WE will remember them.
That was the message from the streets of Southampton as support flooded in for the Daily Echo backed campaign to build new memorial walls to commemorate the city’s war dead.
Young air and sea cadets were out in force in the city centre on Saturday – the first national Armed Forces Day – alongside members of the Royal British Legion, raising funds for the appeal.
Collectors were given colourful and noisy support from Southamp-ton’s town crier, John Melody, encouraging passers-by to back the scheme.
Residents are being urged to give just £1 to support the appeal, and shoppers giving generously to the cause and gave the project their full backing as a vital link with the past.
Southampton City Council has pledged £50,000 to the scheme, which would create two walls of remembrance alongside the Cenotaph in Watt’s Park, honouring all those who have lost their lives in war by name.
But with another £70,000 needed from public and business donations it is vital the people of the city support the project if it is to become a reality.
The walls would safeguard the names of the 2,000 First World War heroes inscribed on the 1920 Cenotaph – the model for the London monument that is the central point of Britain’s Remembrance Day commemorations.
Those names are in danger of fading, and with the council unable to afford the £300,000 needed to fully restore the memorial, the walls are the best way available to ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten.
The new additions would also honour those who have died in subsequent conflicts.
“This was the first street collection we’ve done and the results are definitely encouraging,” said Archie Parsons from the Southampton branch of the RBL.
“We don’t yet know how much was in the buckets, but I know there were people putting notes in, and we’re extremely grateful for what people have donated.
“I’m pleased for what we’ve got, but there is still a long way to go.”
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