Last night Churcher’s College welcomed Falklands War veteran, Simon Weston CBE to deliver this year’s Grill Lecture about his life and experiences to an audience of over 720 guests. Simon delivered an inspirational, funny and incredibly moving talk about his struggle to overcome his injuries and redefine his role in life. His message was one of achievement, of triumph in the face of adversity, and of seizing the moment and succeeding. Before the lecture, Simon spent time with Churcher’s Sixth Form students discussing challenges, motivation and his unique life.
When the RFA Sir Galahad was destroyed during the Falklands War in 1982, Welsh Guardsman Simon Weston was on board. Sir Galahad was carrying a large amount of fuel, bombs and ammunition when it was sunk by a group of Argentine Skyhawk Fighters, sadly leading to the deaths of many on board and leaving Simon severely injured with 46% burns. During and since his recovery he has been an inspiration to many demonstrating on a daily basis that whatever life throws at you it is important to live each day.
Simon Williams, Headmaster at Churcher’s College, said: “I recall the year 1982 well and the Falklands War news stories. There was a feeling of invincibility in the air, we were Great Britain and with the word Great came a certain misplaced over-confidence. It was soon knocked out of me as it was knocked out of the rest country as the news of ships being destroyed and lives lost filtered through.
I can distinctly recall watching the images on the news of Bluff Cove and Fitzroy and of Sir Galahad in flames. I have known of the inspiration that is Simon Weston for 37 years so it was an absolute delight to have met and have heard him in person; the man who faced such adversity and overcame so much. What an inspiration he is; no animosity for those who caused his terrible injuries, no self-pity for what he has had to face, but a remarkable positivity about the life he feels so fortunate to have.”
The annual Grill Lecture in May is one event in the Churcher’s College Academic Lecture Series, part of the Aspire Programme. Named after the school’s former Head of Religion and Philosophy, Judy Grill, the Grill Lecture sets out to expand thinking on differing values, belief, attitudes and points of view.