MORE names have ben added to a Second World War memorial – and the race is on to finish it before next year’s 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Jean Louth, from Havant, has been campaigning for 20 years to see her dad’s name on the Second World War memorial in Guildhall Square, as well as all the other servicemen and women and civilians who died during the war.
A new panel was added yesterday to replace one which was damaged as it was being laid in place in May.
The latest addition saw 111 names joining the 610 that were put on the memorial last year.
Jean was joined by Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Steve Wylie and families of servicemen and women listed on the memorial. Together, Cllr Vernon-Jackson and Jean unveiled the plaque.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘With the new plaque, we are down to the name Scott so we need to make sure we can complete it and it remembers the 2,000 servicemen and women who lost their lives in the army, the navy and the air force, and also the people who died in the Blitz.’
Jean added it was wonderful to be able to stand there and have somewhere to pay tribute.
She said: ‘It is wonderful but it will be even more wonderful next time when my dad’s name is on there.
‘It’s not there yet but it will be next time and on that day I’m sure there will be tears.’
But funding is still needed to complete the memorial.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We need money to make sure we can still get this completed by next year for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
‘It is a fitting memorial to the people who gave their lives in the last war and we should never forget them.
‘But I think Portsmouth has not been good as a city.
‘We didn’t build this after the last war and should have done, so we are righting something wrong that happened 70-odd years ago and we need to make sure it gets done properly.’
As previously reported in The News, the memorial opened in 2005 and there was a renewed bid to raise £90,000 to put in more panels with around 3,000 names.
Six panels with 1,200 names are due to be added next year.
To make a donation visit portsmouth.gov.uk
FAMILY PAY TRIBUTE TO THEIR LOST LOVED ONE
A FAMILY paid tribute to their lost loved ones at the updated Second World War memorial.
Lin Atkinson was joined by four generations of her family to lay flowers by her grandad’s name on the memorial in Guildhall Square.
Lin, aged 50, from Baffins, was devastated when the panel with her grandad’s name, Gordon Edward Heasman, fell down.
Every week she would visit the site to see if it was fixed and yesterday, she got to see the new panel which also featured new names of fallen war heroes.
Lin said: ‘When I saw it, I rang all the family and we went down to pay tribute.
‘My grandad died aged just 33 when his plane crashed in Holland.
‘He was a flight engineer.’
Lin added that it was great more names had been put on the memorial.
She said: ‘It is nice that families can have somewhere to come to pay tribute to their loved ones.’
Lin has put together a video of her grandad’s role during the war and how he died.