Falk­lands vet’s song recorded

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - HE­LEN JOHN­SON

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 info@vic.org.uk

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

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