Havant pays respect to fallen heroes – Alan Mak MP

Havant held their Community Act of Remembrance service with a parade from the Ex-Servicemens Club to St Faith's Church in Havant, on Sunday November 11.
Havant held their Community Act of Remembrance service with a parade from the Ex-Servicemens Club to St Faith's Church in Havant, on Sunday November 11.

ON Sunday thousands of residents from the Havant constituency came together to line the streets and attend services to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

They joined millions around the country, who fell silent to pay tribute to the fallen who never came home from the Great War.

I attended two moving services. Firstly the Havant civic parade and two-minute silence at the Havant War Memorial and St Faith’s Church. And, secondly, the remembrance service at St James Church, Emsworth, in the afternoon.

It was remarkable to witness the level of public support, as everyone from the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery to the Scouts and Guides, to cadets and veteran organisations, took part.

Particularly poignant were the names of the fallen that were read out as part of the roll of honour at each service.

In Havant 103 names were remembered as a special testament to the 100th anniversary, while in Emsworth, which as a town had one of the highest proportions of casualties in the First World War, there were more than 150 names read aloud

The stark reality of all those names highlighted the true terror of that war. In total, more than a million Commonwealth servicemen and women died in the First World War. 

Those soldiers died for their country, and even today there are thousands of British servicemen and women who are always ready to defend our country and our values.

Last year, the armed forces were deployed on more than 30 operations in more than 25 countries. So as much as Armistice Day is to remember those who have died for our country, it’s also about paying tribute to our brave service personnel who work year-round, and sacrifice so much, to keep us safe.

One of the main focuses of the Poppy Appeal is the welfare of armed forces members. I joined volunteers in the Meridian Centre to  raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Poppy Appeal, and to those that attended parades and services to remember the fallen.