Falklands vet’s song recorded
APOEM written by a Falklands Islands veteran has been transformed into a song that has been recorded by a choir.
Steve Butterworth, who works as an outreach worker for the charity Veterans In Communities in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, returned to the island for the first time three years ago.
He served in the Royal Navy from 1976 until 1983 and was a catering accountant on HMS Intrepid, but during the day he was a medic patching up the wounded, mainly Welsh Guards from the Sir Galahad.
Although he was never affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Steve, 57, of Holcombe Brook, said he witnessed some ‘horrible things’ and he can never forget the smells.
On his return to the Falklands, he was moved by the islands’ national flower Pale Maiden and its strong scent.
He said: “This little flower and its fragrance had such an impact on me because having treated some of the Welsh Guards, the smell of those terrible burns and wounds stayed with me.
“The small white bloom with a yellow centre and red veins and especially its distinctive fragrance became a symbol of hope.
“I wrote down what I was thinking and it became a poem – Pale Maiden. When I returned, it was suggested I make it into a song and I wrote a further three verses.
“That little flower turned a negative experience in 1982 into a positive in 2014.
“When I returned to the Islands in 2015 I approached the Port Stanley Cathedral Choir with a view to them recording my song.”
Pale Maiden is now being sold for £5 with all profits benefiting VIC and the South Atlantic Medal Association.
In addition to working with the choir, Steve also collaborated with acclaimed folk singer Corrie Shelly, VIC member Alan Willetts, veteran’s sweetheart Sarah Dennis and VIC member Nina Birley, who all contributed to the creation of the song.
It has been played on the Falkland Islands radio station and is available to buy from VIC by calling 01706 833180 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
VIC’s Singing Group will be adding the song to their play list and, thanks to digital technology, they will also be singing a version with the Port Stanley Choir.
To hear a sample of the song visit YouTube and search for Pale Maiden.
Falklands veteran Steve Butterworth