Hampshire County Councillors and staff have gathered at the war memorial next to Winchester’s Great Hall yesterday, Friday 10th November to pay their respects to servicemen and women who have lost their lives in war.
The Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Graham Burgess, led the Act of Remembrance, as staff and Councillors gathered together to observe the two minute silence. Councillor Burgess said: “It is right that we take time to remember those individuals who paid the ultimate price in war - sacrificing their lives. Even though we naturally look back and reflect on past wars, it is important that we acknowledge the service and sacrifices still being made by our Armed Forces today, including those returning from combat, those who are injured on the frontline, as well as the support they receive from loved ones, every single day.”
A wreath was laid at the ‘To Honour a Promise’ memorial with poignant readings by Reservists and ex-Service members of County Council staff.
As a county, Hampshire has one of the largest military communities in England, with around 20,000 serving personnel, and 60,000 veterans living in the county.
The Authority also employs a number of ex-service personnel and reservists from the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force, with reservists entitled to two weeks additional paid leave for training and other duties.
Among the County Councillors attending the Remembrance Service was Councillor Andrew Joy, the County Council’s Executive Member for Communities, Partnerships and External Affairs and Armed Forces Champion. Councillor Joy commented: “Our commitment in supporting our Armed Forces community, including regulars, reservists, veterans and their families, continues in many different ways. We were one of the first local authorities to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, helping secure around £2 million in grants for over 50 projects across the county, benefiting Service families and the wider local community. We have always been very proud of our long association with the Armed Forces, and it is with great pride that we honour the commitment and sacrifices they make for the security and wellbeing of our country.”
Currently funded projects include helping military families access community based services, support integration and reduce social isolation, as well as delivering Mental Health First Aid training to local authority staff.