Memorials will have names of the fallen added

Councillor Mike Fairhurst at Havant war memorial
Councillor Mike Fairhurst at Havant war memorial

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ATTEMPTS are being made to add names to war memorials of armed forces personnel who have died in conflicts since the Second World War.

Councillors Mike Fairhurst and Leah Turner, who sit on Havant Borough Council, want to see the borough’s memorials updated with names so they can be rightly honoured.

But it has proven difficult to trace people with links to Havant.

Cllr Fairhurst said: ‘It was pointed out by a resident on Remembrance Day last year that Havant War Memorial had no names of anyone who had died since the end of the Second World War.

‘It seemed unlikely that no-one from Havant had been killed in the many wars and conflicts this country has been engaged in since 1945 as we have a strong local tradition of service in the armed forces.

‘You might imagine that there is one government department that would be responsible for compiling all the names of those who die in conflict and that there would be some rules about who is responsible for the upkeep of war memorials, but you would be wrong on both counts.

‘In an essentially British way, it is all down to local people to sort this out.’

Although there is an Armed Forces Memorial Database it is not considered a validated source of historical information.

So far the names of three soldiers and a marine have been put forward.

They died in conflicts ranging from Palestine, in 1947, to Afghanistan, in 2012.

The names will be added to whichever war memorial in the borough is deemed the most appropriate.

But the main one is at the crossroads of North, South, East and West Streets in Havant, next to St Faith’s Church.

Cllr Fairhurst added: ‘War memorials are the responsibility of whoever erected them – although where there is no clear responsibility the local authority has the ability to assume it. And there are also no rules about whose name can be put on a war memorial.

‘We can decide to commemorate people who died in battle, those who died later from their wounds, those who died in a war zone but not from enemy action, servicemen and women only or civilian, too.

‘It is really down to us to decide.’

E-mail mike.fairhurst@havant.gov.uk or write to Havant Borough council, Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, PO9 2AX.