Duke unveils ‘barcode’ panels at city’s naval memorial

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THE Duke of Kent has unveiled new information panels on the naval memorial in Southsea.

He was in Portsmouth today to officially mark the installation of boards at the memorial.

He was greeted by Dame Mary Fagan, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire before going on a tour of the memorial.

The Duke, who is the president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was there to see the new panels, which combine new technology with the stories of some of those who died in the two world wars.

And a Quick Response code embedded in the panel can be scanned by a smartphone, downloading more stories directly to people’s phones.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It was very nice to see the Duke here.

‘I think the panels are great because they combine new technology with these old stories which would otherwise just be a name on a wall to some people.’

The panels, which have ‘barcodes’ and can be scanned by smart phones to get more information about the site, have been put in place by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and are among 500 the commission is installing as part of a drive to provide more information for the public during the centenary of the First World War next year.

The QR code at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial in Southsea reveals the story of David Bedell-Sivright, a Scottish rugby international who captained the British Lions and died at Gallipoli.

It also details the great sacrifice the local community made in sending sailors to fight in both world wars.

The Duke said the panels are a ‘powerful means’ to ensure we never forget.