HE WAS one of Hampshire’s greatest naval heroes.

Sir Harry Burrard Neale either captured or destroyed 20 enemy vessels in his career, during which he rose to become commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet.

But his finest hour came in 1797 when he helped quell a mutiny at an anchorage in the Thames Estuary.

He and his crew sailed their ship away from the flashpoint and, despite coming under heavy enemy fire from the mutineers, managed to reach safety and raise the alarm.

Now campaigners are celebrating the restoration of a 76ft obelisk which overlooks Sir Harry’s home town of Lymington and was built in his memory.

The Lymington Society says the stone monument now looks much as it did when it was built in 1841-1842.

Don Mackenzie, chairman of the Burrard Neale Restoration Project, said: “The scaffolding has been removed to reveal a beautiful, classical obelisk made from a wonderfully preserved pale grey granite complete with fine carvings and ornamentation.

“Cast iron plaques on the four sides of the monument have been cleaned and repainted, with the text beautifully picked out in black paint.”

A new organisation has been launched to look after the newly-restored obelisk.

The Friends of Sir Harry group will be launched at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington on Friday, when New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne will be among the guests.

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu has agreed to be the group’s patron.

As well as serving in the navy Sir Harry was mayor of Lymington and the town’s MP for 25 years over a 45-year period. He and his brother introduced gas lighting to the area in 1832.

The Grade II-listed monument has been restored by the Lymington Society and the town council at a cost of £70,000.

Dr Mackenzie said: “It’s an excellent example of how a charity and the council can work together for the good of the local community.

“We now intend to build up a dedicated Friends organisation, whose aim will be to ensure the monument and its lovely woodland setting continue to be looked after and don’t become neglected and overgrown as before.

“We hope to develop a team of volunteers and undertake fundraising to keep the monument and the surrounding area in great shape in the years ahead.”

Sir Harry died aged 75 in 1840 and is buried at St Thomas Church in Lymington.