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Tributes paid to Admiral Woodward

Tributes have been paid to Sir John 'Sandy' Woodward, who has died aged 81.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Major General Jeremy Moore and Admiral John 'Sandy' Woodward (right) onboard HMS Hermes at the time of the Falklands War (library image) [Picture: Crown copyright IWM (FKD 2608)]
Admiral John 'Sandy' Woodward (right) with Major General Jeremy Moore (library image)

Admiral Sir John ‘Sandy’ Woodward, led the Royal Navy task force to re-take the Falkland Islands, sent by Margaret Thatcher’s government after they were invaded by Argentina in 1982.

His daughter said he died after a long illness.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:

I am saddened by the news that Admiral Sir John ‘Sandy’ Woodward, has died and my thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Admiral Woodward served his country with distinction throughout his career, but he will be best remembered by many as the Navy’s Fighting Admiral after he led the Royal Navy task force, sent by Margaret Thatcher [her government], to re-take the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Following this magnificent achievement he served as the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff and went on, before retirement, to be the Flag Aide-de Camp to the Queen.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, said:

Admiral Sir ‘Sandy’ Woodward will always be remembered for his powerful and clear command of the Royal Navy task force that re-took the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Undaunted by the challenge of fighting a capable enemy over 8,000 miles from the UK, in the most demanding and extreme of weather conditions, and against uncertain odds, Admiral Woodward’s inspirational leadership and tactical acumen, meshing the realities of the higher political command at home with the raw and violent fight at sea, was a major factor in shaping the success of the British forces in the South Atlantic.

Highly regarded and widely respected within the military, he will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

Published 5 August 2013
Last updated 5 August 2013 + show all updates
  1. Correction made from "sent by Margaret Thatcher" to clarify that it was her government rather than the prime minister herself that sent the Naval task force.
  2. First published.