The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT) was established in October 2014 with the aim of advancing the education of the public, including in the maritime history and heritage, both military and civilian, of the Falkland Islands and their neighbouring seas, and the improvement of public understanding of their historical and social significance; in particular but without limitation through research and exploration of said seas.
FMHT also carries out expeditions and missions to record, preserve and restore (if considered appropriate) craft, materials and information of historical significance and educative value relating to the Falkland Islands and their neighbouring seas. This work includes naval and civilian vessels and their related equipment, items and records.
A third Trust objective is to acquire, restore and maintain maritime artefacts for public display, demonstration or exhibition at the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust and the Jane Cameron National Archives, or other suitable institutions that are open to the public.
Trust and Trustees
The founding Trustees were David Ainslie, Mensun Bound, William Featherstone and Donald Lamont. They adopted a Memorandum containing Articles of Association for the Company Limited by Guarantee on 6 October 2014. The company was incorporated and registered on that date and subsequently registered with the Charity Commission on 18 November 2014.
Donald graduated in Russian Studies from Aberdeen University. After four years in the British motor industry (British Leyland) 1970-74, he joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, serving from 1974 to 2006. He had postings in Austria, the Soviet Union, Berlin (through the Fall of the Wall), and on secondment to the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia & Herzegovina. His first Head of Mission appointment was as Ambassador to Uruguay (1991-94).
In 1999 Donald was appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, serving until 2002. He subsequently served three years (2003-2006) in Caracas as Ambassador to Venezuela. After retirement he was appointed Chief Executive of Wilton Park (2007-2009).
Former Governor of the Falkland Islands (1999-2002)
Born Stanley 1953. First job, Wool Boy at Dunnose Head. Schepp Foundation scholar 1972-76. Research Assistant Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Commonwealth Scholarship to Oxford 1979. Founded first academic unit in England for maritime archaeology. Triton Fellow in Maritime Archaeology at St Peter’s College, Oxford (1994-2013). Directed numerous wreck excavations including the Giglio ship (600 BC) now on display in Nat. Underwater Archaeology Museum, Italy. Also conducted a survey of the Mahdia ship, a Roman carrier that went down off North Africa with Roman statuary and Lord Nelson’s Agamemnon which fought at Trafalgar. Major excavations include the 4th Century BC Dattilo wreck in the Aeolian Islands (recently exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) and the rescue excavation of the Hoi An junk in the South China Sea. In 1981 pioneered the use of Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) technology in maritime archaeology. In 2019 led the successful FMHT expedition which found Vice-Admiral von Spee’s flagship, SMS Scharnhorst.
Pioneer of ROV technology in underwater archaeology
Bill was born in the Peak District of Derbyshire. He was a Londoner for 40 years but now lives in Northamptonshire with his wife Elizabeth and son Richard, who is a civil engineer,
Bill was a banker for 30 years but retired at 50 as an internal consultant on electronic clearing systems. This experience led to consultancies in Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia.
His interest in the Falklands dates from 1972. A former banker, he was treasurer of Falklands Conservation for 10 years and is now treasurer of the Falkland Maritime Heritage Trust. He is the Editor of The Upland Goose, the journal of the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study group, and a regular contributor to The Falkland Islands Journal and the Dictionary of Falklands Biography. Bill has personally donated many small items to the Stanley Museum.
Bill is a Falklands Charity Veteran
Saul was born in the Falklands, a fifth-generation islander, but now lives in Berkshire with his wife, Caroline, and two children. He first came to the UK in 1984, to study for his A-levels at Bedford School. In 1995 he joined an Asset Finance company and now owns and runs his own business equipment finance brokerage company based in Wokingham.
His love of the sea was cemented by a year as a cadet on RMS St Helena, the cargo liner that plied between Avonmouth, Tenerife, St Helena and Cape Town (one of only four Royal Mail Ships in the world). Saul is also a “Hot Shot” – a very keen international clay pigeon shooter. He competed in six Commonwealth Games between 1994 and 2014 – representing (of course) the Falkland Islands. And, in 2018 he was the Islands’ shotgun team coach for the Games in Queensland, Australia.
Former cadet on RMS St Helena
David Ainslie (1947-2020)
The Trustees are sad that founding Trustee, David Ainslie, passed away on August 29th 2020. David was a lawyer, philanthropist and lifelong Falklands supporter. Amongst other things, he was the legal adviser to the Falkland Islands Association, until he stepped down in 2019 and was an active member of the FMHT until he was taken into hospital early in 2020. He was distantly related to the Lafone family who gave their name to Lafonia in East Falkland.
Our Trustees are the guardians of numerous epic sea-journeys of survival, imagination and achievement and we work closely with many other organisations and institutions that have the same interests and aims as ours – preserving 400 years of maritime history.
Since the Trust was incorporated in 2014, many institutions, organisations, companies and individuals have lent invaluable support. They include our lawyers and accountants, those involved with media, companies that own the vessels an equipment we have used, successive Governors of the Falkland Islands, several organisations and individuals in the Islands too numerous to list, and Anthony Clake, whose initiative brought the Trust into being and whose sustained support, with that of the others we have referred to, allowed us to develop projects that tell the story of the Falkland Islands, the seas around them, and their rich maritime history.
You may wish to visit our sister charity, the Friends of the Falkland Islands Museum and the Jane Cameron National Archives which would welcome you as a member.
You might also like to visit the websites of the Falkland Islands Association and the Falkland Dockyard Museum, and if you want to find out more about the islands generally, visit the Falkland Islands Tourist Board.
For all enquiries and further information please CONTACT US