Kate's friend vows to clear father's name over Falklands disaster

Princess of Wales’ schoolfriend vows to clear her late father’s name over Falklands disaster which saw dozens killed in attack on Sir Galahad ship

  • 56 men died on the support ship ‘Sir Galahad’, bombed during the Falklands War
  • Col. Guy Sayle was blamed for putting his troops on board at risk for decades 

A school friend of the Princess of Wales is campaigning to clear her late father’s name after he suffered decades of blame for Britain’s worst Falklands War disaster.

Emma Sayle said her father Colonel Guy Sayle died ‘haunted and penniless’ aged 76 last year after he was made a ‘scapegoat’ for the deaths of 32 Welsh Guards on the support ship Sir Galahad when it was bombed by Argentine warplanes.

Now a book by historian Crispin Black, who survived the attack as a young Welsh Guards officer, backs Ms Sayle by claiming that recently declassified military files absolve her father.

The Welsh Guards under Sayle were among 56 men killed in the attack on Sir Galahad and sister ship Sir Tristram on June 8, 1982.

The family of the late Colonel Guy Sayle are campaigning to clear his name after he faced decades of blame for the loss of life aboard RFA Sir Galahad in the Falklands War. Pictured: Colonel Guy Sayle and his daughters Emma and Georgie

HMS Sir Galahad pictured during the

More than 100 troops were wounded, some burned almost beyond recognition, including Welsh Guard Simon Weston, who was then aged 20. 

READ MORE: New book from Falklands war survivor sparks fresh controversy – were British soldiers left as sitting ducks in the attack on RFA Sir Galahad? 


For decades Sayle was accused of putting his troops at risk after he refused to disembark over fears his men would be dropped without vital kit 15 miles from Bluff Cove, where the rest of the battalion had landed the previous night.

But Black’s book Too Thin For A Shroud reveals that Task Force Commander in Chief Admiral Sir John Fieldhouse reported at the time that Sayle’s actions had been ‘justified and prudent’. 

Ms Sayle, 44, said last night: ‘This is our Hillsborough moment.’ She called for a full independent inquiry and a public apology.

Ms Sayle, a rowing partner of Kate Middleton, whom she met at Downe House school in Berkshire, said: ‘Dad had to live with this for 40 years, it haunted him. 

‘That’s not something I’m prepared to forget, especially as he died last year penniless in church accommodation.’

Sayle’s ex-wife Malvin, 71, blamed naval officers for accusing him in books and interviews. 

She said: ‘I started getting calls such as “How can you stay married to a murderer?”, “Why don’t you just f*** off and die?”.

‘I was spat at, people crossed the street when they saw me.’

8 June 1982: Survivors of the RFA Sir Galahad air attack coming ashore in life rafts at San Carlos Bay, as the supply ship blazes in the background

Kate Middleton (L) and Emma Sayle (R) pictured together, lunching in West London

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Southby-Tailyour claimed in his memoir that Sayle disobeyed his order to leave Sir Galahad.

But Black claims this must be untrue since Sayle was above Southby-Tailyour in the chain of command.

Last night, Southby-Tailyour, 81, accused Black of ‘rewriting history’ and said he stood by his account. Other senior naval figures backed him over Black’s claims.

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