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Forgotten Falklands sailor finally honoured after 33 year battle by Armed Forces heroes

A SAILOR who died when HMS Sheffield was hit by a missile in the Falklands War is finally being honoured after a 33 year battle - thanks to a worldwide petition of disgusted Armed Forces' heroes.

Royal Navy cook David 'Ozzie' Osborne, 22, perished on the Type-42 Guided Missile Destroyer when it was hit by an Argentinean Exocet on May 4, 1982.

For years relatives begged to have his name on the Old Colwyn War Memorial, in North Wales, but officials refused arguing he wasn't Welsh - despite being born and raised there.

Crazily, memorial trustees insisted as he moved to Portsmouth, in Hants, when he was 10 his name should be inscribed there instead.

Recently a furious online petition was launched with 3,188 British Army, Navy and Air Force veterans from as far as Australia, South Africa and the US blasting the ridiculous red-tape ban.

Today trustees finally relented and declared they are now "only too pleased" to add his name, thanks to the outcry by the Royal Navy Type 42 Destroyers Association.

Kevin Hackett, an association spokesman, said: "We have been informed that cook David E Osborne's name will indeed now be added to the war memorial after 33 years.

"We are obviously very happy for Joyce Osborne - David's mother - and the rest of the family that this is going to happen."

David, who had two older brothers and had two sisters, joined the Royal Navy on February 17, 1976.

David's uncle Ronald Chapman, 77, has fought to get his nephew added to Old Colwyn War Memorial since 2003 but David's mother Joyce has been fighting for it since her son's tragic death.

So far David's name is only listed on two South Atlantic Medal Association memorials - one in the Falklands Islands and the other at the National Arboretum, in Staffs.

His name on this memorial acknowledges his sacrifice and reminds future generations of this

Disgusted Wayne Miles

The stubborn Old Colwyn Memorial Trust (OCMT) refused to inscribe his name on their memorial by claiming although he was born in their town - he grew up from the age of 10 in Portsmouth.

They said his name must be on the Portsmouth navy memorial - but when veterans confirmed his name was not on that either, the OCMT finally relented.

The online petition by the North West and North Wales Division Royal Navy Type 42 Destroyer Association received thousands of signatures.

Disgusted Wayne Miles, of Emsworth, Hants, wrote: "He gave his life for the freedom of others. His name on this memorial acknowledges his sacrifice and reminds future generations of this."

Furious schoolmate Bernard Campbell, of Liverpool, said: "I could not believe my old friend who gave his life for his country has been treated this way.

"This has to be sorted out ASAP as I believe his dear mother is seriously ill; hasn't she suffered enough with the loss of her son?"

Angry Rob Jones, of Wanaka, New Zealand, wrote: "As a former Royal Marine I believe it is only right we commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our way of life."

Baffled David Edwards, of Neath, South Wales, said: "He was proud of where he came from. Surely where he came from should be proud of him?"

William Tunnicliffe, of Argostoli, in Greece, said: "David was a son of Colwyn Bay and should be honoured in his birthplace."

David's uncle Mr Chapman said: "I'm an ex-army serviceman myself and I always think that regardless of when it happened, everyone should be remembered on a memorial."

His mother Joyce Osborne, 81 - who now resides in an Old Colwyn care home, said she was very grateful to all who supported the family in getting his name now included.

She said: "All of my children and my husband were born in Old Colwyn - we're an Old Colwyn family.

"I'd love to see his name on the memorial where he was born."

HMS Sheffield (D80) was launched on June 1971 and was part of the Task Force sent by Margaret Thatcher to the Falkland Islands during the conflict.

But she was struck by an Exocet cruise missile fired by the Argentine Navy on 4 May 1982.

The ship finally sank on 10 May, becoming the first British Navy vessel lost since the Second World War.


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