By Connor Steel
GOSPORT MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, has urged her constituents to come together for War Graves Week and discover local World War heritage; with two graveyards in the town hosting fallen servicemen who died in battle fighting for future freedom and democracy.
War Graves Week runs from May 21-28 and is an initiative from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), whose work includes maintaining the burial places of those men and women of the commonwealth forces who died in the two World Wars during the 20th century.
GWGC has been funded by six Member Governments and is responsible for graves across cemeteries worldwide; the overall total being in the region of 23,000. Recently they have launched the Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times project that is available here, which aims to celebrate the fallen service personnel’s value to key sectors such as healthcare, logistics, infrastructure, and communication.
War Graves Week will furthermore encourage local residents to learn about the stories of those buried across Gosport; with stories and information available on each grave by visiting www.CWGC.org. Residents are also encouraged to visit the two cemeteries in person, which are Gosport (Anns Hill) Cemetery and Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery on Clayhall Road, Alverstoke.
One Globe reader and keen family researcher commented: “I have visited both cemeteries and was delighted to see that each grave had been respectively maintained. Using both the GWGC and Ancestry websites, I enjoyed learning about the stories and local history that inspired me; I have even adopted one or two and have laid flowers down whenever I visit.”
Commenting on her website Caroline said: “Gosport has a very rich military history, and I want to encourage all of my constituents to embrace War Graves Week. It’s a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with our local history and learn about the courageous ordinary people from our community who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Behind every name on a war grave or memorial in Gosport is a human story waiting to be discovered and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”
PICTURED BY AISLING STEEL: War grave with red rose in Anns Hill Cemetery ground (old side at back)