Remembering those who died with Portchester roots

Portchester did not escape. This was 131 to 143 The Crossway after the night of April 26/27, 1944
Portchester did not escape. This was 131 to 143 The Crossway after the night of April 26/27, 1944
The Royal Pier Hotel, now Rees Hall.

NOSTALGIA: No bath for 10 weeks

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Many men, women and children who in some way had a connection to the village of Portchester from 1938 to 1948 lost their lives during that time, most during the war years.

Many had been bombed out of Portsmouth during the earlier part of the war and moved to Portchester where they hoped life might be safer, but many others were Portchester folks born and bred.

St Marys Church, Portchester, the venue of the remembrance display which starts today and runs until November 18

St Marys Church, Portchester, the venue of the remembrance display which starts today and runs until November 18

Some were buried in the local churchyard at St Mary’s, but others serving in the forces are buried abroad or remembered on a memorial as they have no known grave.

All are classed as ‘War Deaths’ as at the time (1939-1945) they were killed in action while serving in the forces, or killed because of enemy action on home ground.

As a direct result of the Portchester Remembered 1938-1948 project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and based at Portchester Community Association, the Hub/bookshop in the centre of Portchester Precinct found that more than 130 men, women and children had lost their lives during this time.

Most are cared for under The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, others are remembered on private headstones.

This display shows only a small percentage of those who lost their lives, from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, civilians, Home Guard, Royal Fusiliers, The Queen’s Royal Regiment, Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve, Royal Marine Band, Witwatersrand Rifles, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Royal Armoured Corp, Hampshire Regiment, Highland Light Infantry, Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Army Service Corp, Royal Tank Regiment and the Dorset Regiment.

Some are named on Royal Navy memorials, Fareham war memorial and other memorials around the country or abroad. Others are, still, after 71 years waiting to be added to a memorial.

A member of the Portchester Remembered group will be at St Mary’s Church on the following days: today 11.30am-12.30pm; Saturday 1.30-2.30pm; Sunday remembrance service; Tuesday 11am-midday, and next Thursday 2pm-3pm or call into the Hub.