Portsmouth war hero James Ockendon’s bench restored

Sgt James Ockendon
Sgt James Ockendon

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A MEMORIAL to one of the city’s greatest First World War heroes has been restored.

Workers at Portsmouth Craft and Manufacturing Industries have given a bench in Burgoyne Gardens, Southsea, a facelift.

Sgt James Ockendon's medals

Sgt James Ockendon's medals

It is dedicated to Sgt James Ockendon, a regular in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who was awarded the Military Medal for rallying and leading his men forward after a heavy enemy barrage had caused many casualties and his battalion to become separated.

He was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy, after action in Belgium in October 1917.

Sgt Ockendon returned to cheering crowds in his home city of Portsmouth and his achievements were recognised by the council naming of Ockendon Close in Southsea. A smaller version of the bench has also been presented to his son, who is also called James Ockendon, 89, pictured on the restored bench.