Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan tears up as he unveils Second World War plaque commemorating his grandfather

THE heroism of a man who fought to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation is one of the biggest inspirations for a Portsmouth MP.

Saturday, 6th July 2019, 6:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th July 2019, 3:02 pm

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has paid a heartfelt tribute to James Kaminski – his grandfather – after unveiling a plaque in his honour outside the D-Day Story Museum in Southsea on Saturday.

The plaque is one of many that sit outside the museum, each serving as a reminder of how many men led the charge on Normandy from Portsmouth.

Serving in the Royal Army Service Corps, Kaminski survived the D-Day landings and lived a happy life after the war, working for what has now become BAE Systems.

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Stephen Morgan, MP unveils the brick to grandfather, James Kaminski. Picture: Keith Woodland (060719-22)

For the Labour MP, his grandfather is his biggest inspiration behind his work, particularly into the welfare of veterans in the UK.

Mr Morgan said: ‘It was his 17th birthday when he landed on Juno Beach with the Canadians.

‘He spent the rest of the war as a driver, doing his part in the fight through mainland Europe and even as far as Palestine and Israel.

‘His first job when he came back to Portsmouth was actually delivering lemonade across the city.’

James Kaminski, Stephen Morgan's grandfather. Picture: Keith Woodland (060719-49)

Mr Kaminski died in 2012 – but growing up with him, the Portsmouth South MP says he learned a lot from his grandfather about serving the place you live.

Mr Morgan wishes he had quizzed his grandfather more about the war when he was growing up, but knows all too well how difficult it is for ex-service personnel to open up about their time in active service.

‘When we were growing up he didn’t talk about the war very much – he didn’t really want to and I understand that,’ he said.

‘My grandfather had a huge sense of civic pride; he put his life on the line for the benefit of others and was hugely proud of the city he was born and raised in.

‘It's why I do all I can to work with the armed forces community here in Portsmouth, I feel I owe that to him.’