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Council works with Legion to help volunteers raise funds
VOLUNTEERS will take to the streets and shopping malls of Southampton tomorrow to raise cash for new memorial walls.
The Southampton branch of the Royal British Legion will be carrying out collections as the city celebrates Armed Forces Day.
A fundraising campaign, backed by the Daily Echo, was launched by civic and business leaders to build two walls of remembrance alongside the city’s Cenotaph in Watt’s Park to honour all the city’s war dead by name.
Southampton City Council has already pledged £50,000 to the project, leaving at least £70,000 to be raised by businesses and the public.
Collections will be made throughout the shopping precinct, WestQuay Shopping Centre and The Mall (Marlands), between 10am and 2pm.
Legion secretary Archie Parsons said: “The council has pulled out all the stops to get us a street licence. There was no messing around.”
Deputy council leader Councillor Royston Smith said: “We’ve moved quickly on it because it’s a good cause and people will be thinking of it on Armed Forces Day.
“If the normal bureaucracy had taken its course the licence would have been a bit late.”
Nicky Bromley from WestQuay said they were delighted to invite the Legion into the centre for the collection.
“We have such a large amount of people abroad representing our country and we are just happy to help do our bit,” she said.
Individuals and companies have already been making donations to the Southampton and Fareham Chamber of Commerce which is spearheading the fundraising appeal. Residents are being urged to donate £1 each.
Council chiefs came up with the memorial wall proposal as a way of safeguarding the names of the 2,000 First World War heroes on the Cenotaph, which are in danger of fading, and honouring all those that died in subsequent conflicts.
The council said it could not afford the £300,000 to restore the 1920 monument, although would continue to maintain it.