Plan to replace stolen tribute to war hero

allander1 - Prescott Bridge
allander1 - Prescott Bridge

The comrade of a bomb disposal expert who died in the Falklands War has pledged to reinstate a memorial plaque for him after it was stolen.

The bronze plaque paid tribute to Staff Sergeant Jim Prescott (37), who was killed instantly when a 1,000lb bomb went off on board HMS Antelope, which sank the following day.

His colleague, Sergeant Major John Phillips (70), who lost his left arm in the same explosion, was upset to hear that the plaque, which was erected in 1990 on the Allander Walkway, in Milngavie, on a bridge later named Prescott Bridge in Jim’s honour, had been stolen.

The bridge was built by a team of men from the Royal Engineers bomb disposal section of the Territorial Army.

Jim Prescott’s daughter, Angela, contacted Sergeant Major Phillips to tell him the plaque had been stolen.

He has now vowed to try to replace it with another tribute - which is just as fitting.

Mr Phillips said: “I was with Jim when he died.

“I couldn’t believe that someone would steal his memorial, it’s disgraceful.

“The yobs who stole it should be ashamed of themselves. I now want to make sure that Jim is properly remembered in years to come and gets the respect he deserves.”

A photograph of HMS Antelope engulfed in an enormous fireball became one of the defining images of the 1982 conflict with Argentina.

Staff Sergeant Jim Prescott, of the Royal Engineers, was posthumously awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his brave actions during the campaign.

Mr Phillips has now contacted the Royal Engineers to ask for their help to replace the plaque.

He added: “Jim’s family were understandably all very upset that the plaque is no longer there and they would love to see it replaced.

“We probably won’t choose something of value next time, as that appears to offer too much of a temptation to thieves. It will probably be granite.”

A citation described Staff Sergeant Prescott’s actions as “courage of the highest order in perservering with attempts to defuse the bomb in HMS Antelope, fully aware that the condition was particularly dangerous.”