COMMENT: We must set aside time to remember our war dead

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Leading the charge against enemy machine gun nests in Belgium, Lieutenant Robert Gorle was probably not thinking about how he would be remembered 100 years on.

The 22-year-old Portsmouth officer led his men to bring his 18-pounder gun into action four times despite being in the most exposed position on the battlefield.

His efforts at Ledeghem on October 1, 1918, won him a Victoria Cross.

He is undoubtedly one of the city’s bravest sons.

This year’s Remembrance period coincides with the centenary of the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918.

Gathered at separate Poppy Appeal launches on Saturday, Lt Gorle may not have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

In the Great War, there were men and women who put their lives on the line and sacrificed their futures for ours.

And sadly there are servicemen and women who have lost their lives since that conflict.

There are those who have survived, and now as veterans need our support. All of those deserve our thoughts.

So while Lt Gorle may never have had a chance to stop and think – we do.

As the home of the Royal Navy and with rich military traditions, Portsmouth must play a major role in marking this centenary year.

Buying a poppy and supporting the Royal British Legion’s fundraising appeal will show that people in Portsmouth can remember – and are willing to spare a few minutes to think of those who went before.

As Councillor David Fuller,  the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, said: ‘Portsmouth really is at the forefront of the Poppy Appeal.’

This year we must prove that Portsmouth can keep the spirit of remembrance alive –  both for the sake of people like Lt Gorle, and for those veterans who still need our support.