AFTER a Royal Marine commando from Penarth died on a training exercise, his partner fought to get his name on the town’s cenotaph.

But because Paul Woodland did not die in a war, her request was refused.

Now his partner Sian Woodland, from Penarth, has raised £17,500 to pay for a memorial to him and every other soldier in the Vale, which will be unveiled in Alexandra Park later this week.

“We are still waiting on an exact installation date, but hopefully it will be in the next couple of days,” said Ms Woodland.

“I wanted Paul to always be remembered for what he did for his country, and the fact that he wasn’t killed in action doesn’t mean he can’t be remembered within his community.

“It’s also really important history – it’s important for the children of Penarth to remember all of our local fallen.”

Since her partner’s death, Ms Woodland has put together further support networks for veterans in Wales, establishing drop-in centres in both the Vale and Colwyn Bay in his memory, where veterans can meet for support, friendship and advice.

“I co-founded Woody’s Lodge, which is a social drop-in centre where we support, signpost and mentor veterans, emergency services and their families,” she said. “We have two main hubs in Barry at Amelia Trust Farm and Eirias Park at Colwyn Bay.

“We also have seven drop-in centres across North Wales and two more opening in the near future in South Wales.”

Mr Woodland died in 2012 in a training exercise in North Devon when his boat capsized. Despite having served in Afghanistan, the Vale council said they were unable to add his name to the official Penarth Cenotaph.

However, the Vale council did pledge £7,500 to the appeal and space in the Garden of Remembrance, where the memorial will be placed.

The rest was made up from Ms Woodland’s own fundraising efforts, along with donations from the SBS Association, family and friends.

The bronze and Portland stone statue, with an inscribed memorial to all soldiers from the Vale and headed with a bronze globe, was designed by Swansea-based sculptor Martin Williams.