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Memories of the Great War- Sunday 19th August

Wednesday 22nd August 2018

On Sunday 19 August - an afternoon that became rather warm – about 30 members of the public and FoSOC were taken on Old Cemetery walks led by FoSOC Guides, Geoff Watts and David Palmer. The walks had been specially researched as part of FoSOC’s commemorations for the centenary year of the ending of the First World War.
The stories told ranged through 1914 to 1918 and extended, beyond, to the Southampton Peace Celebrations of 1919 and to Southampton’s role in providing funds towards helping the reconstruction of two French villages on the Somme battlefield that had been devastated by the fighting in 1916 and 1918. The course of the walk included various aspects of conflict in France, Belgium, Gallipoli and Palestine, stories behind inscriptions on family headstones, tributes to airmen who had died and the loss of a hospital ship.

The very generous donations received for the walks are greatly appreciated and are all being sent to the Southampton Branch of the Royal British Legion, as contribution towards this year’s Poppy Appeal. FoSOC would be pleased to look at arranging their ‘Memories of the Great War’ walk for any groups who would like to come on it. Please see our ‘Contact Us’ page on our website at: www.fosoc.org or telephone 07538 888 655 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm).

Geoff recovered from being affected by the heat, late in the walk, and very much appreciates the concern shown on Sunday afternoon, and afterwards!

The walk is one of three ways in which FoSOC is remembering the centenary of the ending of the First World War. On Sunday 11 November 2018, at 3pm, there will be a commemoration on the lawn inside the main gates of the cemetery (next to the former Cemetery Lodge) and in front of the former Anglican Chapel. We shall be honoured by the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Southampton and a new plaque, donated by FoSOC, will be unveiled to the memory of all those buried, or commemorated, in the Old Cemetery who lost their lives during the Great War.
FoSOC’s third Remembrance is the restoration, with family permission, of a grave and memorial, near the Cross of Sacrifice, that includes the names of three brothers who died, respectively in 1916, 1917 and 1918. This will be done for 11 November.