Col Stuart Tootal interviews Falklands SAS veteran
Mark "Splash" Aston
Meet the survivor from the Falklands Sea King crash. 45 minutes in the FREEZING South Atlantic, then on to fight and recover the Islands.
Wednesday 23rd March 2022.
Venue: Upstairs, Prince Albert Pub, Albert Bridge Road, SW11.
Drinks (cash bar), Talk,
dinner for those that want to stay on.
Arrive/Drinks 7pm (Cash Bar)
Dinner (not included in price) 8.45pm
Early Bird (before 16th March): £20
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Mark "Splash" Aston joined the Mountain Troop, D Squadron, 22 SAS in 1979. They fought in the Falklands War 3 years later, recapturing South Georgia and taking Pebble Island airfield. It was a battle not unlike the original, daring behind-the-lines raids carried out by SAS founder David Stirling in WW2. Then during a transfer between ships, the Sea King ferrying him and his Squadron crashed into the South Atlantic. Half perished. Splash spent 45 minutes in the freezing sea before being rescued. But he survived. Recovering from hypothermia and a suspected broken vertebrae, he returned to his unit and helped recapture the Falklands.
Next D Squadron was sent far forward to Mount Kent, overlooking Stanley. They had 5 days rations but were there for 12. Weather conditions were terrible. They were wet, extremely cold, with foot-rotting leaky boots. Hidden, unable to keep warm, they observed the Argentines. Intense fighting ensued. Mount Kent was taken. D Squadron was then sent to West Falkland where 2000 Argentines posed a final threat. Following more fighting and a captured colleague, news arrived that Stanley had fallen. The war was over.
Revealing Interview by Stuart Tootal
Stuart co-wrote SAS Sea King Down with Splash. This talk is a rare opportunity for Splash to open up to Stuart and to attending Revellers. It's a chance to understand first hand what fighting was like for the SAS during the Falkands War.
Early Bird (before 15th March): £20
Some of the questions Stuart will be asking...
How well are the Falklands now defended?
What was it like fighting with 100lbs on your back ?
What was the most scary, terrifying moment of the campaign?
How was morale affected in D Squadron following loss of half its soldiers after the Sea King crash? How did people cope?
How do SAS soldiers get used to freezing conditions, defecating lying down, carrying ones own faeces and sleep deprivation?
Why did you choose to fight an older FN rifle?
Are today’s special forces as physically fit as they were in 1982?
How has the role of the SAS changed since 1982?
Your wet boots were testament to the Army’s poor kit. Are soldiers better supplied now?
If you were in charge, i.e. PM, what would you do about improving today's Armed Forces?
Do you ever take a quick cold dip in the Sea?
About Stuart Tootal
Prior to commanding 3 PARA, Stuart served in the Queen’s Own Highlanders and then the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. After being promoted to Full Colonel in 2008, Stuart left the British Army, set up the Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust for wounded soldiers and, in the corporate sector, headed up security for the one of the World’s largest banks. He founded, and now runs, Matero Consulting, helping businesses drive their change agendas. Stuart is a prolific commentator on military and security matters and is a Sunday Times Best Selling Author.
Early Bird (before 16th March): £20