Service to remember the atrocities of war

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SCORES of schoolchildren and residents will gather in Havant to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

A service will take place at 11am next Thursday at Havant Cemetery to pay respects to the six million Jews who died during the Second World War.

The service will be led by Gerald Shimbard, the councillor for Hart Plain, with readings from the Mayor of Havant, Yvonne Weeks, and Hayling Cllr Leah Turner, a member of the Jewish community.

Other speakers will include students from Warblington School, in Havant, and Oaklands School, in Waterlooville.

Cllr Judy Onslow, the Chairman of East Hampshire District Council and Hampshire Police will also be attending.

The Memorial Day event marks the 66th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The theme of this year’s service is ‘Untold Stories’, which challenges everyone to share the stories that enable us to learn from history, from the real stories of people that are no longer with us in order to create a safer, better future.

One of the stories which will be shared by Cllr Turner is that of British prisoner of war, Charles Coward, who is estimated to have saved at least 400 Jewish slave labourers from the Auschwitz concentration camps.

Mayor Weeks said: ‘The stories of Holocaust survivors help us to remember and learn from the experiences of everyone touched by the most tragic of events in the 20th century. It’s especially important for children to understand the lessons learnt from the past and I’m pleased that a number of local schools are involved in the service.’