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David Ernest Osborne
Parade through Old Colwyn for serviceman David Osborne who died during the Falklands War
By Tom Davidson Daily Post May 9th 2016
A Royal Navy cook who died in the Falklands War has had his name added to his hometown’s war memorial more than 34 years after his death. David Earnest Osborne, 22, died on May 4, 1982 when HMS Sheffield was hit by an Argentinean anti-ship missile. 19 of his shipmates were also killed.
The serviceman who was nicknamed “Ozzie” had moved from Old Colwyn to Portsmouth at the age of 10. Because it was thought that David’s name appeared on a war memorial in Portsmouth The Old Colwyn trustees resisted attempts to include his name. However, during a 10-year campaign it was reported by the Parade Marshal of the Type 42 Destroyer Association that David’s name was not present on the Portsmouth war memorial and that paved the way for the Old Colwyn Memorial Trust committee to green-light his addition.
The service on Saturday was held at the church of St Catherine and St John in Old Colwyn at 11am.
Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, CB, DSC RN, the Mayor of Colwyn Bay Cllr Mrs Sibani Roy, Mayoress Cllr Mrs Merrill Jones took part in the parade through the town.
In December last year a plaque, about nine inches by six inches, was placed on the Old Colwyn war memorial. The ceremony on Saturday dedicated that plaque.
Councillor Brian Cossey, who sits on Old Colwyn’s memorial trust committee, said the town “came to a standstill”. He continued: “It was a very emotional occasion. “The ex-servicemen who attended were very proud and pleased that David has been honoured at long last. “As soon as it was discovered David’s name was not on a memorial in Portsmouth we knew something had to be done.” Mr Osborne’s mum Joyce, who moved back to Old Colwyn since his death, laid a white anchor wreath at the memorial.
Cllr Cossey added: “It was quite a moving occasion, finally giving him the place he deserves so he can be respected and remembered for the sacrifice he gave.”
My favourite memory of David, or ‘Taffy’ as I knew him, was of the first time I saw him after he joined the Royal Navy.
We met up after a Sunday service at the church where we’d played together in the youth club football team. Taffy was obviously proud to be back amongst his friends and family after completing his basic training. However, after the service we still managed to tempt him into an impromptu game of knockabout football, despite the fact he was wearing a spanking new suit and gleaming shoes!
That was Taffy – a genuine lad, full of life and energy, an average footballer (sorry mate!) but a good friend.