Sunday, 9 October 2016

2016 - 10th Anniversary of The Nottingham Malvinas Group

10th Anniversary of

 The Nottingham Malvinas Group

 We celebrate today the 10th Anniversary of The Nottingham-Malvinas Group founded by Eduardo Gerding in November 2006, after he participated in an international colloquium at Willoughby Hall, Nottingham University, which was attended by Argentine and British war veterans of the 1982 conflict.

Thanks to Eduardo’s commitment and persistence, strong bonds were formed between war veterans of both sides.  These brave men finally met face to face, shared their innermost experiences, and expelled their internal demons.  Subsequently the group´s activities have included meetings in both Argentina and the United Kingdom, translations, and the publication of military books and articles.  Some of these describe medical technologies which improve the welfare of war veterans and their families.

This has been a work of great perseverance, and I congratulate Eduardo and the members of his group for this outstanding work which has sent a most inspiring message for us all.  He rightly recognises that reconciliation has to be an everlasting process.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester,
Vice-chairman British-Argentine 
all-party parliamentary group, 
Houses of Parliament, London.

The Malvinas War was for Argentina the first real war of the twentieth century and introduced a national cause. A raw and real issue of what was hitherto a permanent claim to sovereignty through international organizations.

The national feeling has not changed thirty-four years after the end of the war. A feeling that has been supported  not only by government agencies but by all citizens in general and civil associations of veterans in particular, which through different expressions, keep alive memory, provide containment to veteran and generate a meeting point and camaraderie.

There have been meeting all these years between war veterans of both sides as individuals or groups. They have shared experiences, discuss the lessons learned, established standards of care for the post-traumatic stress cases and healed their inner wounds. We should mention as well multiple suicides among war veterans of both sides.

In this context of exchange and review of the various aspects of the conflict a military and civilian meeting took place in UK. Lieutenant Commander Medicine Doctor (Ret) Eduardo C. Gerding was invited to the symposium and when he returned founded The Nottingham-Malvinas Group. The main goal of this last was to clarify some aspects of 1982, to boost the discussion among Argentine and British intellectuals for a solution to the dispute and provide an adequate care for the war veteran affected by the aftermath of the conflict.

It´s been ten years since it´s foundation and I hereby welcome Dr. Gerding´s initiative who had a very proactive attitude towards the veteran trying to reduce the stigma and aftermath of war.

Guillermo A. Müller
Commodore Medicine Doctor  (Ret)
Doctor aboard the last flight of C-130 to Puerto Argentino on June 13rd, 1982.  (C-130 H TC-65 “TORO” 13 Jun 15:30  / 14 Jun 00:40)

It is interesting to note that even more historians are starting to research and publish accounts of the Falklands War (as we call it over here) and we now have a better understanding of the geo-political as well as military issues surrounding this whole event.  There is clearly some way to go before the dispute between the two governments will be resolved satisfactorily, that is if ever it is settled.  So, as far as our veterans are concerned, I worry that hopes may be raised unnecessarily, and council that we concentrate on activity which enhances their well-being. I well remember the first gathering of the Group in Nottingham, when I acted as a moderator for some of the discussion.  Since then I have followed the group’s activities, mainly courtesy of Eduardo Gerding’s sterling efforts to publicise on-going events and in some cases his own work.

I have always felt that the most important aspect of the group’s work is to achieve reconciliation between our veterans, our veterans and their own governments, and to leave the matter of Government to Government to politicians and diplomats of our two nations.

To this end, I believe it would be really helpful for the group to be renamed The Malvinas Falklands Nottingham Group, thus allowing British veterans to look further into something they might in future feel able to participate.  

Toby Elliott
Commodore (Ret) OBE RN
Former Chief Executive of the Stress Center

We celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Nottingham-Malvinas Group. It seems reasonable to look deeply in their goals and follow the path built in such geographical and emotional history of dearly feelings for both nations.

The results, worked with patience and respect, are promising and augur largest gathering and better possibilities to get closer to recreate and overcome extreme situations which indelibly mark the spirit of men and women. The reunion of veterans was one of his outgoing objectives. It was a meeting in another context, not as enemies but as survivors of a conflict. They responded the call waved by their nation´s  reasons.

