Standing on the slippery, moss-blanketed stone wall’s edge of the round tower, I gaze down as the autumn rain falls from the black sky into the depths of the harbour’s filthy blue oggin. Their youthful faces, sometimes covered up by lily white anti-flash gear, still confront me in my terror-ridden dreams as their flammable rig drags them back into the rapidly-sinking ship’s blazing inferno, as Douglas A-4 Skyhawks fly overhead. Their screams will never leave me.

A now-forgotten war over an archipelago on the other side of the planet that I had first thought were the Hebrides. As the naïve and uneducated 16-year-old I was, I had even asked my kellick: why has Argentina invaded Scotland?

Stood tall atop this tower built on the orders of King Henry V, the Rock of Gibraltar enters what remains of my mind, the part that hasn’t been taken away by alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce and homelessness. One of the final times I remember joy, laughter, and camaraderie was when we glanced across to the northern coast of Morocco. Barbary macaque apes leapt on board Smudger Smith’s back as we almost fell off the edge of the monolithic limestone promontory into the Mediterranean with seizures of hilarity. Losing my virginity to a beautiful young Spanish waitress the same evening in a secluded alley adjacent to Grand Casemates Square. After we kissed good night, she hurried across the border to her home in La Línea de la Concepción. I promised to meet up with her the next day on Winston Churchill Avenue.

The following afternoon, Thatcher sent the signal for all active ships to proceed south to rendezvous near Ascension.

I will now down the remains of this bottle of Pusser’s Rum and spread my arms like the wings of the Argentine Air Force Jet that led me to where I stand tonight, before casting myself into the Solent. From here, my body will proceed to drown or freeze over in home waters, a true sailor’s burial at sea. Yet my soul sank to the bottom of the South Atlantic on May 25th, 1982, along with 19 of my closest friends.