines surrendered, I can remember a bit of a cheer going up. It spread from one person to the next. Then there was quite a cheer from the lads.

“We were moving across open ground when we heard.”

A few months before Kevin was told he was going to the Falklands, by his sergeant, he met his now wife Suzanne.

Kevin said: “It was April 1 so nobody believed him.” Suzanne added: “I and many other people thought it was an island off Scotland.

“I felt anxious, all the way through we wrote so many letters but a lot of letters he sent got ditched in the sea.

“I had a feeling all along that he would come back safe. I constantly listened to the news for updates.

“Kevin was a coffin bearer for one of his friends when he came back. It’s very personal to him, very sad.”

Kevin added: “It does feel like a different life. I was a young 23-year-old Marine Commando sent off to the other side of the world.

“It can get emotional when I think about the people that were killed.”