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Club News

We Will Remember Them

1 November 2013

Tribute to the fallen before Saturday's match

Pompey will remember the dead of conflicts past before Saturday’s game against Exeter.

There will be a particular focus on the previously little-known ‘Pompey Pals’ battalion, which was formed almost 100 years ago.

And fans going to the game are urged to arrive in good time for the pre-match ceremony, which starts at 2.45pm.

Pompey chairman Iain McInnes and Bob Beech, co-ordinator of the Pompey Pals Project, together with John Jenkins, a World War Two veteran and club employee, will lay a wreath in the centre circle before a bugler sounds the Last Post ahead of a minute’s silence. There will also be a parade of veterans and cadets.

The new OneCom big screen will display a collection of historic World War One postcards and artefacts during the pause for silent reflection, while a commemorative programme has been produced for the game.

The Remembrance Centre is also putting on a display of World War One artefacts in the Victory Bar before the match.

Iain McInnes, who invited the Pals project to get involved, said: “This will be a respectful and poignant occasion and we hope fans will get into the stadium early to participate.

“Portsmouth has a proud military tradition, not just with the navy, and I can’t think of a town or city up and down the country with more reason to honour those who have fought in conflicts.

“My grandfather was bayoneted at Ypres and survived, my father was on a frigate in two Russian Convoys and my father-in-law was one of the first ashore on the D-Day landings, so I have a strong family link with the occasion.”

Bob Beech said: “This is the home game nearest Remembrance Sunday and we are really pleased to be able to highlight the role of the Pompey Pals.

“I am working with the club and the World War One Remembrance Centre at Fort Widley to produce a permanent memorial to the Pals, who were one of the first battalions of its type to form after the start of the Great War in 1914.

“These regiments are usually associated with northern towns, but Portsmouth has a significant role to play in telling their story and we are planning to mark the centenary of the battalion’s formation with a permanent memorial at Fratton Park.

“I am especially grateful to Charles and Sue Haskell from the centre who helped recruit the bugler, and Mark Mitchell from the Hampshire Army Cadet Force Band.”

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