Lord Lee hands a signed copy of the Franks report to Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory

Historic report will help bring Falklands legacy to life

Dan Hodges General

On the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, Lord Lee of Trafford donates a copy of the Franks Report on the war, signed by Margaret Thatcher, to The Poppy Factory.


Lord Lee hands a signed copy of the Franks report to Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy FactoryA government report signed by Margaret Thatcher will feature in a new display at The Poppy Factory, highlighting the 40-year legacy of the Falklands conflict.

Lord Lee of Trafford, who served as Defence Minister immediately after the 1982 war, has donated a copy of the Franks Report to our visitor centre in Richmond-upon-Thames. His gift coincides with the 40th anniversary of the start of the war and the charity’s own centenary.

The historic document will form the centrepiece of a special display about the Falklands, which will show how those affected by the conflict have become involved with and been supported by The Poppy Factory.

Officially titled The Falkland Islands Review, Lord Lee’s copy of the 1983 report is signed by both the former Prime Minister and former Defence Secretary John Nott. The Richmond-based peer has also donated a cover note from the Conservative MP Ian Gow, Margaret Thatcher’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, who was to be tragically killed seven years later in an IRA bomb attack.

Courage and tenacity

Lord Lee said: “I was particularly interested when the Franks Report came out and I somehow managed to get the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and the Defence Secretary, John Nott, to sign three copies, which I held on to for over 30 years.

The front page of the Franks Report, signed by Margaret Thatcher, with a covering letter from MP Ian Gow“I have sent one copy to The Falklands to show in the museum there. Because I live in Richmond and have been a supporter of The Poppy Factory for a long time, it occurred to me that a second copy should be here for the community to see.

“The Falklands was an example of the courage and tenacity of our Armed Forces, because it was by no means certain when the task force set off that it would be successful. Very sadly, 255 of our Service personnel lost their lives and others were wounded. It’s important that we remember them, alongside all those who have given their lives in other conflicts.”

Legacy of conflict

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “We are extremely grateful to Lord Lee for this wonderful and timely donation. It will take pride of place in our new display, which will be all about The Falklands and the members of our community whose experiences have been shaped by the legacy of that conflict.”

The special display is one of several being developed by The Poppy Factory in its centenary year, following the opening of the visitor centre by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall in November. It will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Groups who would like to book a private, hosted visit of The Poppy Factory can do so throughout 2022. Individuals and smaller groups can also book to join a series of discovery sessions running in April, May and July. Book now at poppyfactory.org/visit

All funds raised through visitor centre bookings go towards employment support for veterans with health conditions in England and Wales.

More you might like