Town marks WW1 anniversary

One hundred years ago trains thundered through Eastleigh carrying the British Expeditionary Force to Southampton and on to an appointment with destiny at Mons.

Last night Eastleigh townsfolk gathered at the war memorial statue of the Angel of Mons to commemorate the start of the war that was meant to “end all wars.”

Around eighty people took part in an hour long candlelight vigil arranged by the Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford District branch of the Royal British Legion.

The council had turned off lighting and Stevens Fun Fair suspended operations as a mark of respect.

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There was a short address by the president of Eastleigh British Legion Norman Brown MBE before the crowd fell into an hour of quiet reflection.

Afterwards Branch Chairman Brian Godwin said he was pleased at the turnout and that so many people had stayed for the entire hour.

Mr Godwin remarked that police officers were not just there as part of their duty but also to take part in the ceremony.

“We are lucky in Eastleigh, there is always a good turnout for Remembrance Sunday. We get a lot of support from the community and the council.”

Other events are being staged in the borough to commemorate the anniversary and on September 7 the Royal British Legion will be staging a re-creation of a WW1 field hospital on Leigh Rd rec.

Photos ©EBC

  4 comments for “Town marks WW1 anniversary

  1. Stuart Jebbitt
    August 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    It was a very somber and thought provoking event. glad I went. My grandfather was one of the BEF and at Mons. Luckily for him, he was captured and by 1915 was a POW at Sennelager, but not before earning the DCM.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      August 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      As an ‘old comtemptible ‘ your grandad must have been on one of those trains steaming through Eastleigh!

      You don’t get a DCM just for turning up – he must have seen some fierce action.

  2. Stuart Jebbitt
    August 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    His train left Aldershot at 2.30 am on the 18th August 1914 bound for Southampton Docks and the SS Karnak troopship. So probably passed through Eastleigh around 4 am!

  3. Graham Hunter
    August 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Very brave men. We will never forget them.

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