Memorial serves as a local tribute to those who fell

One of the few photographs of the actual moment of attack; an officer of the 9th Battalion, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) leads the way out of a sap during the spring battles of 1917. This photograph was taken by John Warwick Brooke, April 11, 1917.    Picture courtesy of the Imperial War Museum Image ref Q 5100
One of the few photographs of the actual moment of attack; an officer of the 9th Battalion, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) leads the way out of a sap during the spring battles of 1917. This photograph was taken by John Warwick Brooke, April 11, 1917. Picture courtesy of the Imperial War Museum Image ref Q 5100
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Ninety years ago this year the foundation stone for Portsmouth’s cenotaph was laid.

It was put in place on May 25, 1921, and the circular memorial in the corner of Guildhall Square records thousands of names of those who died in the First World War.

Private Frederick Matcham

Private Frederick Matcham

It was unveiled by the Duke of Connaught on October 19, 1921, almost three years after the armistice.

It bears the names of those killed in action who were born in Portsmouth; were living in Portsmouth when the war started, or whose parents lived in the city at the outbreak of the war.

Simon Hart, of Cross Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, realised the significance of May’s anniversary, especially as his great-great-uncle’s name appears on the cenotaph.

He said: ‘Private Frederick Matcham was born in Portsmouth and enlisted in Southsea.

‘He joined the Hampshire Regiment and was killed in action on September 4, 1918.

‘Soldiers like Frederick Matcham were buried far away from their families.

‘The memorial serves as a local focus to remember those who fell.’

To mark the anniversary in May, Remember When would like to publish pictures and details of others whose names are engraved on the memorial.

If you would like your relative to be included, please send pictures and a brief synopsis of their military life to the address at the foot of the page.