Marine Engineering Mechanic (Mechanical) I
Frank was born on the 13th January 1961 to Frank and Rosemary Armes in Norwich; he was the youngest of three children with his two sisters. He went to school at Heartsease High School and was a very keen sportsman, footballer, long distance running, canoeing and shooting, were just a few of the things he excelled at.
As a child Frank had always dreamed of joining the Royal Navy, and to serve on HMS Ark Royal. On the 17th January 1978 he joined the Navy and, after completing his training, his first ship was HMS Ark Royal. Frank was with the ship, on her farewell world tour, before she entered Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport on the 4th December 1978, prior to the ship being decommissioned.
On 25 May 1982, HMS Coventry and HMS Broadsword were ordered to take up position to the north-west of Falkland Sound. There, she would act as a decoy to draw Argentinian aircraft away from other ships in San Carlos Bay. In this position, close to land, with not enough open sea between her and the coast, her sea dart missiles would be less effective. HMS Broadsword was armed with the sea wolf missile, which is for short range anti-aircraft and anti-missile use.
The two ships were to come under sustained attacks in the morning, but managed to hold their own with HMS Coventry shooting down two Argentinian aircraft, In the late afternoon, four Skyhawks came off the land in a well-organised and planned attack.
HMS Coventry was struck by three bombs just above the water line on the port side. One of the bombs exploded beneath the computer room, destroying it and the nearby operations room, incapacitating almost all senior officers. The other entered the forward engine room, exploding beneath the junior ratings dining room where the first aid party was stationed, and the ship immediately began listing to port. The latter hit caused critical damage as it breached the bulkhead between the forward and aft engine rooms, exposing the largest open space in the ship to uncontrollable flooding.
Within 20 minutes Coventry had been abandoned and had capsized. Coventry sank shortly after. Nineteen of her crew were killed and a further 30 injured.
Frank was one of those killed that day; he had served over four years in the Royal Navy when he died.
Frank senior and Rosemary never got over the loss of their son, Frank senior visited the Falklands and the site of the Coventry’s sinking in 1983. Frank senior passed away August 2003 and Rosemary died on 21st October 2015. Both had their ashes scattered at HMS Coventry’s grave location in 2016.
Frank will always live in the hearts and minds of everyone who knew him, and his death leaves a heartache no one can steal. RIP my friend fair winds and following seas your duty is done.
Frank Armes, deeply loved son of Frank and Rosemary, both now reunited with you at the Falklands sea grave of HMS COVENTRY, and brother to Ann and Linda.
We will never forget you, your loyalty to your family and friends, your kindness and caring nature, and your wonderful sense of humour, bringing so much happiness to our family.
Our loss is indescribable. We miss you so much and no day passes without us thinking of you. Even if it was only for 21 short years, we were all so grateful to have known and loved you.
You will always be our hero.
RIP darling Frankie.
Your loving sisters,
Ann and Linda. XXXX
I knew Frank as we were both at Phoenix firefighting school as safety numbers, and we shared some great laughs at work, especially his Ministry of silly walks routine in fearnought suit. A great guy that will be remembered forever.
Steve Green (Sticky)
Family and friends are encouraged to contribute.
We will add information to this memorial as we receive it.
If you have a photo, an anecdote, or simply to say you remember him, we will be very pleased to hear from you, so please contact the sama office at email@example.com
In 2022, as part of the 40th Anniversary commemorations, geographical features were identified and named after the fallen of 1982. ARMES POINT is the Easternmost Point of Long Island in Berkeley Sound East Falkland.
It is in position
51° 33′ 42.10″ S, 058° 02′ 18.02″ W