The innocent casualties of war won’t be forgotten

The Great South Run

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Stark images of a bloodied Syrian child sitting dazed in the back of an ambulance sparked uproar across the world this week.

It was the perfect illustration of the innocent victims of war – the civilians caught up in the horrors of conflict.

Today it is a picture that is tough to digest.

But if the clock was rolled back some 75 years, at the height of the Blitz, it would have been an all-too-common sight for the residents of bomb-beaten Portsmouth.

As the home of the Royal Navy, the city was under relentless bombardment by the Luftwaffe. Their munitions levelled homes, shops and Scout huts, killing countless innocent lives – young and old.

And yet for almost eight decades there was no tribute to those residents whose lives were cut so brutally short.

Now all that has changed – thanks to the incredible efforts of 82-year-old Jean Louth.

Mrs Louth has been campaigning to honour all those killed in the Second World War.

It was an effort sparked by her own family’s turmoil.

Her father was killed in Dunkirk. For years, Jean and her brothers were left in limbo, with nowhere to mourn their father’s death.

Now, after 27 years of campaigning, she has not only added her father’s name to a war memorial, but 2,000 other servicemen and women and 1,000 civilians killed in Portsmouth.

As Mrs Louth tells us today, a number of these new additions were police officers, paramedics of firemen – all trying to help.

We’re one of the few cities in the country to now honour both war heroes and our civilians on an equal level. Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP is today urging other cities to follow Portsmouth’s example.

That’s something we here at The News would echo.

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