The Pompey Pals are set for a temporary home, ahead of a longer term solution, to exhibit historic items from the Great War to commemorate the local men who formed the 14th and 15th ‘Pals battalions’ of the Hampshire Regiment.
Portsmouth City Council is helping in the search for places and Bob Beech, Pompey Pals chairman said “We’ve had a great meeting with Donna Jones (Leader of Portsmouth City Council), and we look forward to working more with the council in 2015. Meanwhile as well as the visitor centre the Pompey Pals Project has many plans for the coming year and beyond to commemorate those men and women from our area who served during the Great War. I’d also add my thanks to PompeyNewsNow for all their support in 2014.”
More than 1,400 of the ‘Pals’ who formed the battalions in Portsmouth were killed during the war and more than 500 of the sailors killed during the Battle of Jutland were from Portsmouth.
“Every street in Portsmouth felt the loss,” Bob Beech said. “We have hundreds of items to remember them by, including a Vickers machine gun used on the Western Front, and we’d like to put it all on display in Portsmouth. At the exhibition, visitors will also be able to bring details of relatives they think served in the battalions and we will be able to look into the involvement of their loved ones.”
Cllr Linda Symes, Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We are very pleased to work with the Pompey Pals. It is extremely important for us to remember this loss to the city. We are looking to find a venue within the next few weeks with a view to setting up a longer term display in the future.”
Cllr Lee Mason, Cabinet member for Resources, said: “This is an important chance to bring to life the story of the Pompey Pals. My experience looking into the family history of those who served in the war has brought revelations to light – not just about their bravery but also about the conditions they lived through. We will be helping the Pompey Pals look for both a temporary location to exhibit the memorabilia, during the centenary commemorations, and then also to find a forever home going forward afterwards.”
For more information on Pompey Pals, visit their website at www.pompeypals.org.uk