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This article is concerned with the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. The memorial is located on Southsea Common overlooking the promenade.
For more information onmemorials in the Portsmouth area, plese visit the "Memorials & Monuments In Portsmouth" web site.
Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Stephen Stratford 2009).
The Portsmouth Naval Memorial
After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.
An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping.
The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the CWGC, with sculpture by Henry Poole.
After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war. The architect for the Second World War extension at Portsmouth was Sir Edward Maufe and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler, William McMillan, and Esmond Burton.
Portsmouth Naval Memorial commemorates 9,667 sailors of the First World War and 14,918 of the Second World War.
The names on the memorial are arranged according to year of death. Those for the First World War appear on panels located around the obelisk. Those for the Second World War appear on panel located on the surrounding wall. Within each year, the names are group by service then by rank and surname.
First World War
The WWI panels start with the crew of the Good Hope (Stephen Stratford 2009).
HMS Good Hope, together with the Monmouth, were sunk at the Battle of Coronel (off the coast of Chile) on 1 November 1914. Both ships were sunk by German vessels under the command of Admrial Maximilian von Spee. There were no survivors from either of the British ships.
Second World War
The Second World War (1939-45) involved the Royal Navy to a far larger extent than the 1914-18 war. While the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France experienced a 'phony war' from September 1939 until May 1940, the Royal and Merchant Navies had no such 'phoney' period.
HMS Royal Oak was torpedoed, at her Scapa Flow berth on 13 October 1939, with the loss of 833 Royal Navy sailors. The wreckage of the Royal Oak is now a war grave. For more information on HMS Royal Oak, please visit www.hmsroyaloak.co.uk where an excellent DVD can be purchased about the ship and the war grave.
1939 starts with the names of men from HMS Royal Oak (Stephen Stratford 2007).
HMS Hood was sunk on 24 May 1941, in the Battle of Denmark Strait, during the famous chase of the German ship Bismarck. Out of Hood's complement of 1418 men only 3 survived. For more information on HMS Hood, please visit the "HMS Hood Association" web site.
1941 starts with the casualties from HMS Hood (Stephen Stratford 2009).
Some of the panels listing men from HMS Hood (Stephen Stratford 2009).