Moving monuments

The Southsea Coastal Scheme will temporarily dismantle and remove two war memorials from Clarence Parade, Southsea, from 20 November following damage caused during the recent Storm Ciaran. The Trident and Aboukir memorials, near the Royal Naval Memorial, were due to be dismantled during coastal defence works commencing in 2024, but their removal has been accelerated due to foundation damage and concerns for future structural safety after Storm Ciaran last week. Both memorials were erected in honour of officers who died from yellow fever during service. The Trident memorial honours those who died in Sierra Leone in 1859 and the Aboukir memorial is dedicated to those who died on board H.M.S. Aboukir in Jamaica in 1873-74. Following the careful dismantling process, they will be securely stored and refurbished before being reinstated once the coastal defence work in this area is complete and the section of seafront is reopened in 2026. Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Pitt said: "Removing the memorials now is a preventative measure to ensure that no further damage is sustained to them. "This is a proactive approach that ensures these valuable monuments are retained and protected before being reinstated by the Southsea Coastal Scheme. "I hope the community understands that we're removing and restoring these assets because of the potential safety issues and the clear need that they must be tended to in the wake of damage sustained in recent severe weather." Project Director for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, Guy Mason said: "These memorials were due for removal in 2024 and will be treated with dignity and respect, in the same way as all memorials removed and reinstated as part of the Southsea Coastal Scheme. "They will be sensitively dismantled and put together exactly as they were, with restoration work taking place as needed." The Southsea Coastal Scheme is a Portsmouth City Council project and is the UK’s largest local authority-led coastal defence project, worth more than £180M. It will stretch for 4.5km from Old Portsmouth to Eastney, and help to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 10,000 homes and 700 businesses.