The Nottingham-Malvinas Group supported and achieved meetings which exceeded the expectations and further collaborated to reconsider military action, assessing aspects which were not taken into account .Ultimately they put in their proper context the individual and group value of combatants, from the perspective of a former enemy.
The passage of time and its inexorable reality shape attitudes and at the same time create a suitable environment for successful initiatives. This will endure in as far as we don´t  lose sight of the human and fallible side of man present in any endeavor.

I welcome the creation of the blog and congratulate its supporters as they have allowed to build bridges of understanding reconstructing the "side b" of every story, of our occasional foes now old adversaries. Summarizing, citizens of our only planet which requires better bridges of empathy and understanding.

Luis Héctor Patoco
Commodore Marine Corps (Ret)
In 1982 as Midshipman was stationed 
in Tierra del Fuego at the 
Marine Corps 1st Battalion being chief 
of the 81 mm mortars and the 105 mm recoilless gun.

The Malvinas-Nottingham Group is serving ten years of uninterrupted existence, thanks to the perseverance of its founder Dr. Eduardo Gerding who managed to bring close those soldiers who in 1982  military clashed in order  to exchange views and fundamentally understand what happened in the combats that took place next to Puerto Argentino (Port Stanley).

The Group, besides keeping alive the flame of the Malvinas issue, makes a great contribution to veterans providing information of interest and clarifying what happened and what may happen.

In particular last year (2015) thanks again to the intervention of Eduardo, I had the opportunity to meet the Mayor (R) Mike Seear former Operations and Training Officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Duke of Edinburgh´s Own Gurkha Rifles who  faced part  of my Battalion (BIM5). Seear offered an excellent lecture on Leadership in Conventional War Operations. It was a unique opportunity to clarify some actions that occurred the night of 13rd to 14th June.

This selfless action of Eduardo has helped us to start closing those wounds deep in our souls.  We can now sit at the same table and share a comrades ´meal with those whom we once considered our enemies.

Eduardo, as a veteran of the Malvinas War I deeply appreciate these ten years of dedication to us. Just a big soldier hug .

Waldemar Aquino
Captain Marine Corps (Ret)
Nacar Company
Marine Corps 5th Battalion
Combat of Mount Tumbledown

Dear Eduardo !. For many people a period of ten years is just a breath of wind on the sea of life and for many others is a long time which hardly happens fast. However, in the history of a specific project we could say that is the time of maturity, balance time, the time when one wonders if we have reached the intended target.

The Nottingham-Malvinas space could be put into perspective in another unit of measure. I'd like to measure it in the amount of bridges built in both sides thus allowing human reunions of those of us who, still men of arms of all branches, saw each other fiercely while the South Atlantic cold wind robbed us of our human condition and pushed us to kill or be killed. This terrible human tragedy was well depicted by Borges in his poem Juan Lopez and John Ward.

Our blog and your effort to build those bridges have allowed me to recover gradually that sensibility of the soul without giving away my convictions and Argentine values. It has allowed me to recognize and put voice and image to one like me, a human whom I fought with my best weapons and all my courage. All this at a time when I felt I had to fulfill an oath to my flag and myself. Thank you for making my bridge and returning me to my humble humanity. A hug Juan.

Juan Membrana
Captain (RE)

War Veteran Membrana is a Naval Aviator who performed 11 missions between March 28 and June 14, 1982, half of them from the aircraft carrier ARA 25 de Mayo and the other half from Rio Gallegos, with a Grumman S-2E Tracker aircraft. He was also an Aircraft Commander Aircraft and an Aircraft Carrier Signalman.

We are celebrating ten years of the existence of The Nottingham-Malvinas Group. A group born of spiritual strength and greatness by people who lived through the misfortune of war, though now this catastrophic human phenomenon may be called in a very different way.

Responding and adhering to an invitation from Professor Bernard McGuirk, Director of the Study Center for Post-Conflict Cultures at the University of Nottingham ( UK) Dr. Eduardo Gerding traveled to that city to participate in a professional academic activity related to the aftermath of war violence among veterans.

