The story of Edward Denmark — of what he’s done and is about to do — is truly inspiring. Having served in the British army including in the Falklands War in the 1980s, the Wirral man went on to write ‘Not For Queen And Country’ — a book about the reality of life as a British soldier that received high acclaim. Today, he has blood cancer with limited time to live and is about to fly to Argentina to challenge their government in court on the mistreatment of their veteran soldiers — to fight for justice for the people he once fought against.
Edward was raised in Moreton in a family of 12 with an alcoholic mother and severe poverty. His other book, ‘We Spoke In Whispers’, documents this difficult upbringing and he soon sought a life for himself in the military. After violent army training and time as a rapier gunner in Germany, he was eventually sent to the Falklands Islands to serve Britain against the Argentinians in the Falklands War.
(Above: Edward in the Falklands)
The Falklands War is very much forgotten about and understated, with many choosing to remember the larger wars of the 20th Century, but no less than 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities. As Air Defence Cover, his Battery shot down 14 Argentine jets in the Falklands and winged a few more. Following that time at war he suffered from PTSD and began drinking heavily, so re-enlisted and went back to Germany before serving in Northern Ireland. Edward saw some horrific things and was eventually forced to retire due to injuring his knees.
(Above: Edward in Northern Ireland)
His time serving in the army inspired him to write that book — a real life account of what it was really like in the army. Edward made a point of telling the honest truth — no exaggerating, no glamour, just the truth including all the grit. Following the success of his novel he went on to take part in charity work internationally, including helping child victims of war in the Middle East. Edward had come some way in facing up to his difficult childhood and dark military past — by writing, sharing his experiences with others, teaching others and helping others. His story of redemption, however, doesn’t stop there.
(Above: Edward on a charity mission in the Middle East)
In 2015, Edward was diagnosed with multiple myeloma blood cancer and despite having had stem cell treatment he doesn’t expect to have many more years left. With his outlook on life shifted once again, he decided via Facebook to reach out to Argentinian ex-soldiers who he had fought against in the Falklands War. After speaking with some of the veterans he became friends with them and came to realise that many of them lived lives of poverty without pensions or healthcare. Outraged, Edward went on a mission to seek justice for his brothers in arms and as a result, the Argentine government are being taken to trial and Edward is about to fly out to meet Congress. The move is set to make big waves, with potential back pay of 36 years for all the neglected soldiers who fought in that war.
(Above: Argentinian veteran Julio Herrera Vidal)
Speaking to La Vida Liverpool in this exclusive, Edward told us; “I’ve had some life but after the blood cancer diagnosis and nearly dying, I realised I still had some work to do here. I don’t agree with what happened in the Falklands — just as I’m against what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan — we’re no better off and the money could’ve been spent on the NHS, so when I heard about the poor treatment of these soldiers I had to do something!”
It’s funny how life works out. Sometimes the bad things that happen in life can often compel people to undertake amazing acts of humility, courage and bravery for the benefit of others. Edward Denmark may have had a tough upbringing and killed men in an unnecessary war, but the things he’s done since and what he’s doing now in the face of adversity is remarkable, valiant and inspiring. Good man.