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Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust: New Website Launched on 8 December 2020

The Trustees of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT) are pleased to announce the launch of our website.  In its short existence, the Trust has developed material relating to two elements in that history. 

Many of you will be aware that we funded a search for the German warships sunk in the Battle of the Falklands in December 1914. We are proud to be launching our website on Battle Day, 8 December, a national holiday in the Falkland Islands. The search for those warships was led by Falklands-born maritime archaeologist, Mensun Bound, and resulted in the discovery of SMS Scharnhorst. The film of the two phases of that search was directed by Matt Wortman of Polestar Pictures and rights were acquired by the Smithsonian Channel and, for German-speaking countries, by ZDF.

Mensun Bound and Matt Wortman some years ago made a film showing some of the many wrecks from the age of sail that were to be found then in the Falkland Islands and the neighboring seas. While many of those wrecks have now been lost to the ravages of wind and wave, the Trust funded the digitisation of the film to ensure its preservation. Extracts from the film, as from “Lost Ships – the Hunt for the Kaiser’s Superfleet”, are on the website with accompanying descriptive accounts.

For the Trust, the launch of the website is an important step in our mission to educate a global audience about the maritime history of the Falkland Islands. We intend to develop our narrative, including further accounts of ships that braved the notoriously stormy waters of Cape Horn or were engaged in conflict or exploration. We envisage marking also significant anniversaries such as the SS Great Britain’s return in 1970 to Bristol from the Falklands, the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton in January 1922, and the Falklands War in 1982.

We look forward to your comments on the website, whether in reply to this email or through the “Contact Us” option on the website itself. And please share with us your ideas about what we might showcase in the future: do you, for example, have images that you would be happy to share with us and with those who will visit the website.

The Trust owes thanks to many who have helped support us in all sorts of ways. A short tribute is on the website. But that website could not have come into being without the support and creative effort of Charles Thompson and the team at TVT Productions Ltd., Matt Wortman and Polestar Pictures, Alex Wright of AW Design, and Mark Peters of MPDesign. We are grateful also to the designer of our logo, Kristy Jones of Arliam Design. We wonder how many of you will recognise the ship depicted in the logo! One for the cognoscenti!

Donald Lamont

Chairman, FMHT

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