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CWGC - Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England

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Image above © Copyright David Dixon - licensed for reuse under [t Creative Commons Licence] Geograph
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Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Hampshire, England UK

Portsmouth Naval Memorial commemorates around 10,000 sailors of the First World War and almost 15,000 of the Second World War.

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After the First World War members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea, had no permanent memorial and so an Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should have identical memorials of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping.

The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer with sculpture by Henry Poole. The Portsmouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (the future George VI) on 15 October 1924.

After the Second World War the naval memorials were extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. The architect for the Second World War extension at Portsmouth was Sir Edward Maufe (who also designed the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede) and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler, William McMillan, and Esmond Burton. The Extension was unveiled by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on 29 April 1953.

Names of those lost in the Second World War are recorded on panels set into the low walls of an enclosure added to the north, leading to a barrel-vaulted pavilion on each side. The extension was unveiled by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 29 April 1953.

Among those commemorated at Portsmouth are most of the crew of HMS Bulwark, who died in 1914, and 127 men who lost their lives when the mine layer HMS Princess Irene exploded while anchored near Sheerness on 27 May 1915.

Notable sailors commemorated at Portsmouth

Victoria Crosses

  • Ordinary Seaman John Henry Carless, V. C. H. M. S. Caledon, Royal Navy, died 17th November 1917, aged 21. Panel 25.
  • Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Saxton White, V. C. H. M. Submarine E. 14, Royal Navy, died 28th January 1918, aged 31. Panel 28.
  • Able Seaman William Charles Williams, V. C., Mentioned in Despatches (RFR/PO/B/3766) H. M. S. Hussar, Royal Navy, died 25th April 1915, aged 34. Panel 8.
  • World War Two

Victoria Crosses

  • Commander John Wallace Linton, V. C., D. S. O., D. S. C. H. M. Submarine Turbulent, Royal Navy, died 23rd March 1943, aged 37. Panel 72 Column 3.
  • Captain Frederick Thornton Peters, V. C., D. S. O., D. S. C. and Bar. (Distinguished Service Cross U. S. A.). H. M. S. Excellent, Royal Navy, died 13th November 1942, aged 53. Panel 61 Column 3.
  • Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope, V. C. H. M. S. Glowworm, Royal Navy, died 8th April 1940, aged 35. Panel 36 Column 3.
  • Petty Officer Alfred Edward Sephton, V. C. H. M. S. Coventry, Royal Navy, died 18th May 1941, aged 30. Panel 46 Column 2.
  • Lieutenant-Commander Malcolm David Wanklyn, V. C., D. S. O. and two Bars H. M. Submarine Upholder, Royal Navy, died 14th April 1942, aged 30. Panel 61 Column 3.

Sources, References and Further Reading