(Exeter only events in Blue)

27 May - Informal PU (meet at Ship Anson, food available)

28 May - Formal Sit Down Meal-JSASTC Hornet

29 May -Gosport Freedom Parade (Civic reception on completion) Date TBC? - Portsmouth Parade

17th June - Portsmouth Guildhall Dinner

18th June - Gala Ball- Royal Maritime Club

1st July - Berwick St John (Free camping/live music/wreath laying/church service)  (Details will be posted in FITF Fb group))

Here are the words from Hugh’s Grandson, Max Cosby. Read by his mother Catherine.

A message from Hugh Balfour’s grandson, Max

Before this begins, it would be handy to have a full drink your hand- not because this will be a long speech, but because there are a few toasts. So- here we’re go. 

It is a wonderful honour and a privilege to have been invited to say a few words to you all. I am sorry that I cannot be there in person with you this weekend, but my duties as Flag Lieutenant to the Chief of the Defence Staff have kept me busy- hopefully this is a worthy excuse! I am fortunate that my words will be read out to you by another member of Hugh’s family and someone who you have all so kindly taken under the “Exeter” wing.

If you look around the room now, to your left and to your right, you will see shipmates and friends that you have known for many years. You will see a few more wrinkles, a few more grey hairs,  or even perhaps no hair at all, where once there was lots! You might see a less athletic figure or perhaps a grizzly beard where once glistening cheekbones sat, but what I am certain of, is that you will see an oppo and member of the Exeter Family. There are many things which I see as exceptional about the band of brothers from 1982, but the highlight is the huge strength of the bond between you all. It has been truly remarkable and something of which you should all be proud. 

I know that the roll call has changed slightly over the years- there are some shipmates and wives who have crossed the bar, there are some who can’t join the events this year and there are some who have joined in more recent years. What has remained throughout is the camaraderie and support you offer each other. Please never forgot how much you mean to each other and how much you will continue to mean to each other.

So, the first toast is to the Exeter Family. Please raise a glass and join in toasting..  “The Exeter Family”.

Much of the Navy has changed a great deal over the last 40 years, but here are a few highlights to mention. Last year the Navy deployed the Carrier Strike Group to the Asia Pacific and back again - a huge feat which has taken decades to pull off. Some of you in this room will have played a part in that long journey to renewing Naval presence around the world and strengthening resolve against China and other nations which harbour ambitions against others.  HMS Defender, who you well know from her connection to Exeter, was front and centre in the Black Sea last year staring down Russian sabre rattling. That grit and determination and that professionalism is the same that was exhibited by you in the South Atlantic in 1982- the spirit of the Navy lives on. 

The next toast is to Fighting Spirit- it is something you proved time and again in 1982 and is something to be very proud of, for the rest of your lives. Please raise your glasses to toast… “Fighting Spirit

The Navy is also adopting new technology and at times getting rid of legacy kit in order to encourage progress. It might feel at times like we’re trying to be too advanced and getting ahead of ourselves, but without big leaps of progress, the Navy will outdate itself and risks letting the nation down in decades to come- it’s a chance we are taking now in order to be ready for the next 50years. Look at the change from sail to steam- progress comes with often uncomfortable change. So the next toast is to supporting progress of the Navy- it was something that mattered a great deal to Hugh and it’s very important that the current generation of sailors are encouraged to think positively about it, so please can I ask that you continue to hold off becoming grumpy old matelots for a few more years yet. Please  join me in toasting…” Our future Navy”

 And now we come to the final part- the part where we look back at 1982 and what it meant.

It was 40 years ago that you left Antigua, it was 40 years ago that you trained hard to be ready to fight as you and your families pondered what might lie ahead, and it was 40 years ago that you did yourselves, your ship, and your nation proud. Exeter had a brilliant record during the war and that was down to you… and Sea Dart. So, a quick toast- please raise your glasses to “Sea Dart”.

And it was 40 years ago that you came back home to Portsmouth after the fighting had ended. You brought Exeter home in one piece, and you brought each other home. As the years have passed, we’ve lost Exeters, and I’m only too conscious that it should be Hugh Balfour standing here before you, addressing his old ship’s company and looking you all in the eye to say well done, and thank you. He would be so proud of you all this evening and on parade tomorrow. He would also be so grateful for the way you have supported Sheila and their family over the years. On behalf of the family, thank you, and for the final toast, please join me in raising a glass to the ship herself. To “Exeter”.

HMS Exeter - Falklands Remembered -  By Dougie Leask

Here’s a little reminder, of us, the 82 Crew,

As we reminisce of what we went through.

A crew of young men, who became a team,

Whilst going through a time, you don’t want to dream

We were in the Caribbean having a ball,

When news came in, we’d got the call.

Sheffield’s been hit, it’s now a race,

We’re needed down there, to take its place.

So off we sailed, suntanned and under prepared,

With trepidation, and a little bit scared.

Two weeks we had to get fighting fit,

And join with the task force to do our bit.

Her Blue Hull shining on the sea, Exeter stood out from the Fleet,

With Battle Honours that did her proud, she never knew defeat.

The River Plate Crew from Thirty Nine

Had sailed this course… it was now our time.

Through troubled times she held us tight,

But we always knew… we’d be alright.

The aircraft came, they sent their best

But we chased some home and laid some to rest

They brought their exocets out to play

But we stood our ground and won our day,

We lived to know the smell of fear and how it gets to you

We also learned that being a team works best to see it through

We’d played our part, the war was won,

The Falklands saved, that job was done.

But before we sailed we had one thing to do,

We gave our respects of remembrance to the 39 crew.

Now through those days we made a bond, we’ll never cast aside,

The old girl meant so much to all who walked her decks with pride.

She served us well, protecting all with honour and with valour,

To serve on board our Blue Hulled ship, it was our finest hour.

Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful, of that we still abide,

And when we meet, we raise a glass as we stand here, side by side.

We toast to all who sailed in her, and to all the Exeter crews,

But special thanks goes to the man, who saw that we got through, 

The calmest man, you ever saw, who cared for all his Men,

He’ll always be our hero, Captain Hugh Balfour… (RIP Sir), Amen.


Gosport Parade Muster area/Falklands Memorial

Portsmouth Falklands Memorial

Portsmouth Parade Muster Area

Eastney Yomper

Falklands Memorial Copse - Portsdown Hill (Opposite Churchillian Pub/Nr Mick's Monster Burgers)

Falklands Arch - Fareham (Nr Subway/Poundland)


Travel Lodge Gosport

Premier Inn Gosport

Kingfisher Caravan Park

Bridgemary Manor Hotel

Anglesey Hotel

Commemorative Merchandise:

T-shirts/Hoodies/ Canvases: https://mmtee.teemill.com/collection/hms-exeter/   
Mugs etc:: https://teespring.com/en-GB/hms-exeter-fi-40-mug 
Forever Jack 
ABS Embroidery
Polo Shirts (Good price - £25and can add Exeter Crest if 4 ordered together, only £20 each)