Poignant service remembers victims of air raids on Gosport

A ceremony was held at Ann's Hill Cemetery, Gosport, to remember the Service personnel and civilian residents of Gosport killed during the Second World War.''' ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131568-968)
A ceremony was held at Ann's Hill Cemetery, Gosport, to remember the Service personnel and civilian residents of Gosport killed during the Second World War.''' ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (131568-968)

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THE unmistakable roar of a Spitfire cut through the respectful silence of hundreds who came to pay their respects to the fallen.

Ann’s Hill Cemetery, Gosport, was the site of a moving memorial service for service personnel and civilians of the town killed in the Second World War.

At 10.30am a civic procession, led by the Horndean Band, left the west gate of the cemetery. The Spitfire flew overhead at 11am.

Mayor of Gosport John Beavis said: ‘It went well. It is a special service for us here in Gosport. It not only recognises the tremendous contribution of Gosport in the effort during the Second World War, and those service personnel who lost their lives, but also those who died during the bombing.

‘The flypast came bang on time and it flew over twice, which was very poignant. It was such a moving moment.

‘The Rev Simon Horne from HMS Sultan conducted the service and he did it incredibly well.’

Cllr Beavis led a wreath-laying ceremony and was followed by the former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band.

While members of the Uniformed Youth Service Organisations lay crosses, members of the Royal British Legion read aloud the names of 122 local residents killed.

Cllr Beavis added: ‘The cadets carried out their duty with military precision.

‘They should be proud of themselves.’

This year there was a special mention of the Air Balloon Disaster, Forton Street, Vincent Field read by Councillor Derek Kimber.

The ages of those killed in the bombings ranged from a 14-month-old toddler to a 70-year-old.