Service in Portsmouth prays for and remembers seafarers

Retiring Commander Jane Allen, of Portsdown Hill, who is off to tackle a year-long trek around the coast of Britain for charity

Jane keeps marching on for a good cause

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ROYAL Navy veterans, dignitaries and members of the public gathered to remember people who have died at sea.

An emotional service was held yesterday in Portsmouth for seafarers and to commemorate the life of Admiral Lord Nelson.

After the service held at Portsmouth Cathedral, in Old Portsmouth, wreaths were laid at the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson in Grand Parade.

After a hymn, one wreath was thrown into the Solent by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Ken Ellcome.

Then a march took place around Grand Parade by the Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets.

Lydia Mellor organised the remembrance event in her role as events manager at Portsmouth City Council.

Because we are a naval city, it is important for us to pray for all those working and living at sea but also to remember the people who have died.

Lydia Mellor

She said: ‘This is an annual service which we hold in partnership with Portsmouth Cathedral. Because we are a naval city, it is important for us to pray for all those working and living at sea but also to remember the people who have died.

‘Our greatest seafarer is Admiral Lord Nelson and he is key to the service.’

Lydia added: ‘We get lots of families attend the service which is lovely. This year was a special occasion for the Wrens who are celebrating their centenary.’

The RNLI crews were also involved as they collected the wreath once it had been thrown into the Solent before taking it out further to sea.

Speaking at the service, the Very Reverend David Brindley, Dean of Portsmouth, said: ‘We meet to pray for all whose business is the sea; the men and women of the royal and merchant navies.

‘Those who work in our docks and marines, those who work in the air sea rescue services and for all who fish from this port.’