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Father’s name finally added to Portsmouth Second World War memorial

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Almost 25 years after she first started campaigning, Jean Louth has today finally seen her father’s name honoured on Portsmouth’s Second World War memorial.

The 80-year-old, whose father Harry Short was killed in Dunkirk, wanted to see the names of all those who died during the war added to the memorial in Guildhall Square.

This morning, after a military parade to celebrate Armed Forces Day, one of the final plaques was unveiled.

Mrs Louth said: ‘It is everything I wished for.

‘My dad would have probably said about blooming time.

‘He was a regular soldier so he was one of the first to go and before that he had been all over the world.

‘They never found his body.

‘So it’s nice now to have somewhere to come and see his name.

‘They deserve this. He is mentioned in Dunkirk on a grave there but why not in his home city?’

Portsmouth City Council recently pledged to fork out £27,000 to finish the project.

Jean Louth has dedicated her life to remembering the father she lost as a child and the thousands of others who were killed during the Second World War.

Harry Short never made it home from the Second World War.

Killed in action at Dunkirk on May 26, 1940, his body was never found leaving Jean and her brothers, Ron and David, in limbo with no grave to visit.

The brave bombardier has been the inspiration for Jean’s incredible campaign to see a memorial erected in Portsmouth to commemorate the lives of those killed during the Second World War.

Harry was among the allied troops who found themselves stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 and as the evacuation process began he was one of many presumed shot and killed.

It was in 1979 when Jean and husband Bob discovered there wasn’t a Second World War memorial in Portsmouth that she first began campaigning for one to be built.

Neither of them could believe a city that had seen so many losses during the war didn’t already have one.

In 1989 The News backed Jean’s efforts and the campaign began in earnest.

Over the years the donations started to come in until there was finally enough money to build the memorial.

READ MORE

‘I’ll never give up — my dad didn’t’. Read The News’ interview with Jean Louth about what inspired her and kept her going throughout her campaign.

 

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