It was successful both from the professional point of view regarding health in general and the stories of combat actions in particular, highlighting the relationship between those men who took up and used weapons against each other, ready to give their lives if demanded.

Dr Gerding, felt the urge to give permanent life to this fantastic relationship thus creating the The Nottinghan-Malvinas Group.

It is not a mere human contact or circumstantial meetings among veterans. This is a set of souls and wills with a firm determination to learn from each others from what they ´ve lived ... quoting other´s judgements.

We not are talking here about papers and conclusions as in any symposium or congress. We talk about the wider delivery that can be offered to fellow citizens and other societies as well. We talk here about an extraordinary sense of humanity.
And as in every human group there must be a leader. In this case also a founder.

And it is here where we locate Dr. Eduardo Gerding who imbued in the above concepts and, convinced that the hell of war may circumstantially begin but peace involves much more than the cessation of violence (ambitious as it may sound) specially  for those who were in hell.

This is The Nottingham-Malvinas Group. These are its members.
Congratulations on your anniversary and ... thank you very much.

Jorge Bergallo
Captain (Ret)

Master´s Degree Director at the Naval War Strategic Studies School

The constant geopolitical variables of a world convulsed by armed conflicts and international terrorism are the germ of political, economic, cultural and / or religious factors. These factors lead to the meanest expression of human ambition, patriotic values ​​being faded into the background.

All war has its dark spots that should be capitalized and corrected, but it is also necessary to evaluate the sacrifice of those who left their mark in the Malvinas peat and in the cold waters of the South Atlantic.

As I took part in this quest I want to express my gratitude and admiration to those who daily enrich every community programs (The Nottingham-Malvinas Group) highlighting patriotic values ​​and therefore avoiding condemnation to oblivion.

Raising awareness in our youth national sentiment implies a recognition of the value and sacrifice of those who gave up their lives filled with love for their country.

A constructive alternative is the diplomatic approach based on respect and balance.

The seed must die to generate a new life ... .Those who struggle to keep alive the Argentine flame are precisely this "New Life"

We are a country of peace ... This feat showed the world that we do exist. The seal of the Argentine blood is engraved in the steppes and in our Southern Sea.

Mark R. Szymczak
Captain Medicine Doctor (Ret)
Surgeon at the Military Hospital of Puerto Argentino
Author of A Surgeon in Malvinas (2006 Institute of Naval Publications)

Ten years have elapsed since the founding of The Nottingham – Malvinas Group. I had the chance to interview Lieutenant Commander Medicine Doctor (Ret) Eduardo Gerding, its founder and try to decipher the meaning that this path had for his life as well of others.

I feel that Eduardo amalgamates two streams of mind: a very pragmatic, united and resolute one, and another romantic line, where stories of European ancestries, castles, lineages and arms fade on the threshold of history. In my view Eduardo could well have embodied a medieval knight in the struggle for high ideals.

I think it was both forces coming together which supported the founding of the Group and the energy displayed till now. It was Eduardo who organized the Argentine group for the International Colloquium on Conflict and Post Conflict in Latin America 200 on

As a result of Eduardo´s natural moderation, the blog doesn´t fully disclose his efforts and the personal meaning that this project had wrought in his life as well of men from both sides who collaborated in the project.

Eduardo gets thrilled when he describes how humanity emerged in the various pre- and post-2006 contacts, when he speaks of reconciliation, of mutual recognition and affection between former adversaries.

From my perspective the creation of the Group, after the International Colloquium, went beyond its stated objectives acting as an instrument of spiritual and emotional healing for all those involved since the early beginnings at the mythical pub Jerusalem.

Eduardo began his journey as if it were a sort of the way of St James, a pilgrimage that allowed him to grow more in the spiritual dimension with every stretch given eventhou at times he could not have been fully aware of its direction.
It was, so to speak, the way of Eduardo.

At first it was his total commitment to Argentine war veterans from the area of ​​Health; then he evolved and expanded the scope of his desire to do something that will serve the people of both sides. From that effort articles and conferences emerged published  at home and abroad depicting all he had learned about military medicine,  post traumatic stress and of course the Group itself.

