A MEMORIAL for Penarth’s fallen soldiers was erected this week.

After Royal Marine Commando Paul Woodland died on a training exercise, his partner’s request to get his name on the town’s cenotaph was refused.

But this week a memorial to him and every fallen soldier in the Vale was unveiled in Alexandra Park after 7 years of campaigning.

Mr Woodland’s partner, Sian Woodland, raised £17,500 to pay for the memorial.

She said: “The memorial is dedicated to those from the Vale of Glamorgan who lost their live whilst serving with the Armed Forces.

“Because Paul was not killed in a war situation, we couldn’t have his name on the cenotaph. We wanted his friends and family to have somewhere public they could go to remember him and all the fallen of the Vale.

“It’s taken 9 months to construct and put in place. It’s an important piece of history for the Vale and the children of Penarth.”

Since her partner’s death, Mrs Woodland has also set up multiple support networks. In 2017, she established Woody’s Lodge in memory of Paul to support veterans, emergency services and their families.

Woody’s has seven drop-in centres across North Wales and two more are due to open in South Wales in the new year.

Mr Woodland died in 2012 in a training exercise in North Devon after his boat capsized. Because he did not die in combat, the Vale Council denied Sian’s request to have his name included on Penarth’s cenotaph.

However, the Vale did donate £7,500 to the new memorial and provided a space for it in the Garden of Remembrance.

The bronze and stone statue was designed and built by Swansea-based sculptor Martin Williams.

Announcing the memorial’s unveiling on Facebook, Sian wrote: “I cannot be prouder of this milestone. It’s been a long 7 years of campaigning. Thank you to everyone for your support, guidance, donations and love.”