ANZAC Day service in Portsmouth

Earlier today Sarah and myself went to the annual ANZAC service at Milton Cemetery in Portsmouth, in remembrance of the 13 Great War Australian soldiers buried in Portsmouth. Regular readers might remember that I ran a series earlier in the year about the men and their experiences.

The service was attended by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Cheryl Buggy, Royal British Legion Standard Bearers, Royal Marines Cadets and members of the public. After a few words and prayers from the Chaplain, the last post was sounded and a minutes silence observed. After the reveille wreaths were laid, along with Poppy crosses.

It was great to see such a turn out, especially for some very young men who died over 95 years ago, so far from home. Hopefully they would be pleased that they have not been forgotten.

As you can see the graves are in a beautiful condition, and are tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. All of the 11 in this particular row were buried separately, but then exhumed and re-interred after the war in the same row. Hence their graves look very much like war graves in some of the big foreign war cemeteries in France and Belgium. Also buried next to them is Edward Sanderson, who voluntarily tended the Australian graves, and his wife Harriet.

I also have pictures of each of the men’s graves, and I will be updating their biographies on my blog with their pictures. If anybody from Australia would like to take copies of these pictures, then please do. I am also hoping to write an article about Portsmouth’s adopted ANZAC’s for th Australian War Memorial Journal in the near future.



Filed under event, Pompey ANZAC's, western front, World War One

4 responses to “ANZAC Day service in Portsmouth

  1. John Erickson

    Which group of uniformed people is that, with their backs to the camera in the last photo? I’m not upon current British uniforms.
    It’s good to see the turnout of interested folk. I’m sincerely worried that any remembrances will be few and far between here in the States, especially prior to 2017. It’s a shame we were so late to the “party” – I wonder how things would have gone had the US gotten fully involved earlier, even by as little as 6 months. (Yeah, I know, there’s probably some “what-if” story out there somewhere!)

  2. Great to see the ANZAC’s remembered in places such as Portsmouth. I traveled over there a few years ago during the 65th DDay anniversary commemorations and had no idea there were ANZAC graves there. Thanks for covering this.

    • James Daly

      You’re welcome, it’s been a pleasure researching and covering them.

      There are quite a few ANZAC graves dotted all around British towns and cities, as wounded ANZACS were sent to all manner of military hospitals after being evacuated from the Western Front.

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