Good evening everyone,
The important bit first, I won't be going home this Christmas, there are a number of reasons. I will be staying in Gloucestershire ready to start the county on the 2nd January. Family upset but in a car only a couple of hours away where as for me it four days each way.
Some statistics tonight as Hampshire comes to a finish, no mileage yet though until I actually leave in a week and a half. It is only memorials as well as I have approximately nine thousand image backlog for the graves from the last couple of months.
- I started with 2105 recorded memorials after removing duplicate entries it is now 2070.
- I have found and photographed 1144 memorials.
- I have also found a possible 845 new/unrecorded memorials.
The Isle of Wight date I suppose should be included in this though I will do that at a later date.
As is normal locked churches, redundant churches etc have played a major part in a lot of the missed ones, there also memorials that have gone missing for whatever reason. The only memorial vandalised in the county that I have seen was the D Day memorial in Royal Victoria Park and has been reported to the police, incidentally the local paper phoned me about it today and I suspect it will need a lot of work to repair it.
Yesterday I was chauffeured around by Andy Wedge who is now also a registered volunteer with the Imperial War Museum and over time will try and get to the memorials in the county that I haven't been able to do. We covered a lot of ground and had a trip to Southwick Park, we weren't sure if we would get in as the home of Royal Military Police (RMP), Royal Air Force Police and Royal Navy Police. The RMP have a museum there and after the usual checks we were directed there to see Colonel Jeremy Green who gave us both a cup of tea and I explained what I do. I only had one memorial listed as being on the camp, this was to the Non Commissioned Officers who lost there lives in Cyprus, we came away with forty-five possible new/unrecorded memorials. This is where I have to be careful as the RMP Museum has previously been in Woking and Chichester and the memorials may well be recorded there, as I don't have the records yet for Surrey or Sussex I can't check.
A major highlight for both of us yesterday was getting to see the D Day map room.
Another interesting bit we found yesterday was at the D Day Memorial Hall in Southwick, the weather vane depicts a slice of action from D Day, the camera lens I had with me wasn't good enough to get a picture and I'm hoping Andy's picture will be better, if it is I'll post it on here.
As Andy is now a volunteer for the Imperial War Museum it has reminded me that they are always looking for help, whether it be boots on the ground like myself and Andy or whether its doing data entry (updating or adding information) from people like us, all they ask is that you can do eight hours a month, if you would like to help drop me an email or message on Facebook or Twitter, to quote Tesco "Every little helps", I do believe there are a couple of perks if you are into our history though the IWM would need to tell you about that.
Another thing I learnt yesterday was the fact that Hampshire is Britain's oldest county, though we know its not as old as Wales ;)