3 Commando Brigadce Air Squadron Royal Marines
Brett, from Christchurch in Hampshire was born on 10th April 1958.
He was killed when his helicopter was shot down near San Carlos Water on 21st May 1982.
It is with the utmost humbleness and respect that I would like to submit a brief personal story about Lance Corporal Brett Giffin, 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron. My memory is not as clear as I would like, but I worked with Brett for a brief time when I first joined 42 Commando in 1975.
When I arrived at 42 Commando in 1975 I met a tall Marine with a terrific sense of humour; Brett Giffin. I remained on rear party when our unit went to Northern Ireland because I was still under 18. I used to meet with Brett and other Marines for a soda in the mornings next to the NAAFI. Every time I saw Brett, he would make me laugh. I remember on one occasion he got some black tape and made officers “pips” and put them on his shoulders and decided to see how long he could get away with “impersonating” an officer before he got caught. Eventually we went our separate ways, and I would occasionally hear about Brett. I was in Oversnow Troop Commando Logistics Regiment when I sailed down to the Falkland Islands. I knew Brett was an observer with 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron but had not seen him for several years. I still remember vividly being on an LSL waiting to land and hearing the news one of our helicopters had been shot down, and both the pilot and observer had been killed in the water. My heart sank at the news of the lost helicopter and sank even further when I heard Brett was the observer on the helicopter.
Brett’s death was a great loss, and I will miss him. I will always, always remember fondly the tall Marine with the great sense of humour, who had the officer “pips” on his shoulder.
Brett was a drinking partner for my time in 42, did a couple of NI tours with him then he left for air squadron, have many great memories spent with a top man, greatly saddened when he passed, still think of him today, on a run ashore with him we’d ask Brett you pissed yet, he’d look down trousers still dry “not yet would be his reply”
W Coombes 42 Commando,
I was reminded today of a very good friend, albeit for only a short time, he was taken far too soon, I recall him on many occasions when I think of my early years in the Army. Jacque’s appearance on the BBC coverage of the Falklands today 11th Nov, brought back some very fond and vivid memories of the few months I knew Giff in the late 70s I’ll need to check my log books, but it was about 79 or 80 I’m not certain, I went back to my squadron in Germany after the Observer course.
I was a lance corporal in the Army Air Corps, Brett (Giff) to his friends, was a Royal from 42 I think, he was an instant star amongst us young soldiers, both likeable and a person who knew how to live life to its fullest.
The girls loved him too, I recall two particular young WRAC soldiers who particularly had eyes for him. We were on the same Aircrew Observers course, I will dig out some photos later and forward any if found after all this time.
We enjoyed a summer on the meadows surrounding Salisbury during our weekends off. lazing in the sun with tins of brew and a picnic, he’d get us a lift, the ladies usually very willing to accompany us, but Brett was always the attraction. I went on to fly with the Army in Germany after my course, Brett went back to his Air Sqn, we lost touch. My next knowledge of Giff was sadly the downing of his Gazelle helicopter during the war.
I went onto serve 23 years in the Army, met many Royal Marines, some were on attachment to the Army. Brett was outstanding in my recollections, I recall his stature, tall, a big guy, with a big personality.
I miss all my veteran friends, Brett I miss especially today. Seeing his sister was very poignant today.
My two sons went on to join the Marines, one is still in, its a small family is the military. We were colleagues for less than 6 months, training at a place called Middle Wallop, the school of Army Aviation, a Second World War grass airfield in Hampshire. Happy Days.
RIP Brett, we never forget you.
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. GIFFIN CREEK is a small creek on the north side of Port Sussex on East Falkland.
It is in position
51° 38′ 37.34″ S, 059° 02′ 33.85″ W