Sunday, 24 December 2017

2017 - Letter from Colonel Geoffrey Cardozo

Letter from Colonel Geoffrey Cardozo to the sister of the Argentine soldier Elbio Eduardo Araujo (Infantry Regiment 7th)

                                                                  Eduardo C. Gerding



Elbio Eduardo Araujo
(Kindly submitted by María Fernanda 


Of the 649 Argentines who died in the war, 237 were buried in the Darwin cemetery on Isla Soledad. And on the gravestone of 123 of them, instead of his name, it says "Argentine soldier only known by God".4

          Colonel Geoffrey Cardozo

"There is a special bond between any soldier, regardless of nationality. These soldiers from Argentina and our soldiers are the same kind of people. We speak the same language because we are soldiers. "4

In 1982, Colonel Geoffrey Cardozo, who speaks fluent Spanish, was 32 years old and worked in logistics at the Ministry of Defense in London. On June 14, a call changed his life: he was ordered to travel to the islands to take care of and maintain the discipline of the men who had survived the war. 2. When the engineers notified him of the discovery of bodies, Geoffrey mounted on a helicopter and buried them well. 4

Thirty-five years later he was part of the International Committee of the Red Cross that sought to identify the 123 graves of Argentines. 3,5

On the second day of communication of the identities, María del Carmen Penón not only received the confirmation that her son, Eduardo Araujo, rests in one of the graves at Darwin cemetery but also recovered the belongings that rested for decades with his body. 1

Elbio Eduardo Araujo
       (Kindly submitted by María Fernanda Araujo)

This letter was sent to me by Colonel War Veteran Augusto Esteban Vilgré Lamadrid and, the photographs, were kindly submitted by Mrs. María Fernanda Araujo, current President of Relatives of Fallen Military in Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands.

Dear María Fernanda,

From the moment I learned that Eduardo had been located in the cemetery of Darwin, I wanted to write nothing more than a few words of me, as a simple soldier and human being, to you, his loving sister.

I wanted to contact you personally because this message comes from my heart and is directed to your heart; a great heart that, although heavy at this moment, I hope, will find a small place to keep my words forever.

I try with difficulty, to imagine what it must be like to have lost a brother. I have a sister whom I love deeply, more than words can convey, my world would be destroyed if I lost her. Therefore, putting myself in your position is not too difficult. I did exactly that many years ago when I was standing next to Eduardo on the wind-swept western slopes of Mount Longdon in the freezing cold. I was alone. I've never been so lonely.

I thought about your mother, because every child has a mom. I thought of my mother. I did not know you existed, but I thought you loved him. I wrapped his body and covered it would not suffer damages and I called a chaplain and a piper to join us ; your brother and me. The piper touched a lament, slow melancholy. The chaplain blessed Eduardo and I said a simple prayer in his language. A few months later I went back to pick him up and take him to Darwin Cemetery and let him rest in grave B.3.16.

I did not know who Eduardo was, I did not know he had a mom, a father and other people who loved him. And, as time passed, and my own son became a strong young man and reached the age of 19, I loved Eduardo even more, him and all his friends.

You have been a tower of strength for so many relatives, providing guidance, assistance and love. I hope that now most of them will soon know where their loved ones rest.

I live with the hope of one day being able to meet you, your mother and your family, nothing would fill my heart with such profound and tranquil joy.

A big hug accompanied by the most sincere kiss ever given, from one person to another without knowing her.


(Kindly submitted by María Fernanda Araujo)



1-Cavanna, Joaquin-35 años después, una madre recuperó los objetos de su hijo caído en Malvinas: ¨Hoy Eduardo volvió a nacer-INFOBAE-Diciembre 6 de 2017.


2-Cociffi, Gaby-La historia del oficial inglés que hizo el cementerio de Malvinas: ¨Enterré a los soldados argentinos con respeto y honor¨


3-Farmer, Ben- Army officer returns to Falkland Islands 35 years on, to help identify fallen Argentine troops –The Telegraph-2 Jun 2017.

4-Pardo, Daniel-"Todo esto es mi culpa": Geoffrey Cardozo, el soldado británico que 35 años después de construir el cementerio en Malvinas / Falklands asesorará la exhumación de soldados argentinos sin nombre.

BBC Mundo 19 junio 2017.

5-Stauffer,Caroline- Scientists aim to identify remains of Argentine soldiers on Falklands-World News-June 1 2017.


                      Geoffrey Cardozo and the author-Buenos Aires-March 22, 2019