Many friendships emerged from this project; some remain, others eventually faded away without further explanation. The efforts were not always acknowledged.

However , Eduardo finds that, if you look back, he has been enriched spiritually and has enriched as well all those who grasped it.

Now he is beginning to see a little more clearly the stages of his path which emerge from the future´s fog.

I think that, in terms of Malvinas, his legacy has fully achieved its purpose. It is done.

But for his budding growth, given the always present finitude, clearer at this stage of life  as he puts it , I believe that Eduardo will soon seek divergent paths of past wars and closed stories. 

Eduardo has initiated a deepening of his internal search, a space without limits where you can find unimaginable adventures. I think he will be situated very solidly in the present, in the here and now but this won´t preclude him from self sustaining and recognizing the value and merit of what he has already done for Malvinas.

Is it not time for new generations to take their responsibilities in this regard? I don`t know, after all this is the way of Eduardo.

Commander (Ret) Daniel Cavalieri
In 1982 as Lieutenant was appointed Chief of Artillery and Missiles 
at the Type 42 destroyer  ARA Hercules

As a combat veteran of the 1982 Falklands-Malvinas War and co-organisor of the November 2006 University of Nottingham’s international colloquium which brought together for the first time within an academic forum some of the war’s veterans from both sides, I am proud to be associated with such an unforgettable event that gave birth to the Nottingham-Malvinas Group.

Amongst that kaleidoscope of twenty-one presentations from the colloquium, I remember in particular those of the three Commanding Officers from the Battle of Tumbledown. They were seated at the same table and talking together for the first time at the University’s Willoughby Hall. Then later that evening our host, Professor Bernard McGuirk, engaged us all with his stunning bilingual ability, eloquence and wit at that wonderful dinner.

It was because of his initiative and organizing skills that the colloquium took place. Ten years on, it continues to be mentioned at the University with a degree of awe. Nobody has managed before or since to deliver such an historic and compelling event in the aftermath of that war in the South Atlantic.

The deliberate omission of any UK or Argentine political representative from the speakers’ line-up worked like a charm and was a major reason for the colloquium’s remarkable success.

Immediately afterwards a much motivated Dr. Eduardo Gerding, the third co-organisor of the colloquium, founded the Nottingham-Malvinas Group. His initiative has provided admirable continuity in the years since and a possibility for war veterans in Argentina and UK to communicate with one another.

The aim has been to ‘get to know’ your former enemy on a personal level, talk about those traumas of their mutual battlefield, enjoy becoming friends, and learn from each other’s war and post-war experiences. Because if human beings become friends, then how can they go to war against each other again?

Recently Eduardo has created a Nottingham-Malvinas Group ‘blog’ which is continually updated with useful information mainly about the war and its aftermath. He is to be congratulated on this additional initiative and his enduring wish to bring veterans of that extraordinary South Atlantic war together in a positive spirit of reconciliation.  

Mike Seear
Major (Retd.) Mike Seear,
former Operations and Training Officer,
1st Battalion, 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles

in the war and during the Battle of Tumbledown (13/14 June 1982).

The reconciliation: My feeling is that reconciliation is important in all aspects of life, be it in a personal relationship or a war. But, the most important thing of all is to learn from history and the foolishness and pain of our past, which man never does. World War 1 was The War to End All Wars, was it not?. To my mind, much is made of the word reconciliation - but, what does it really mean? I do not think that the Argentinean "man in the street" was ever an "enemy of British people", so, for him, reconciliation was not necessarily an issue. The military, on both sides, were, as they have always been, pawns in the disgusting game of politics. What can never be reconciled is the pain with which those pawns spend the remainder of their lives, every moment of their lives.
What actually needs to be reconciled, is the stupidity of greedy people who call themselves "leaders", be it Galtieri or Thatcher.

Things that may have helped me start to overcome: I hate to say this, but it is the truth: drugs, alcohol and anger. I was raised as a Buddhist, with Vipassana (Insight) Meditation. But the pain that individual, ordinary people went through in that War - in every War - has no road to overcome of which I am aware. It can be recognised, it can be masked (See Kahlil Gibran's poem below), hidden and pretended that it is not there. But my guess is that every person who takes part in a conflict carries pain for the rest of their lives.

