Concerns over moving Gosport’s 
D-Day memorials

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THE secretary of a society that preserves Stokes Bay in Gosport has raised concerns over plans to move D-Day memorials.

Hazel Casey, secretary of Friends of Stokes Bay, said the group has not yet voted on Gosport D-Day Fellowship’s plans but that many people had concerns.

As previously reported in The News, the Fellowship wants to create a D-Day memorial garden in Stokes Bay, in place of the existing shelters.

It hopes to relocate both the monument to Canadian troops in Stokes Bay, along with the plaque commemorating the construction of portable Mulberry harbours.

The group will also replicate the one in Falkland Gardens, near Gosport Ferry terminal.

Mrs Casey said: ‘We’ve been working with the D-Day Fellowship and attending its meetings and liaising and listening to the plans but to date they’ve not come up with costings or definite plans.

‘There’s nothing concrete for us to comment on at the moment.

‘We’re not opposed to having memorial services and things like that in Stokes Bay, we would welcome and support that.

‘What our committee has come up with would be to have interpretation boards in important and relative areas along the bay, as opposed to some sort of memorial garden or development there.

‘Personally, we wouldn’t be in favour of moving any of the memorials that are currently there, as the Canadian memorial was put there by the Canadians and the Mulberry Harbours memorial was funded by the Gosport Society as well.’

Tony Belben, chair of the Gosport D-Day Fellowship, said he wants the Canadian memorial moved as the area is not appropriate.

‘Unfortunately, Gosport in all its wisdom decided that because they were twinned with Royan, they would put a petanque pitch there,’ he said.

‘It happens to be about two feet away from the Canadian stone and rather distracts from the Canadian stone, even at normal times.

‘Usually they have a D-Day ceremony around there and of course when they’re looking at 12 months or 18 months to have a rather big ceremony there, which would be a council run thing, it’s not the place to have it.’

He added: ‘I want something that the people want.’