The Falkland Islands; the Falklands dispute
The Falkland Islands (called in Spanish “Islas Malvinas”) are a group of islands in the South Atlantic, some 300 miles (450 kilometres) from the coast of Argentina. There are two main islands, East and West Falkland, and almost 750 smaller ones. The islands have a total area of 12,713 square kilometres (4,700 square miles) – they are larger in area than Jamaica, Lebanon or Cyprus, and they are as large as the 25 smallest member states of the United Nations added together. Their resident population is about 3,000.
The Islands never had any native inhabitants, and were first settled by France; there was a French settlement at Port Louis on East Falkland from 1764 to 1767 . The islands were formally claimed by Britain in 1765, and from 1766 to 1774, with one interruption, there was a British garrison at Port Egmont on Saunders Island, where ruins still exist .
The French settlement was taken over by Spain in 1767, which maintained a garrison at Port Louis for 44 years until 1811. The present population of the islands is a unique mixture: some families are descended from shipwrecked Danish, Norwegian or Swedish seamen; some are descended from settlers from Uruguay, France, Finland or Gibraltar, but most are of British origin.
Many families have lived in the islands for five or six generations, several for seven generations, and a couple even for eight or nine generations.
© 2010 Graham Pascoe & Peter Pepper
Ref: The Falklands Dispute
Location: Stanley,Falkland Islands
Photographer: Norman Clark