Join us on 19th November at 3.00pm for our online webinar with Simon Weston CBE.
Andrew Pepper will interview Simon and they will discuss the trauma he has faced and how he managed to turnaround his life, drawing on similarities
on the trauma that we are all facing during COVID19.
About the speaker/s
He joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 at the age of 16 at the insistence of his mother, after he "got into bother". He served in Berlin, Northern Ireland and Kenya before being deployed to the Falkland Islands.
On 8 June 1982, he was boarded with other members of his regiment on RFA Sir Galahad in Port Pleasant near Fitzroy, just off the Falkland Islands. It was bombed and set on fire by the Argentine Skyhawk fighters during the Bluff Cove Air Attacks. His ship was carrying ammunition as well as phosphorus bombs and thousands of gallons of diesel and petrol. Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 were killed. The Welsh Guards lost a total of 48 men killed and 97 wounded aboard the Sir Galahad.
Weston survived with 46% burns, following which his face was barely recognisable.
Weston endured years of reconstructive surgery, including over 96 major operations or surgical procedures. Skin from his shoulders was used to make eyelids and his nose was grafted on in a later operation. He suffered psychological trauma, drinking heavily and becoming suicidal, and admits his behaviour during this time was "terrible". He credits his mother with helping him to overcome this, in particular, her act of reuniting him with his old regiment, who refused to mollycoddle him (especially Glen White, who ran the Welsh Guards rugby side), forced him to "face up to the unavoidable and to be positive about everything including especially my future"
His courage and charity work have been recognised and honoured on a number of occasions. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1992 Birthday Honours and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for charitable services.
Simon's message is one of achievement, of triumph over adversity, of seizing the moment and succeeding.