Fox Bay

Fox Bay

Fox Bay (Spanish: "Bahia Fox" or "Bahia Zorro" [http://www.pcgn.org.uk/Falkland%20Islands-July2006.pdf] ) is the second largest settlement on West Falkland in the Falkland Islands. It is located on a bay of the same name, and is on the south east coast of the island. It is often divided into Fox Bay East ("FBE") and Fox Bay West ("FBW") making it two settlements, combined, these make the largest settlement on West Falkland, but when separated, Port Howard is the largest. It takes its name, like the Warrah River, from the extinct Falkland Islands Fox

Fox Bay East's houses are scattered around a common. There is a school, a shop, and a post office which was founded in the 1890s. There is also a social club, and a refuelling base for RAF helicopters.

Fox Bay has two airstrips for use by FIGAS Islander aircraft.

Fox Bay West was once as large as FBE, but since the farm was subdivided and sold off in 1985 the number of residents has diminished. Up until the 1990s, the track between the two settlements was "so bad that [it was] often impassable in the winter months." Wigglesworth, Angela. (1992) "Falkland People". Pub. Peter Owen. ISBN 0-7206-0850-3] , but an all weather track was built in the early 1990s improving communications between the two settements. This was one of the first roads in the now extensive West Roads scheme.

History

Louis Baillon, the Olympic field hockey player was born in Fox Bay on 5 August 1881.

Fox Bay East Settlement was bought by the Falklands government from Packe Brothers in 1983, not long after the Falklands War.Wigglesworth, Angela. (1992) "Falkland People". Pub. Peter Owen. ISBN 0-7206-0850-3.] The rest of the farm was divided into three and sold privately, with the owners buying houses in the settlement.

From the 1880s until 1972, Darwin and Fox Bay had their own separate medical officers. Nowadays, most medical care is based in Stanley.

Fox Bay West was subdivided and sold by the FIC in 1985.

Businesses here have included a market garden, a fish farm (salmon) and a knitting mill, with "Warrah Knitwear".

Falklands War

During the Falklands War, Fox Bay was occupied by Argentine troops, around 900 men from 8th Motorised Infantry Regiment and elements 9th Engineer Company. Several minefields where sowed around both settlements by the troops and these still remain. It was strafed and bombed by British Harrier aircraft and bombarded by the Royal Navy several times during the war. Although Argentine casualties in these attacks where low, the first Harrier attack damaged the ARA Bahía Buen Suceso which was moored at Fox Bay East. The vessel remained at Fox Bay until the end of the war.

On 27 April, 14 people from Stanley whom the Argentines considered "undesirable" were sent to Fox Bay and placed under house arrest for the duration of the Argentine occupation, some of whom were members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force.

Fox Bay was liberated by HMS "Avenger" and Royal Marines from 40 Commando on 15th June 1982 and to this day this date is commemorated by residents as their liberation day.

In 2007, a memorial was erected to commemorate 25 years since the British victory.

A number of Argentine landmines are still around Fox Bay West, and many of the mine related accidents in the Falklands have occurred here.

References


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