An original Margaret Thatcher-signed telex that announced the end of the Falklands War with Argentina is going on the auction block later this month.
The historic document is expected to command more than $20,000 US dollars. The Falklands War began on April 2, 1982, when Argentinian forces invaded and occupied the area, and ended the following June when the territory was returned to British control after UK forces staged an amphibious assault and Argentina surrendered. Sovereignty over the Falklands is still a contentious issue between the two countries, however. “The historic dispatch announcing the retaking of the Falklands Islands after the 1982 war with Argentina is signed by Mrs Thatcher and Major General Jeremy Moore — who sent it when victory was secured.The rare document is also signed by Sir Rex Hunt, the Civil Commissioner on the islands during the conflict, and Major General Sir Julian Thompson, who commanded 3 Commando Brigade.”
The telex reads in part: “Major General Menedes surrendered to me all the Argentine armed forces in east and west Falkland, together with their impedimenta … ”
Baroness Thatcher donated the document to charity in 1999 as a way to raise money for injured members of the military. At that time, it was bought by its current owner who is now putting it up for sale.
The former UK prime minister, nicknamed the “Iron Lady” for her decisive leadership style, passed away on April 8 at age 87 from a stroke. Thatcher, the then-leader of the Conservative Party, is the only woman to have served as the head of the British government. She served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
More than 100,000 spectators witnessed the Thatcher funeral procession that culminated at St. Paul’s Cathedral on April 17. About 2,000 dignitaries from around the world attended the funeral itself.
An official with Mullocks Auctioneers, the firm that that is selling the historic document, had this to say about the upcoming auction of the very rare Margaret Thatcher telex: “This is undoubtedly one of the most important British historical documents of the last quarter of the 20th century. It provides bidders with the opportunity to obtain a document which is truly unique.”
He added that “There have been various copies of this document offered in the past but this is the original — and as such ranks along some of the most famous dispatches in British military history, including those from the Battles of Waterloo and Trafalgar.”
The Thatcher document is currently scheduled to be auctioned at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire, UK, on May 21.
[Image credit: Margaret Thatcher Foundation]