On the 28th of June, Southampton City Council, led by Councillor Christopher Hammond, unveiled the first of these commemorative benches at Southampton Old Cemetery.
The three other benches are located at the South Stoneham Garden of Remembrance at Stoneham Cemetery, Hollybrook Cemetery and also on Lances Hill. Present for the dedication of this bench were Fred Leach from the British Army, Richard Wesemeyer from the Royal Air Force and Martin Lamb from the Royal Navy.
In his address, Councillor Hammond said:
Southampton City Council is tremendously proud of those currently serving or have previously served in the armed forces for their country. These benches and Armed Forces Day on Sunday go some way towards showing our appreciation for the contribution that they have made and continue to make. We are looking forward to welcoming the public to a day of free activities in Guildhall Square from 10am to 6pm.
Since the recent VE Day commemoration in Portsmouth where world leaders and thousands of people turned out to commemorate the occasion, the council have been taking these steps to improve veteran remembrance and visibility in Southampton.
An area heavily affected by bombings in the wars, Southampton holds huge amounts of war time history, from the city centre, to the hideouts on the Common, to the historic shadow factories in Woolston, the wars remain remembered by the city.