Remembrance

Cenotaph

We will remember them

Remembrance Sunday is a day to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

The Southampton Remembrance Sunday Service in November 2020 did not take place.
The key elements of the Remembrance Service was filmed in advance at the Cenotaph and at different war memorials across the city. View the short film below. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions at that time, commemorating this day was very different for all of us. Everyone had to consider alternative ways to mark this important occasion to help prevent the spread of the virus and at all times remember to adhere to government guidelines and the national restrictions at that time.

The Culture Secretary urged the public to pay tribute at home to protect the veteran community and to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by coming together for a national moment of silence at 11am. The National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, London, was broadcast nationwide on BBC One, Sky and ITV.

From Saturday 7 November 2020 the BBC Television and Radio broadcasted a range of special programmes to bring the nation together in remembrance and reflection.

War memorials image

War Memorials Southampton

We have included some War memorials located in the city on a map below so you can find one near to your home. 
If you do visit one of these, please travel safely and adhere to the any government COVID guidance.
There are memorials and lots of gravestones in the Southampton Old Cemetery and local churchyards, stained glass windows in churches all commemorating people who died serving in various wars.
You may also be interested in War Memorials Online and The Imperial War Museum's Register of War Memorials

Remembrance Bench

Remembrance Bench

A Remembrance bench was installed in 2020 at Veracity Sports Ground between Itchen and Merryoak. 

This joined the suite of four benches that have been placed around the city to commemorate the contribution that armed forces personnel made to World War One. 

The other benches can be found at
Southampton Old Cemetery
South Stoneham Garden of Remembrance, Stoneham Cemetery
Hollybrook Cemetery
Lances Hill

Cenotaph unveiled 1920

The Cenotaph in Southampton


6 November 2020 marked 100 years since the unveiling of the Sir Edward Lutyens designed Cenotaph.  The memorial was the first of dozens by Lutyens to be built in permanent form and it influenced his later designs, including The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London. 

The image on the left is from Southampton's unveiling event in 1920. The image below is from a Remembrance Service in 1921.
Images Credit - Southampton Archives.

Cenotaph Service 1921

In November 1918, newly elected Mayor Sidney Kimber initiated plans for a Southampton war memorial.
A Committee was set up to oversee the proposals and in the process consulted Sir Edwin Lutyens, a nationally respected architect who had designed many major buildings and war cemeteries.

Lutyens was asked to submit a design for a memorial and suggested Watts Park as a suitable location.

The approved design included a single empty sarcophagus or cenotaph, supported by a plinth on top of a pillar, with pine cones (signifying eternity) mounted on urns on each side. 
Images Credit - Southampton Archives.

The monument was intended to encourage a perception of the soldier having fallen in a peaceful, ‘beautiful death’. The face of the soldier looks skywards and is not visible from the ground, allowing the onlooker to imagine the soldier is their own lost relative.

The Cenotaph was unveiled by General John Seely (Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire) at a public ceremony on 6 November 1920.
The names of Southampton’s Fallen Heroes are inscribed on the walls of the Cenotaph. They are also on the green glass Memorial Walls located either side of the Cenotaph, which include names of the dead of the Second World War, and those who had died in subsequent conflicts.

Councillor Sue Blatchford, Mayor of Southampton, tells the story of The Cenotaph in this film, created especially to mark the 100 years anniversary.

Find out more about the history of The Cenotaph in Southampton.

You may not be able to visit The Cenotaph over the coming week to pay your respects but we can bring the war memorial to you.
See the Cenotaph Virtual Tour below.

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

When you go home, tell them of us and say, ‘for their tomorrow, we gave our today'.

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