With the majority, the conventions and training with which they've been raised, helps them to take what is known as the "gung-ho" British attitude - Yep, we went to war and killed those damned Argies or whatever. Proud of it. I know of some of Conqueror's crew who have this outside attitude but have admitted inner pain. We are taught to lie from the day we are born when we live in conventional societies - to be honest, nakedly honest, is regarded as showing weakness or whatever.

Senior officers, I suppose because the longer one is in the military, the more one is married to it, both physically and emotionally, appear on the outside to brush it off. But, I wonder what they feel like inside. I do not know. I have heard from many sources that Captain Wreford-Brown was adversely affected and that this is why he left the Royal Navy when he probably would have risen to Admiral rank. I do not know if this is true or not, but, like I say, many people who knew him have said this.

I suppose that at the end of the day, my Buddhist background has helped in small part - I still try to meditate, to remind my inner beings that the past is finished and cannot be underdone. But, I cannot say, personally - no matter how much I may be considered to be a "soft wimp" - that I will ever be able to say that I have overcome it.

Indian roots: Well, you have my e-mail from yesterday. Drugs, alcohol, anger, tears, nightmares from time to time. The background with which I have was fortunate enough to be raised has, yes, helped some. But, only some.

Contacting Santiago Belozo: I cried and cried when I first corresponded with him and have so any times tried to imagine how he sat at the gun turret on Belgrano's upper deck at the moment that the weapons hit him. It makes me tearful as I write this now. I think that we have "helped" each other a lot. By knowing that we both went through pain. By communicating with the silent knowledge of what we had shared. Not about a victor and vanquished, not about one who fired and another who was blown from his gun turret and finished up in a life-raft in the icy south .... but about two human beings who have had pain from one common experience. As you know well, when one meets others who have walked down the same path of pain, it brings a closeness which is hard to put into words. To me, meeting Comandante Bonzo, Capitán Cenci, and, by correspondence, Santiago Belozo, have all been a part of the long, long, long road to a pain-free mind. But, like I've said, I feel that road actually has no ending...

The silent treatment: Is the result of ... fear. When this started, after my diary was made public and the newspapers reported everything, the robotic mind of the military individual, that mind having been stamped into his being by his so-called superiors and by the military machine, makes people cut you off. I do not blame them. They are the results of their mental slavery, if you'll excuse the poetry....Later, when the book came out, Secrets of the Conqueror, I should imagine that most people thought  ah, there goes Seth, selling secrets to make some money. Well, they can think what they want.

Eduardo - I just found at home a letter that my mother - the lady who started the Vipassaa Meditation centre in the UK in the 1960's - that she wrote to me on 19th August 1980, which was the day after I had resigned from the Royal Navy to sail around the world. If it's of interest, I can scan and send you the original letter.

But, here are the contents, which perhaps answers some of your Indian Roots question, and perhaps also answers some of the other, because it is how I was raised.

Here you are:

"Having read all that you wrote, I am inclined to agree with your decision after all (to leave the Royal Navy). I say this in all honesty, not from my mouth, as you put it, but from my heart. Just one line of your letter convinced me. If one knows what it is to be without peace of mind, it is myself ... I have spent so many months with Psychologists and other brain-shrinkers (even a term in hospital) and have probably had more pills than you've had hot dinners. All a waste of time and money. 
There is absolutely no doubt that without peace of mind, one has nothing at all. Materialism has no place on actuality, yet the people of this world spend their entire lives fighting to obtain it. When they get it, they find it cannot solve anything - yet still they want more. It is what I call the circus of man's struggle.
I have never tried to be anything other than what I am. Maybe that's why I have very few friends. I live my life the way I want it, and if others don't approve, that's their problem. I can never follow ceremonies or rituals which is why I never attended your brothers' weddings.
People have to accept me for what I am. If they don't, they can please themselves. This may sound intolerant, and perhaps it is, but if I don't want to follow the customs of society, I don't have to. This is my freedom, such as it is.
So - you must do what you want to do. You must find your own way and if, at some later stage, you discover that you were wrong, you must be prepared to take it like the man you are and never have any feelings of regret. In this way, you will experience peace of mind.
But - remember. Peace of mind can never be permanent. Nothing is permanent. Living in this chaotic human jungle is a tremendous challenge and this is why the Buddhis and jain monks cut themselves off from the outside world - because they believe that inner peace can only be achieved in that manner. I consider them to be wrong. Peace of mind can be experienced in the hustle and bustle of any city if one has learned to live with understanding, properly, not comparing or judging, not killing or hating, and eating the right foods.
The Buddha once said All things in life are mysterious. Only one thing not - and that, our pain.
This is very true, and I know that the pain of the human mind is quite a dreadful thing".

