THE city’s streets fell silent as thousands took a moment to remember the war dead while wearing their poppies with pride yesterday.
An impressive crowd gathered in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square to watch the Remembrance service led by The Very Reverend David Brindley, Dean of Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral, and The Reverend Canon David Hopgood of St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
A gun from HMS Nelson was fired at 11am to start the official two-minute’s silence, and again at the end.
And wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph and Second World War memorial while the Royal Marines Band played.
Sailors, soldiers, airmen, cadets, voluntary organisations, schools and individuals stood to attention to show their respect to all who have fallen in battle.
Among them was ex-Royal Navy chief petty officer, Roy Greenaway, who served with HMS Warrior and HMS Messina at Christmas Island during the British nuclear bomb testing in the late 1950s.
The 79-year-old, of Norwich Road, Wymering, was also a standard flag bearer at the event for the Southern Branch of the British Nuclear Test Veterans.
‘It’s a very proud feeling to be up there carrying a flag for all my comrades,’ he said.
‘I like doing it for everyone who was lost in battle but having served with the Navy I have a real personal connection to Remembrance day.
‘Lots of the lads I signed up to the Navy with have died in battle since then. And I think it’s really important to take a minute to remember them and pay my respects to them.’
Louisa Duck, 32, of St Edwards Road, Southsea, and her daughter Angel, six, laid a wreath in memory of Louisa’s great grandfather Johnny RJ Hartwell, who served in the navy as a chief petty officer.
He died in 2008, but the family has never had a headstone for him because he was cremated and his ashes were kept – so the day holds an added significance for Louisa.
She said: ‘It was a really emotional day for us, but it is nice to be able to share and celebrate it with others.
‘It really brought it home that Remembrance Day is not just about the veterans, it is about everyone who has served in the past and those who are serving today.’
An earlier service was led by the Royal Navy in Southsea, at the Royal Naval Memorial, from 9.30am. That was followed by a second ceremony an hour later organised by the Royal British Legion Bikers.
Services were also held at the Royal Marines Museum, St Mary’s Church in Fratton Road, Fratton, and the Salvation Army in Albert Road, Southsea.
On Saturday, a service was held in Portchester.
Hundreds gathered in the precinct to listen to the service taken by the Reverend Charlie Allen, the vicar of Portchester.
After a two minute’s silence several wreaths were laid.
Lee Smith, 51, and his daughter Katie, three, laid a cross in memory of Lee’s father Ernest, who served with the RAF in the Second World War.
Lee, of Sunningdale Road, Portchester, said: ‘These people gave up their lives for us.
‘We can’t let people forget that.’