WORK on the new memorial walls to commemorate Southampton’s fallen heroes is under way.
Eight glass panels will be erected next to the Cenotaph in Watts Park as part of a scheme to safeguard the names of the 2,000 First World War dead on the monument which are in danger of fading.
An extra 1,200 names of armed service or merchant navy personnel who perished in subsequent conflicts will also be etched on the panels to be installed in coming weeks.
Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet member for resources, leisure and culture at Southampton City Council, said: “We have been working with the Royal British Legion and the Chamber of Commerce to deliver a fitting memorial to our city’s heroes.
“The new memorial walls will mean their bravery will never be forgotten.”
The groundwork for the scheme, which was two years in the making, paves the way for pouring concrete foundations next Monday. Glass panels will be installed on Monday, October 3.
It is hoped the walls will be completed in time for Armistice Day on November 11, the 90th anniversary of the unveiling of the original Lutyens’ Cenotaph.
It contributed £50,000 towards a total cost of £130,000. But a Daily Echo-backed fundraising campaign, spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce, is under way to find an extra £60,000. More than £13,400 has been raised so far.
A recent inspection of the Lutyens’ Cenotaph revealed significant erosion of the Portland limestone and inscribed roll of honour.
The high cost of re-inscribing the stone was the reason behind the wall concept, which will preserve all Cenotaph names and honour the memory of others.
Two concepts were produced, one in Portland limestone, the other successful one in toughened and laminated glass.