Anger over gun as it fails to turn up for services

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VETERANS have told people holding up a war memorial to stop blocking its progress.

A 25-pounder gun was supposed to be loaned to Gosport Borough Council for D-Day commemorations.

But the gun still is not in place four months after the centenary and a year after the plans were first floated.

Now there are fears it will not be in place for Remembrance Sunday.

Falklands veteran Derek Kimber has stepped into the fold demanding the Royal Armouries cut out bureaucracy and deliver the gun.

He told The News: ‘Let’s get the damn thing down there.

‘If it’s the will of the people that we have a gun to remember people who went to fight, then we should have it.

‘With quite a lot of these things it’s too much trouble for somebody.’

It comes after Councillor Roger Allen launched a bid in October to bring the weapon from Fort Nelson, part of the Royal Armouries, to Gosport.

Cllr Allen, armed forces champion at the council, said: ‘It’s a bit galling.

‘They’ve got some convoluted system where it has to go through the Royal Armouries board.

‘They’re a group of people into it for a hobby.’

The gun was due to be installed in June at the green at the slipway, off Priory Road.

That plan was postponed when organisers realised they could not fit in people for the ceremony and the gun – and the weapon was not ready.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn represents Hardway at Hampshire County Council.

He said: ‘It was very sad it wasn’t in place for D-Day and it’s not going to be in place for Remembrance Sunday.

‘Cllr Allen has failed to deliver on his promises. He can blame everyone but he should look to himself.’

The council has improved the green but the gun was meant to be the centrepiece for commemorations in June.

Jeanette Perry, from community group a Voice for Gosport, said it was upsetting the gun had not been put in.

She said: ‘It seems a bit of a long time. We’ve got the Remembrance Sunday coming. It’s a bit upsetting.’

The gun must be decommissioned before it can be handed to the council.

A Royal Armouries spokeswoman at Fort Nelson said the loan was being processed but as the gun is part of a national collection it needs accreditation before it can be loaned.