Your blog: I speak honestly - I think your blog and your organisation is wonderful. But, it has not helped me. I feel that I can only help myself. Just do not know if I want to any more.
Suggestions ?: Suck the marrow out of life!
I hope I am not out of order in the way that I wrote, but it is from my heart, Eduardo.



You ask me how I became a madman. 
It happened thus: 
One day, long before many gods were born, 
I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen - 
the seven masks I have fashioned and 
worn in seven lives. I ran, maskless 
through the crowded streets, shouting 
“Thieves! Thieves, The cursed Thieves!” 
Men and women laughed at me and 
some ran to their houses in fear of me. 
And when I reached the market place, a 
youth standing on a house-top cried “He 
is a madman!” I looked up to behold 
him; the sun kissed my own naked face 
for the first time and my soul was 
inflamed with love for the sun, and I 
wanted masks no more. And, as if in a 
trance, I cried “Blessed, blessed are the 
thieves who stole my masks!” 
Thus I became a madman. 
And I have found both freedom and 
safety in my madness - the freedom 
of loneliness and the safety from being 
understood - for those who understand us 
enslave something in us. 

Kahlil Gibran

Narendra Sethia
HMS Conqueror´s control officer .

Sethia was born in Scotland, father Indian and English mother. He wrote a Malvinas War Diary which was given to the Asociación Amigos del Crucero General Belgrano. He co-authored a book called Secrets of the Conqueror : The untold story of Britain´s most famous submarine by Stuart Prebble (The Guardian, Friday 12 October 2012). On Tuesday September 19th, 2000 he met in Buenos Aires with Captain Héctor Bonzo.

Narendra resigned from the Royal Navy in 1980.  But in the Royal Navy you have to give between 18 months and 24 months' notice of resignation as an officer because they have to spend that time to re-train another officer to take the job. He was due to be released from the Royal Navy in April 1982.but  he did not finally leave the Navy until 13th August 1982, though the last time Narendra  was on the submarine was 13th July 1982 and then he set sail for the Caribbean in his small yacht on 8th August 1982.

Made in Nottingham: Appealing to the name of a film (Made in Manhattan) to refer to something else does not seem to be very academic, much less if the film is a humorous and romantic genre, when in fact I will refer to something that is not the order of humor or romance.

In Nottingham men, who until recently had been locked in a war,  met not to fight but to find common points of understanding.

Six months after the outbreak of WW 1, in a letter written in 1915 (Thoughts for the Times of War and Death) Sigmund Freud said  : We had expected the great world-dominating nations of white race upon whom the leadership of the human species has fallen, who were known to have world-wide interests as their concern, to whose creative powers were due not only our technical advances towards the control of nature but the artistic and scientific standards of civilization - we had expected these people to succeed in discovering another way of settling misunderstandings and conflicts of interest. he continued : The individual citizen can with horror convince himself in this war of what would occasionally cross his mind in peace-time that the state has forbidden to the individual the practice of wrong-doing, not because it desires to abolish it, but because it wants to monopolize it, like salt and tobacco. .

Thus Argentines and British or British and Argentines, all humanists beyond their military status, knowing that war is the failure of reason, decided to join in a superseding goal : the seed of peace.

For 10 years the group created in Nottingham, worked hard, generously and creatively to establish union and increasingly fewer divisions. Numerous meetings were performed in which former brave fighters could meet with rivals and have a fraternal embrace and moments to remember but never to forget, because forgetting is the egg of repetition.

