A MARITIME worker paid a personal tribute to Rotherham’s VC hero 35 years on after the fallen soldier’s exploits in the Falklands War.
Richard Copley, who lives and works in the Falkland Islands, visited a memorial at Mount Longdon to Sgt Ian McKay and other servicemen who died in a battle at the site during the 1982 conflict.
Mr Copley, who is originally from Rotherham, served in the Royal Navy for 32 years and now works as ship’s manager for protection vessel HMS Clyde.
He noted that islanders still held great “admiration, gratitude and affection” for the British armed forces, especially Falklands veterans.
The 35th anniversary of the Mount Longdon assault last month was marked with a Liberation Day ceremony in Stanley to show “those who paid the ultimate price will not be forgotten”, Mr Copley said.
“There are several memorials and plaques at the summit, including a large granite block, which are regularly tended and cleaned by locals, service personnel stationed in the Falklands and visiting veterans,” he added.
Sgt McKay was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the day, which was two days before Argentina surrendered.
His was the last Victoria Cross awarded in the 20th century and one of three that have been awarded to servicemen from Rotherham.
The name of Sgt McKay, who was 29, is also engraved on the VC fountain in Clifton Park’s memorial garden, while the Territorial Army’s base in the town on Fitzwilliam Road is also named the new McKay VC Barracks in his honour.