King’s Ely Junior pupils inspired by Falklands War veteran and author Simon Weston OBE at prize giving

Simon Weston, centre, with staff including principal Sue Freestone, left, and students at the prize

Simon Weston, centre, with staff including principal Sue Freestone, left, and students at the prize giving event. - Credit: Archant

Falkland’s War veteran, author and charity supporter Simon Weston OBE was guest speaker at King’s Ely Junior School’s annual prize giving event in Ely Cathedral.

In 1982 he was aboard the Sir Galahad when it was destroyed at Bluff Cove in the Falklands Islands, suffering 46 per cent burns to his body. He went on to have 70 operations.

Hundreds of pupils, teachers, parents and guests heard Mr Weston’s inspiring speech on how to welcome failure along the pathway to success. He observed that the only failure to avoid was not trying in the first place.

The head of King’s Ely Junior, Richard Whymark, said: “Simon’s visit marked the culmination of another very productive year for the school.

“For the children to hear Simon’s inspiring story for the first time and for the adults present to be reminded of his personal triumphs in the face of significant challenges was uplifting and encouraging for the entire audience.”


His charitable work earned him an OBE in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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He was awarded Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2002 in recognition of his bravery and his charity work in the region.

He appeared in the Top 100 Merseysiders list in 2003 and was honoured as one of the top 100 Welsh Heroes in 2004.

His story has been the subject of five BBC Television documentaries: Simon’s War, Simon’s Peace, Simon’s Triumph, Simon’s Return and in April 1999, Simon’s Journey.

His autobiography, Walking Tall, was No1 in the best selling list. Going Back was also a best seller being in the top 10 for eight weeks.

He then wrote a series of fiction books. His most recent book, Moving On was published in 2003 and sees him lay his Falklands ghosts to rest. He has also published four childrens books.

In 2007, he presented a series of programmes for ITN, looking back at the 25th Anniversary of the Falklands War, and in 2008 he again worked with ITN covering the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

In 2012, he went back to the Falklands with war reporter Mike Nicholson and former marine Nick Taylor in a programme called Returning to the Falklands.

In 2013, he was voted by viewers of the BBC One Show to have his portrait hung in the National Portrait Gallery, and in 2014 topped a poll conducted by Freuds on the Nations Favourite Hero.