Unsung heroes who have contributed to Portsmouth are honoured by prime minister

TWO volunteers who have made exceptional contributions to Portsmouth have been honoured by the prime minister.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 5:24 am
Updated Saturday, 17th March 2018, 11:20 am
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Jean Louth and Allan Thompson were each honoured with a Point of Light award, run by Theresa May.

Yesterday, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Ken Ellcome met the pair in his parlour at the Guildhall to thank them for the contribution the city.

Jean, 84, spent 27 years campaigning for a Second World War memorial plaque in Portsmouth which features the names of 3,436 people who lost their lives during the war.

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Jean Louth at the war memorial she campaigned for Picture: Malcolm Wells (160906-5240)

Meanwhile, Allan is the volunteer responsible for renovating Portsmouth’s only First World War museum, the World War One Remembrance Centre at Hilsea, despite being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

He has overcame many setbacks to his work including when vandals caused thousands of pounds damage by throwing books through the window.

The 86-year-old said: ‘I am so pleased and delighted to receive this award.

‘I have been working hard for the past three years to restore this wonderful, historic building using my knowledge of traditional building and carpentry techniques.

Jean Louth at the war memorial she campaigned for Picture: Malcolm Wells (160906-5240)

‘I am so pleased to see visitors from the UK, especially children, and many parts of the world coming in to remember and keep alive the memories of all the people involved in the Great War – a lost generation.’

In her letter to Allan, Mrs May wrote: ‘By renovating the World War One Remembrance Centre in Portsmouth, you have ensured that your community has a place to honour those who sacrificed so much for our country.

‘You should be very proud of drawing on your military and engineering expertise to complete the renovations and preserve Portsmouth’s military history.’

Jean is another unsung hero in Portsmouth after securing thousands of pounds from Portsmouth City Council and the public towards the cost of engraving names on the Second World War memorial plaque.

She wrote to each individual person who donated to thank them personally.

In a personal letter to Jean, Mrs May wrote: ‘As a nation, we have a duty to honour those who sacrificed their lives for our country.

‘Through your dedication to commemorating those who were killed in World War Two in Portsmouth, you have given many people in your community the opportunity to pay their respects to their lost loved ones.’

Jean said: ‘I am just an ordinary woman but when I discovered there wasn’t a war memorial in our great city of Portsmouth for the servicemen who fought and died during the Second World War I had to do something.

‘My father was one of those men who were killed during the war; I wanted to see his name honoured on a memorial in the city of his birth and so began my 27-year campaign.

‘I am so grateful I was able to achieve this. I am honoured to receive this award for my efforts.’