Place-name of the Month – March/April 2013

Thatcher PeninsulaThatcher Peninsula

Thatcher Peninsula (54° 16′ 32″ S, 36° 32′ 11″ W) is situated between Cumberland West Bay to the west and Cumberland East Bay and Moraine Fjord to the east, bounded to the south by Lyell Glacier and Hamberg Glacier (see map). It was named in 1991 after Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baronness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS (1925-2013), Prime Minister, 1979-90.

Margaret Thatcher was leader of the Conservative Party, Britain’s first female Prime Minister and one of the dominant political figures of 20th century Britain. She served three consecutive terms in office between 1979 and 1990. One of the key events of her time as Prime Minister was the 1982 Falklands Conflict – a war with Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. This began on 19 March 1982 when an Argentinian ship landed and raised the Argentinian flag at Leith Harbour, South Georgia on 19 March 1982, followed by invasion of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia by Argentinian forces on 2 and 3 April 1982.

As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher took the decision to send a naval task force to repossess the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands for Great Britain. Following 74 days of air and naval operations, culminating in a British overland attack on Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Georgia was recaptured on 25 April and the Argentine forces surrendered in Stanley on 14 June 1982. In all 904 military personnel and 3 Falkland islanders lost their lives in the conflict.