On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in the year 1918, World War I finally came to an end. Such was the importance of this date and time; it has been commemorated ever since and, on Sunday 13 November, people will again gather to remember those lost.
The ceremony, which begins at 10.54am, will be held at the town’s War Memorial to World War I. “Not for us a memorial with names, but a living breathing memorial which today brings new life into the world, and provides care and treatment for the sick and the elderly, our very own Gosport War Memorial Hospital,” said the Mayor of Gosport, Cllr Chris Carter.
“Built in memory of those lost in the First World War, and paid for by residents and former Royal Marine Light Infantry soldiers based in the town, there could be no better place to hold such an important event. In fact because of conflicts since, this service now relates not just to those in their twilight years, those who lived through the First World War, but to those of subsequent generations.”
“For it’s not just those killed during the First or indeed Second World War that we remember, but those killed in active service since; In places such as Suez, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq, and of course for our younger generation, Afghanistan, where sadly fighting continues today.”
Preparations for the ceremony get under way at 10.30am wit the Guard, provided courtesy of HMS Sultan, forming up outside the hospital. Joining them will be members of the Royal British Legion along with Veterans and representatives from Scouts, Guides, Sea Cadets, Air Cadets and other local organisations.
The Service will be conducted by the Reverend Andy Davis and the music will be provided by the Gosport Solent Brass Band. A Bugler will sound Last Post and, following Reveille, the Mayor will lay a wreath on behalf of the Borough. This will be followed by a wreath from Rear Admiral David Bawtree CB, DL (Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire) and wreaths from other Civic and Service dignitaries and organisation such as the Royal British Legion and Old Comrades Associations.
On completion of the ceremony there will be a March Past where the Salute will be taken by Rear Admiral David Bawtree CB, DL (Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire) and the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Chris Carter.
“Too often we have witnessed the repatriation of service personnel from Afghanistan, bringing home to us all that for some families the horror of war continues,” added the Mayor. “I hope that the good people of Gosport will join us in remembering all those lost in wars and conflicts, and also pray for the safe return of those still overseas.”
Several roads will be closed between 10am and 12 noon to ensure the safe and smooth running of the service and parade. Roads affected will be Bury Road from Foster Road/Gordon Road; Anns Hill Road from Carnarvon Road to Bury Cross; Privett Road from Jellicoe Avenue to Bury Cross and The Avenue from Bury Hall Lane to Bury Cross.
Running concurrently will be a Remembrance Service at the seafront Lee-on-the-Solent War Memorial. This will be taken by the Reverend Peter Sutton and attended by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Richard Dickson and Ward Councillors.
Also taking place at Lee will be the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial which will commence at 11am.