And another thing...! Let’s remember the civilian war dead too

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Tomorrow the nation will fall silent at 11am in solemn remembrance.

But as we pay our respects, I wonder how many of us will think of not only the servicemen and women who died in the cause of freedom, but the civilians too.

Portsmouth has a memorial to them and their names are inscribed on cenotaphs around the area.

But perhaps their supreme sacrifice is not always to the forefront of the nation’s collective mind on November 11.

More than 40,000 civilians died in air raids on Britain during the war, around 930 of them in Portsmouth. Many were women and children.

Still today the city bears pock-marked testament to those many personal tragedies.

In so many terraced streets, there are small pockets of houses built to a different design, normally in a cluster of three or four.

Most are the sites of devastating explosions that costs lives on the home front.

The victims, just like those civilians who perished in raids on Dresden and other German cities, had not chosen war.

They were caught up in a calamity the like of which we must pray we never experience again. And they paid the ultimate price.

Tomorrow, as we remember those brave servicemen and women who laid down their lives for freedom, we should remember them too.

*Mark Acheson is Head of Digital at The News

And Another Thing....! is a new feature on portsmouth.co.uk enabling the writer to sound off about an issue close to his or her heart. We’ve got quite a few people in the office who are all-too-ready to contribute to this regular slot! But we’d also like readers to join in. If you have something to get off your chest, e-mail your thoughts and a brief description of who you are to mark.acheson@thenews.co.uk If together we can’t always make the world a slightly better place, at least we can go down fighting!