Names of war dead to go up in the city

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IT WAS two decades ago that Jean Louth launched a campaign to commemorate the thousands of Portsmouth people who died in the Second World War.

Now enough money has been raised for the first 400 names to go up near the War Memorial in Guildhall Square.

Eventually, campaigner Jean wants to see the names of all 3,000 service people and civilians who died in the war to be at the memorial.

The 76-year-old, of Wakefords Way, Havant, who has been raising cash to pay for the project, said: ‘This is something I have been working on for 22 years and now I feel like a child at Christmas – so excited.

‘Even though we have memorials in Portsmouth, it’s important to name those who lost their lives to give us our freedom.

‘It’s great we’re finally at the stage to get these names up.’

The 400 names will be inscribed on to specially-designed plaques, which will be mounted on walls next to the city centre memorial.

Work will be carried out by Chichester company CWO, which is a specialist stonemason.

So far £24,000 has been raised, with £10,000 being used for the first 400 names.

But another £70,000 is still needed for all 3,000 names.

‘We still need to raise a lot more money though to get all the names up,’ added Jean.

‘The rest of the names will go up as we get the money in.

‘We will be putting a notice up near the memorial so people will know what we’re doing.

‘I want a thermometer gauge so we can see how much more we have left. There have been generous donations – especially from Wightlink – that have helped us get this far.’

Colin Barrell, member of Portsmouth’s World War Two Memorial Fund, said: ‘It’s great we’ve got the money to finally get started. Names will go up alphabetically by surname and we think we should get up to the letter D. It won’t be until August though before we can get the names up. We are still finalising the list of names that will be going up too.’

Anyone wishing to donate money can write to Jean Louth, Portsmouth’s World War Two Memorial Fund, 194 Wakefords Way, West Leigh, Havant, PO9 5QD.