Portsmouth war memorials given extra special status to mark centenary of the Battle of Jutland

The war memorial in Guildhall Square, PortsmouthThe war memorial in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth
The war memorial in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth
THEY'RE engraved with the names of thousands of men and women who died for their country in battle.

Now Portsmouth’s war memorials have been given a more protected status to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland – one of the most destructive naval fights in history.

Portsmouth Naval Memorial, one of three in the UK with a 100-foot high Portland obelisk designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, has been upgraded to the highest listing – Grade I – by Historic England.

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The city is also home to a distinctive memorial in Guildhall Square, which has been upgraded to Grade II.

Raised to commemorate the war dead of both the army and the navy in the First World War, it is inscribed with the names of 4,500 people, 500 of whom died at the Battle of Jutland.

Tory culture boss, Councillor Linda Symes, said: ‘It’s a wonderful reflection of how we should honour those peopled who gave their lives, so we can have the lives we have got today.

‘It’s important that we should never forget.

And those memorials, to the people who made the ultimate sacrifice, are wonderful.

‘It’s only right they get extra special protection.’

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The Guildhall memorial, and its larger-than-life stone machine gunners, carved by the renowned sculptor Charles Sergeant Jagger, was unveiled in 1921 by Queen Victoria’s grandson, the Duke of Connaught.

Campaigner Jean Louth, of West Leigh, spent more than two decades campaigning to get the names of everyone from Portsmouth who died during the Second World 
War put on a memorial in front of the First World War tribute.

Jean, whose father Harry Short died in the Second World War, said: ‘We must keep these memorials updated. Their names won’t live forever if they are battered about, they must be kept up to scratch.’

It comes as scores of people headed to see the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s latest display, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War.

The exhibition is the first of its kind ahead of the centenary of the First World War battle, which killed more than 6,000 British sailors.

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