Guildhall service remembers fallen Pompey Pals

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DOZENS of people gathered at a memorial to remember those who died in the First World War.

Pompey Pals organised the commemoration service held on Saturday at Guildhall Square, in Portsmouth.

The Deputy Lord Mayor with cadets, British Legion, veterans and reenactors.''Picture: Keith Woodland

The Deputy Lord Mayor with cadets, British Legion, veterans and reenactors.''Picture: Keith Woodland

Held for the third year running, the event remembers soldiers from the Portsmouth Battalions who died in the conflict.

The service was attended by councillors and other dignitaries, veterans, members of the Royal Navy Reserve and the Royal British Legion Riders.

The Military Wives Choir and Royal Navy Volunteer Band took part.

Chris Pennycook, one of the organisers from Pompey Pals, said: ‘This event is all about the local history and people who served in the First World War.

‘It is a formal commemoration to remember those men and women and to raise awareness as well.

‘We have got various organisations here too giving out information including Portsmouth Poppy Appeal and Veterans Outreach.’

For the service, wreaths were laid at the memorial while Portsmouth Military Wives Choir sang For The Fallen.

The Last Post was played too before a minute’s silence.

The Reverend Dawn Banting then led those in attendance in prayer before the national anthem was sung.

Mike Hill, co-founder of Pompey Pals, said the service has grown over the past few years and is now a regular date in people’s diaries.

‘It is great to see people down here and wanting to take part,’ he said.

‘We like to include younger people as well and make sure the stories of these brave men and women live on.’

Mr Hill added: ‘The reason we hold the service now is because on two separate dates in September, 1916 two Pompey Pals battalions first took part in the war and many died.

‘The first date was September 3 and the second on September 15. So we hold this commemoration on the Saturday inbetween.’

During the service, Gareth Lewis told the story of the Pompey Pals and the casualties from the two battalions.

For more information, visit pompeypals.org.uk.