April 8, 2022 8.51 am

‘There was no such thing as PTSD’: Falklands hero reveals traumas of war

The emotions are as raw as ever

A survivor from the Falklands War has opened up about the traumas he faced in a bid to to make people think about the realities of war.

Rob Hopwood was just 19 went he went to war as an engineer on HMS Penelope in the Royal Navy. Almost 40 years have passed, but Rob still feels the raw emotions and often visits Lincoln’s International Bomber Command Centre in search of peace and perspective.

Speaking about the IBCC’s World War Two tribute, Rob said: “You see all these names, these lads, every night, would take off from base in Lincolnshire, and wouldn’t know if they’d come back the next morning and I sit here and think what that must have been like, month in, month out, year in, year out, not knowing… sacrifice is immense.

Rob said he was proud to serve his country but the traumas of war left him suffering from a “meltdown” afterwards.

He said: “You very much didn’t show your fear or talk about your fear but you don’t know whether you’re going to live through the next day.

“There was no such thing as PTSD… I bottled it up for a long, long time.

“Sending anybody to war is a big decision, the enormity of going to war is immense…people should never underestimate their freedoms.”