Cosham veteran looks back on family's generations of armed forces history

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A VETERAN who spent almost a quarter of a century in the Royal Navy says Remembrance Sunday gives him a chance to reflect on his family’s history.

Paul Knott, 60 from Cosham, attended the Remembrance Sunday service at the Naval War Memorial in Southsea this morning.

Flag-bearer Steve Thomas, left, with Paul Knott. Picture: David George

Flag-bearer Steve Thomas, left, with Paul Knott. Picture: David George

He and his brother both served in the Royal Navy, with his father serving in the Fleet Air Arm and generations of service personnel before that.

Paul, who spent 24 years in the navy and rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, said: ‘My family’s history in the armed forces goes back through so many generations.

‘For me personally it’s so important to remember all who have come before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, because some of those people were from my family.

‘Alongside my own, I have my father’s medals on my chest – they serve as a reminder of how much he did for his country.’

His father, Harold Knott, was in the Fleet Air Arm in the Second World War, before his death in 1992.

Paul says his father is the reason he signed up for the armed forces.

‘He was my inspiration,’ he said.

‘I joined the Sea Cadets when I was 10 – we’re a real forces family.’

He was joined in Southsea by Steve Thomas, 71 from Southsea – a naval veteran of 35 years, a flag-bearer for the Royal Naval Association in Portsmouth.

‘I feel immensely humble when I carry the flag – it’s my chance to pay my respects to our remarkable veterans.’