A MEMORIAL to lives lost in Portsmouth during the Second World War has been unveiled after a 23-year campaign.
The names of 610 men, women and children have been added to the wall next to Guildhall Square thanks to donations from businesses and members of the public.
As the Union Flag fluttered to the ground Jean Louth, who has spent more than two decades fundraising, saw her dream of having a total of 3,000 names on the memorial take a big step forward.
‘It means the beginning of the end of the campaign to get these names up there,’ she said.
‘This is for the ordinary people of Portsmouth who have lost their loved ones and have supported me and sent me money.
‘Apart from three or four big firms it has been mostly the people of Portsmouth that have made this possible.’
Jean also thanked The News for supporting her campaign from the start 23 years ago and the leader of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is also a long-term supporter of the campaign.
He said: ‘I am honoured to have been part of the official unveiling of panels bearing the names of more than 600 brave men and women from our city who gave their lives during World War Two.
‘The memorial will ensure their names live on, and that feels especially fitting in the week before Remembrance Sunday, when all our thoughts turn to the sacrifices made by those who have died serving their country.’
He added that he is grateful to Wightlink, Veolia, Parkwood and the estate of JF Hooper for their donations, but that a further £55,000 is still needed to finish off the memorial.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas also attended the unveiling, along with representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Royal Navy and Clive Tilley, commercial director at Wightlink.
How you can donate to the memorial fund
A £30 donation pays for a single name to be engraved on the memorial.
The memorial fund is being administered by Portsmouth City Council on behalf of the trustees. Anyone who would like to contribute can donate in the following ways:
· Online using a credit or debit card by visiting portsmouth.gov.uk.
· In person through cashiers at the Civic Offices in Guildhall Square.
· By sending a cheque or postal order to World War Two Memorial Fund, Cashiers, Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL.