Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Written Statement on the murder of Lord Mountbatten

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: No.10 Downing Street
Source: Thatcher Archive
Editorial comments: The statement was issued during the afternoon (from Chequers, via No.10) on behalf of the Government as a whole. (BBC Radio News Report 1800 27 August 1979 carries a report of this statement.)
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 214
Themes: Monarchy, Northern Ireland, Terrorism

“We have learned with grief and shock of the death of Lord Mountbatten and of those with him. Our country has suffered a great loss.

Lord Mountbatten's service to Great Britain spans three reigns and two world wars. His life ran like a golden thread of inspiration and service through the history of our country in this century. He was one of our greatest commanders and a great seaman.

His service as the pioneer and Chief of Combined Operations, and as Supreme Allied Commander in South East Asia made a contribution without parallel to the defeat of tyranny in the Second World War.

But both in war and in peace Lord Mountbatten did more than his duty. He did not simply follow the rules: he made them. It was his genius as a man of ideas and his readiness to challenge established custom which so endeared him not only to the Royal Navy, but to the whole British people.

His life was a sequence of service to peoples the world over. To his courage in battle he added the moral courage of the statesman. He was dedicated to building a better world for and through the young people of all nations.

He was a legend in his lifetime. His death leaves a gap which can never be filled.

The British people give thanks for his life and grieve at his passing.”