Pompey Pals bring historic fort to life with eventÂ

FAMILIES were given the chance to learn about the war effort while visiting a historic fort.

Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 6:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 6:27 pm

Pompey Pals held the free day at Fort Widley, on Portsdown Hill Road, and gave people the chance to look at artefacts from the First World War as well as find out about how military personnel were recruited.

Visitors were welcomed by members from living history group Ubique Right of the Line who showed the method of joining the war as well as putting on costumed displays.

They were also treated to a tour of the tunnels and bunkers at Fort Widley by Chris Pennycook from Pompey Pals.

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Gareth Lewis, chairman of the group, said: 'This event is all about finding people's personal history and giving them the chance to learn about the war.

'We have labelled it as Widley Goes To War and we've had some good levels of interest from families and visitors to the fort.

'This is the first time we have held something like this but we will be doing more in the future. Our research centre at Fort Widley is a mini museum too but it's about giving people the chance to share the stories of their relatives who were involved in the First World War.

'If we can get families in to take a look at what we are doing and what this wonderful fort is doing then that would be great.'

Pompey Pals aims to raise the profile of people with a connection to the city involved in the First World War.

They are aiming to expand their project to include other conflicts such as the Second World War, the Korean War, the Falklands War and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Artist Ian Bamfield has been working with Pompey Pals producing portraits of veterans who died during the First World War. It comes after he painted a portrait of his grandfather who fought in the conflict.

He was at the Widley Goes to War event and praised the group for their work.

He said: '˜This event has been a great way to bring together everything Pompey Pals do from the painting I create to the artefacts the members have.

'˜It is really important that we keep these stories alive for the younger generations.'