Campaign launched to add 128 'missing names' onto Portsmouth's Falklands Memorial
MISSING names of the fallen heroes who gave their lives to retake the Falkland Islands are to be added to a memorial ahead of the 40th anniversary of the conflict.
A £10,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to finally honour the 128 soldiers, airmen and civilians killed during the bloody 74-day battle.
It’s hoped the extra names will feature on a new plaque at Old Portsmouth’s Falklands Memorial site, near the Square Tower.
Currently, only those from the navy who lost their lives during the 1982 conflict are honoured at the site.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Falklands veteran Barrie Jones and has the ‘full backing’ of Portsmouth City Council.
‘This is the missing piece to finally complete the memorial,’ said Mr Jones, 62, of Laburnum Grove, North End.
‘Even though it was originally put in in 1982 as a maritime memorial, it has always felt incomplete.
‘When you look at the different people attending memorial services each year, we get a lot of the lads from the Parachute Regiment coming down.
‘The Paras lost a lot of their lads during the Falklands. It’s not fair that their names aren’t on the memorial. They deserve to be honoured too.’
The new tablet will be installed next to the current tribute. Two new benches will also be bought, facing out to sea behind the memorial.
The leader of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, is firmly on board with the plan and has already asked English Heritage for permission to go ahead with the memorial addition.
Councillor Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We will make sure this happens. Barrie is right. People in the Paras march past the memorial every year and the names of their colleagues and mates who died aren’t displayed.
‘I can understand there’s a feeling of being excluded.’
Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: ‘This is a sensible thing to do and we will get it done before the 40th anniversary.’
The Falklands War started on April 2, 1982 and ended with the Argentinean surrender on June 14.
Three Falklands civilians and 255 British servicemen died, while an estimated 650 Argentinians were killed.
Much of the Royal Navy task force sent to liberate the British colony set off from Portsmouth.
More than £1,300 has so far been raised for the upgrade.
To support the memorial upgrade fundraiser, see https://gofund.me/5adf599e