DESIGNS for new memorial walls to commemorate all of Southampton’s fallen heroes have been unveiled next week.
Civic chiefs want to erect eight 1.5m-high toughened glass panels next to the city’s Cenotaph in Watt’s Park to safeguard the names of the 2,000 First World War dead which are in danger of fading.
A further 1,200 names of armed service or merchant navy personnel who perished in subsequent conflicts will also be etched on the glass panels. A faint poppy motif could be printed onto the walls.
Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet member for leisure culture and heritage, said: “For some time now we have been working with the Royal British Legion and the Chamber of Commerce to see how we can commemorate our city’s heroes in a way that is fitting and in keeping with the current setting of the Cenotaph.”
Glass concept Initial plans for Portland limestone walls to match the Cenotaph were dropped after concerns were raised over the removal of benches and obtaining planning permission.
Glass was chosen as it is more resistant to erosion and easier to clean.
The glass walls concept will go on display at the Civic Centre foyer from Monday.
Councillor Royston Smith, Cabinet member for economic development, who served in the RAF during the Falklands conflict and first Gulf War said: “The proposed plans are a fitting tribute to all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to their country.
“The walls do not in any way detract from the Cenotaph but complement the existing memorial.
“The new memorial will be a fitting and tasteful tribute to those who have lost their lives in wars or conflicts. It will be somewhere for us all to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Southampton City Council has contributed £50,000 to the memorial walls project.
A Daily Echo-backed fundraising campaign, spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce, is under way to find an additional £87,000. The total stands at £10,000.
Residents can check whether a relative is included on the city’s Roll of Honour or find out how they may be listed so they will appear on the memorial walls by contacting the council’s public art department on 023 8083 2925.
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