The Battle of Goose Green was an engagement between British and Argentine forces on 28 and 29 May 1982 during the Falklands War. Located on East Falkland’s central isthmus, the settlement of Goose Green was the site of an airfield. Argentine forces were in a well-defended position, within striking distance of San Carlos Water, where the British task force had made its amphibious landing.
The main body of the British assault force was the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment (2 Para), commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Jones. BBC radio broadcast news of the imminent attack on Goose Green. Knowing that this had likely forewarned the Argentinian defenders, the broadcast provoked immediate criticism from Jones and other British personnel.
After the attack began in the early hours of 28 May 1982, the 2 Para advance was stalled by fixed trenches with interlocking fields of fire. Jones was killed during a solo charge on an enemy machine-gun post. The Argentinian garrison agreed to a ceasefire and formally surrendered the following morning. As a result of their actions, both Jones and his successor as commanding officer of the battalion, Major Chris Keeble, were awarded medals: Jones received a posthumous Victoria Cross and Keeble received the Distinguished Service Order.
Death of H. Jones
With both A and B Companies advance halted and the entire attack in jeopardy, the 2 Para Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jones led an unsuccessful charge up a small gully to try to regain the initiative. Three of his men, his adjutant Captain Wood, A Company’s second-in-command Captain Dent, and Corporal Hardman, were killed when they followed his charge. Shortly after that, Jones was seen to run west along the base of Darwin Ridge to a small re-entrant, followed by his bodyguard. He checked his Sterling submachine gun, then ran up the hill towards an Argentine trench. He was seen to be hit once, then fell, got up, and was hit again from the side. He fell metres short of the trench, shot in the back and the groin, and died within minutes.[Note 9] Jones was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.