REPAIRS have been made to the memorial for a Poole resident who died in the Falklands war.
Two Dorset residents spent Saturday repairing the memorial of Stephen Ford, who served as a Marine Engineering Mechanic during the Falklands conflict in 1982.
Stephen had been serving onboard HMS Ardent and was one of 22 soldiers to be killed when the ship came under attack on May 21, 1982.
With the 40th anniversary of Stephen’s death approaching, two residents have tidied and re-painted his memorial, which sits at Seaview Point in Poole.
Craig Walen, who served 23 years in the Royal Navy and went to sea cadets with Stephen, was the man to initiate the clean-up.
The memorial had been monitored by Stephen’s dad, but he had passed, and Craig was growing concerned about its condition.
He said: “The memorial sadly on close inspection isn’t looking too good, it has also sadly been vandalised on a couple of occasions.
“Someone had put their coffee on it earlier without realising it’s a war grave. Someone’s given their life for that to be there.
“Serving 23 years in the navy myself, I have that respect for other people that serve. My parents are both service people as well.
“Stephen was a year older than me; I was still a cadet at the outbreak of the Falklands war.
“He was a personal friend to me, and this is a personal journey for me.”
Craig recruited the help of friend and amateur artist Sean Daley to re-touch the memorial. As an ex-Falklands veteran himself, Sean was keen to get involved.
A service of remembrance is also due to be held at the memorial on the Saturday May 21 at 11am to mark the 40-year anniversary.
Craig said: “We are attending to repair and repaint the monument in preparation for the memorial service taking place at the monument.
“The memorial is very precious and a reminder to all.
“Stephen will never be forgotten.”