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Anniversary of British Possession 1765

Pictured above: Remains of the settlement and port at Port Egmont, Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.

This week – on Wednesday 21 January 2015 – marks the 250th anniversary of the British possession of the Falkland Islands. Although there were earlier sightings and landings by British and other explorers, it was on 21 January 1765 that Commodore Byron landed on Saunders Island, off West Falkland, and claimed the archipelago for the British crown. He named the place Port Egmont. The following year 1766 saw the first British settlement at Port Egmont. By then the name ‘Falkland Islands’ had already been firmly established in British references to the Islands, following Captain John Strong’s landing just off the channel between East and West Falkland in 1690, which he named ‘Falkland’s Sound’ after Viscount Falkland, who had invested in his expedition.”

The occasion will be marked in the Falkland Islands with celebrations organized in Stanley by members of the public on January 21 and 24 and by Falkland Islands Government on January 23 and 31, along with a special ceremony on Saunders Island at Port Egmont on January 23.

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