Her tenacious campaign was never about personal glory

It had taken 27 long years, but her dream had finally become reality.

Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 2:58 pm

Yet as the new war memorial for which she campaigned so hard was finally unveiled in Portsmouth yesterday, an emotional Jean Louth was only reluctantly centre stage.

Because her tenacious campaign to get a monument built to the 1,000 city civilians killed in the Second World War was never, ever about self-aggrandisement.

What originally drove her on was a determination to honour her father, Harry Short, who was killed in action at Dunkirk. Despite his bravery, his name did not feature on any memorials in his home city.

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That led to hundreds of RAF and army personnel from the area who died between 1939 and 1945 being added to Portsmouth’s existing war memorial.

Now, thanks to Mrs Louth, they have been joined on a separate memorial by a list of civilians who also paid the ultimate price in devastating wartime air raids on the city.

From policemen, firefighters and paramedics to innocent children and entire families, it is absolutely right that their names are included.

Twin brothers Stan and Barry Spooner, who lost their policeman father Stanley in the Blitz of July 11, 1940, 10 days before they were born, said: ‘What Jean has done for the families of the victims is just fantastic.’

Selfless Stanley was trying to get people into an air raid shelter when he was killed.

Not surprisingly, there are now calls for Mrs Louth to be honoured by the Queen for her tireless work.

We would certainly endorse that.

But we also know that she is not one for personal glory.

For her, the belief that her mother and father looking down on her would be proud of what she has achieved is reward enough.

Truly, a remarkable lady.