I salute these fighters for peace who buried their weapons and emerged smiles, handshakes, tears also, and always the willingness to work together. In those meetings, as in the film, there was humor and love, but in a more human and universal stage ... Made in Nottingham.

Héctor Fischer
Former Dean of Psychology
John Fitzgerald Kennedy University
Buenos Aires
On December 2004, through Resolution 94 , an agreement was signed between the Psychology board  (John Fitzgerald Kennedy University ) and the INSSJP for the free mental health assistance of Argentine war veterans.

A decade has elapsed since the flight detachment from Ezeiza airport. They were like birds wrapped in silence. Their wings new their course, the destiny and the mission. They needed no one to open their cages or tell them which should be the tune of their songs. Without authorization or measuring consequences they flew but only their souls were of birds.

In 2006, the government and the people found out that a small group of citizens went to UK to take part of an International Colloquium displaying lectures on the Malvinas war and its consequences for the soldiers. Each partaker had its theme: mental health, PTSD, military codes, sovereignty, geographical rights, historical and political issues. It was ten days of mutual respect, paying attention, learning and exchanging views.  The physician toured hospitals, the military deployed maps and I displayed my feelings with the following words: Malvinas is the only place in my country which I have not visited yet but I do know about our soldiers´aftermath and that’s why I came to ask the professionals of both countries and also worldwide to join their knowledge and help those who are still commiting suicide after the war. In am entitled to request this to you all. Three months later a Norwegian psychiatrist and a British war veteran who suffered PTSD were visiting our country offering their assistance.

Since then Dr. Eduardo C. Gerding continued his struggle, alone but constant, unnoticed but effective as the 2006 flight. Eduardo, thank you in the name of peace and please do not fold your wings.

Maria Isabel Clausen

Former national and international cultural ambassador for the municipal culture secretariat of General Roca. Province of Cordoba.
Departmental Executive of the Social Action Secretary (UEPC: Union of Educators of the Province of Cordoba, Argentina)

It's been almost thirty-five years since the national South Atlantic conflict and we still have a gap between the social, health, and psychosocial policies of our veterans and their families and the Argentine social and health responses regarding those needs. The veterans’  struggle for their rights have alleviated in part the psycho-emotional impact of war.

Our experience as psychiatrists, psychotherapists and other professionals in response to these psychosocial needs has been laborious, and has had some development in recent years.

Our national universities didn`t have an outstanding role in the consideration of the different aspects of the veterans` health and welfare. There are however  exceptions recognized by many of our professionals.

The Argentine and British academic concern on our veterans´s health has been expressed in an initiative known as The Malvinas Nottingham Group founded in 2006 by Dr. Eduardo Gerding after his lecture in Willoughby Hall.

Surely this initiative will continue putting the focus not only on improving the relationship of those who fought, but also to punctuate the common and different aspects of such experience and its psychosocial impact of both sides.

People do not desire to participate in wars but are involved in a unique way according to the motivation that drives them to defend the causes that lead to fighting.

On this tenth anniversary it seems appropriate to commit ourselves to support initiatives of common work, respect for identities and a shared purpose :. To improve health conditions and combatants`welfare. We hope we´ll be able to expand our mutual cooperation.
I congratulate The Nottingham Malvinas Group for their contribution to the knowledge of this war and to build bridges of friendship between former combatants.

Dr. Enrique Stein
DoD´s Coordinator of the Mental Health Team, Catastrophes, Humanitarian Help and Armed Forces Peace Missions.
Director of the War Veterans` Health Center Islas Malvinas. Psychiatrist specialized in Psychotrauma.
Associate Consultant Professor at the National University of Comahue ( Argentine Patagonia)

Dr Gerding, the reason for my congratulations goes with appreciation for the commitment you had in creating the Nottingham-Malvinas Group, uniting both stories and experiences. Expanding this knowledge improved the reason for existence of former combatants.
No war is acceptable, but through the history of mankind they have taken place, happened and will happen again. Malvinas undoubtedly shows subjectivities on both sides. Each fighter experienced different histories, pain, anxiety and post traumatic circumstances that increased over time. Even today is hard to remember and take the pains out of our souls. The most heartbreaking testimony belongs to our brothers who are guarding with their remains the Malvinas` peat.
Ten years of moving experiences and learning have been addressed to convey a humanly created group aimed to unite and make known strong feeling stories. That is having the truth of what took place in Argentina and UK told by its own protagonists.
I wish you may continue your work for many years. Your contribution is very important for all of us.
Yours sincerely.

