Portsmouth D-Day hero John Jenkins immortalised on war memorial wall

THE legacy of a D-Day hero who survived the atrocities of the Second World War has been honoured by a museum.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 12:00 am
John Jenkins's grandaughters (left and right) Fiona Collins, Alison Baynes and daughter Diane Broome. Picture: Sarah Standing (100220-7274)

John Jenkins’s name has been added to a new memorial wall at Southsea’s D-Day Story, which is remembering all those who fought during the war.

And his name has taken centre place in the tribute, which has space to honour about 10,000 war heroes.

The unveiling took place in front of museum staff, local dignitaries and Mr Jenkins’s family after an earlier memorial service at Portsmouth Cathedral.

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Roger Ching, chairman of the Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust. Picture: Sarah Standing (100220-7257)

Roger Ching, chairman of the Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust, said it was the least the site could do to commemorate the former soldier, who had been their star volunteer since 2005.

‘John was our local hero, friend and colleague – we’re all going to miss him dearly,’ he said. ‘All the staff and volunteers thought the world of him.

‘To have the ability to see his name on that plaque at the centre of the wall is wonderful. We feel honoured to have him there.’

Tim Rusby, trustee of the D-Day Museum Trust, was the man behind the memorial wall, which is raising cash to fund an educational programme at the heritage site.

John Jenkins's brick has taken centre place in the wall. Picture: Sarah Standing (100220-7293)

He said the wall had already had a huge impact on the museum, with about 300 bricks honouring veterans so far installed.

‘This is about remembrance,’ he added. ‘The wall has also become a place of family pilgrimage.

‘There are two sisters from Waterlooville and Fareham who come to remember their brothers who fought during D-Day – one of the brothers died on his 18th birthday and the other survived.

‘It’s a really important place for families to honour their loved ones.’

D-Day veteran John Jenkins had a brick placed on the D-Day Story's memorial wall in his honour. The event took place on Monday, February 10. Picture: Sarah Standing (100220-7287)

Bricks can be purchased for a minimum donation of £100. Larger unit badge plaques can be under for £500. For details, see theddaystory.com or visit the museum.