SOLDIERS will march through Southampton’s Bargate again today to mark 100 years since the first trains started taking the British Army from their barracks to ports.
The Association of Military Remembrance –known as the Khaki Chums - assisted by Network Rail, will recreate the soldiers’ journey from London to Southampton dressed in 1914 kit.
They will leave London’s Waterloo Station for Southampton Central this morning before the 26-strong group will lay a wreath to commemmorate the work of the railwaymen at around 2pm.
Then they will march through the streets, accompanied by the Pipes and Drums military band of the London Scottish regiment, until they arrive at the Cenotaph around 2.25pm to lay a wreath in respect of the contribution of servicemen and civilians from Hampshire in 1914.
Then ‘troops’ will pass under the Bargate at around 2.40pm recreating the march towards the Docks.
The commemoration will then move to a wreath laying on the corner of Platform Road and Central Road – the site of the old Dock Gate where the majority of the British Expeditionary Force would have passed.
Taff Gillingham, of the Khaki Chums, said the trains played a mayor role transporting tens of thousands of men, ammunitions and food in just a couple of weeks in a feat of organisation.
During the conflict more than seven millions soldiers came through Southampton Docks on their way to France.
The largest shipment in one day was in August 22 1914 when 536 officers, 16,364 other ranks, 5,472 horses, 72 guns, 600 vehicles and 260 bikes came through.
Mr Gillingham said: “It’s great that the public gets to see this – the whole of 1914 has been airbrushed out of the centenary commemoration so far.
“The story of 1914 is an extraordinary one and it’s a very British one and it’s important that somebody tells it.”