Conscript José Ruben Yunez
Marine Corps 5th Battalion-Commando Company, Logistic Support, Communications.

I want to thank you Dr. Gerding as founder of the Nottingham Malvinas Group. We celebrate 10 years of different perspectives on the events in the islands. These have helped us to get in contact with our comrades, to know each other better and keep the cause.

Through different and very interesting articles you´ve been keeping us updated about our physical and mental health . I hope you´ll stay with us many more years.

Silvia Barrera.
Argentine Army surgical scrub nurse at the Icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar (Q-5) (RHAI)in 1982

"If you want to go fast, walk alone.
If you want to go far, walk together "

Some say it is a Zulu saying. In any case it does not matter its origin. What matters is its validity as in this case it means a path of reunion and mutual recognition; a distant goal after fighting with each other.

The Group Nottingham - Malvinas had much to do in this encounter between Argentine and British appealing to scholars and Veterans of both nations.

The analysis of what was performed, the curiosity of exchanging the different views of each other sides. To be able to change owns speculations by others´ affirmations.

To acknowledge what was done by each other, whether it be by courage, by professionalism, by craftiness or even by others faults this last being confirmed or fade in front of cognizance.

This group has the merit of bringing together both sides putting together the facts as pieces of a puzzle and building a future based on analysis, mutual understanding and recognition.

It´s been ten years of walking the path together, not without its  hurdles, but transited with the will to help each other. No one was left behind.

A unofficial road, but filled with courage and a conscious effort to understand what was done and build a better future. Eduardo, thank you.

Francisco Elizalde
War Veteran
Merchant Officer , Communication officer

Merchant ship ELMA Río Carcarañá

Yes, I'm a follower of Dr Eduardo Gerding and his daily work for the veterans and I appreciate him because he is always present for us.

As a human being I´m angry and bewildered with this human race. We have millions of examples of war which dismember us in every conceivable way. They dehumanize us….and yet we strive more to fight than to talk. I can´t understand how entire villages are being forced to leave their lands. I can´t understand how greediness can be so strong.

When I speak about money I mean trillions profit by the merchants of death through selling weapons, military advisors and war technology. It would be much cheaper to provide water, food self-sufficiency and help life.

When I was a colimba (conscript) we had a rough training which was even tougher in Malvinas. At that time I was teaching and asked myself: What´s the use of me telling the children no to fight, to talk  when then later in life a madman comes and beats you to death.?

I regret this state of complaint in which I find myself. I know this is not the spirit.

As a war veteran and a teacher I strongly recommend readers to browse the different sections of The Nottingham-Malvinas blog. It will be useful for all those who ask themselves : Where do I seek this information ? .In Dr. Gerding´s blog  you´ll be able to intertwine the endless strands of this complicated network, update and continue your research.

But above all I want to thank you Dr Eduardo many, many thanks for being always present from wherever you could find yourself.

Milton Rhys
Former conscript
During the conflict worked as radio operator and translator.

Welsh-Argentine choirmaster Milton Rhys
His great-grandfather was William Casnodyn Rhys,
a Baptist preacher, an ultra-nationalist from Port Talbot.

I appreciate the invitation of the Nottingham-Malvinas Group founder, Dr Eduardo Gerding, to collaborate with my life experience aboard the cruiser A.R.A. Gral. Belgrano, since this has been a channel to know the other side of the coin about Malvinas. And thanks to Dr Gerding´s reconciliation goal I could get in contact through e-mails and Facebook with Narendra Sethia, former member of the submarine HMS Conqueror crew. Through different messages Narendra has showed me his deep sorrow for the sinking and the wounds we both share. Doctor, thanks for letting me know this great person. I hope some day I´ll be able to shake hands with Narendra, a man who used to be my enemy and is my friend today.

Santiago Belozo

Conscript 62 Cruiser ARA Gral. Belgrano