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Many military accounts of the British side of the Falklands War have been published as well as memoirs written by servicemen who took part, so this aspect of the story of the Argentine occupation and the British liberation of this remote territory in the South Atlantic is well known.
But little attention has been paid to the Falkland islanders who had direct personal experience of this extraordinary crisis in their history.
That is why the previously unpublished diaries of Neville Bennett and his wife Valerie, a fireman and a nurse who lived with their two daughters in Port Stanley throughout the war, is such vivid and revealing reading. As chief fireman Neville was frequently called out to deal with fires and other incidents during the occupation, and each day he recorded what happened and what he thought about it in his sharp and forthright way.
Valerie saw a different side of the occupation through her work at the Stanley hospital where she had to handle the Argentines as well as daily accidents and emergencies. Their joint record of the exceptional circumstances in the Falklands in April, May and June 1982 gives us a fascinating inside view of family life during the occupation and of their relations with the Argentine soldiers and commanders.
It is engrossing reading.
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