A MEMORIAL to the hundreds of civilians killed in the Blitz was unveiled in Portsmouth today.
The victims of German bombers have finally been remembered thanks to one tenacious pensioner.
For 27 years, Jean Louth has been battling to create a monument to honour all those from the city killed during the Second World War.
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The 82-year-old’s efforts have already seen the names of hundreds of RAF and army personnel from the area killed in the conflict between 1939-1945 added to Portsmouth’s war memorial in Guildhall Square.
Now Mrs Louth has gone one step further – by honouring some 1,000 civilians from the city killed during the six-year war, alongside the 2,000 servicemen and women already on the monument.
It’s one of the few memorials of its kind in the country and has left city leaders stunned in admiration.
Today the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr David Fuller praised Mrs Louth, of Wakefords Way, Havant, for her determination.
She told the crowd who gathered for the ceremony: ‘This was something I felt I had to do - not just for my father but for all those who died.’
Speaking after the ceremony, Mrs Louth said: ‘I know that if my mum and dad were looking down on me now, they would be proud of what I have achieved.’
The unveiling was attending by civic leaders from the city and a number of family members and friends of those commemorated.
Among them included twins Stan and Barry Spooner, both 76.
The brothers were born ten days after their father, Stanley, was killed in the Blitz when German bombers attacked Portsmouth for the first time on July 11, 1940.
Stanley, 28, was a policeman at the time and was evacuating frightened families into an air raid shelters when he was killed. He became the first police officer in Britain to lose his life during the Blitz.
Proud son Stan, of Denmead, said: ‘My father was a hero and it was pretty difficult growing up without him.
‘He was a father of five children but ten days after his death he was a father of seven.
‘We’re incredibly proud that he finally has his name on a memorial.’
Brother Barry, of Weymouth, added: ‘My father was trying to protect people when he died.
‘He was telling a painter to get into cover when they both got hit.
‘He never went into the air raid shelter himself. He was just trying to save as many people as he could.’