Young people urged to help honour war heroes

Daily Echo: Chloe Cruse from the SCYP  with Cllr John Hannides and Archie Parsons from the RBL Chloe Cruse from the SCYP with Cllr John Hannides and Archie Parsons from the RBL

SOUTHAMPTON’S Youth Parliament is calling on the youngsters to get behind a fundraising effort to build new walls of remembrance next to the city’s cenotaph.

The parliament will be working with schools across the city to raise funds towards the memorial walls, which will commemorate all of Southampton’s fallen heroes.

Members of the parliament joined the City Council, Royal British Legion and city’s Chamber of Commerce to unveil a full-sized replica of one of the walls.

Eight toughened glass panels, standing 1.5m on plinths, are set to go up next to the city’s cenotaph in Watts 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, monochromatic poppy motif could be screen-printed on to the panels.

The council is appealing to people to nominate the names of those who have lost their lives in armed conflicts to be included on the roll of honour.

The SCYP is joining the fundraising drive to mark the 70th anniversary of the Southampton blitz.

It is hoped that every student will raise £1 to help reach the target of £25,000 by November 2010, to coincide with Remembrance Sunday.

Alice Weavers, former Youth UK MP and chairman of SCYP, said: “Members of the SCYP feel it is the responsibility of the young people of Southampton to honour the memory of those who gave their lives to give us our freedom, many of whom would have been young people themselves. These heroes should not be forgotten.”

Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet member for culture and heritage, said: “For some time now we have been working with the Royal British Legion and the Chamber of Commerce to deliver a fitting memorial to our city’s heroes and plans are now moving forward rapidly.

“I am delighted that Southampton City Youth Parliament is getting behind this.”

All schools that get involved and raise funds will be invited to send a student representative to a celebratory ceremony to be held in the mayor’s chamber, where a cheque will be issued to the memorial wall fund on behalf of the schools.

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 nearly £11,000.

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