Around Britain on a mobility scooter

fund raising on behalf of...

1st The Queens Dragoon Guards Benevolent Fund Help for Heros Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association The Royal British Legion The Royal National Lifeboat Institution

 

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and make a differnce...

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Time passed:
1
1
6
6
5
5
9
9
Days since I started

 

 30033.06 miles

£73,780.04 raised

War Graves and Memorials

 

23017.38

 

Home

11th September 2016

Good evening everyone,

Apologies for the lack of updates again, I've been nowhere other than Tramper and the shop. I have been busy programming and renaming headstones, a boring but very important bit of what I have to do. One problem I've had over the last couple of days is I've not been one hundred percent, picked up a bug somewhere, spent a lot of yesterday a sleep, no loss really with the way the rain was coming down!

Statistics so far are:

Memorials

County All Done Complete New
Devon 1416 410 29% 366
Dorset 1115 468 42% 314
Hampshire 2070 1146 55% 856
Isle of Wight 330 180 55% 94
Somerset 960 359 37% 229
Wiltshire 706 96 14% 91
Totals 8743 2659 30% 1950

Graves

Conflict Total Done  
    10964  
Non combat deaths 1711 1711  
Crimean War 1 1  
The Great War 1914 - 1918 127981 5132 4%
Palestine Emergency 1918 - 1948 0 0 0%
World War Two 1939 - 1945 181427 4053 2%
Malayan Emergency 1948 - 1960 0 0 0%
Korea 1951 - 1952 0 0 0%
Cyprus 0 0 0%
Aden 1957 - 1967 0 0 0%
Northern Ireland 1969 - 2008 51 26 51%
Falklands Conflict 1982 64 20 31%
Kuwait 1990 - 1991 0 0 0%
Bosnia 72 2 3%
Afghanistan 2001 - 2014 399 12 3%
Iraq 2003 - 2008 179 7 4%

Cemeteries/Churchyards

County Total Done
Devon 378 173
Dorset 195 110
Hampshire 347 225
Lancashire 560 1
Somerset 356 122
Wiltshire 268 211

A review of Hampshire

I knew Hampshire was going to be a hard county purely by the amount of military establishments there were and have been, I think its the only county with all three military services in it! I started with 2105 known memorials on the system, after removing duplicate entries and some Victoria Cross (VC) graves that shouldn't have been recorded I have got it down to 2070. As the Isle of Wight used to be Hampshire this was covered in fifteen days, I also found some duplicates there, around ten if I remember correctly. this is again one of the anomalies with the way the War Graves are recorded is they are by World War Two county, in 1974 county boundaries changed in some cases, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole used to be Hampshire like the Isle of Wight, now they are part of Dorset.
 I've added an extra field to the database and will time plods on add the current county where appropriate to the system in the hope it makes things easier in the long run...

As I travel I obviously find those that have died whilst in service but do not get recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website, these tend to be post World War One and pre and post World War Two, I think I've mentioned this before. I have some data that I have found by searching the internet and adding it to the database, I have still to finish a lot of it though and again as time plods on I'll add it.

The grave and cemeteries is not up to date by a long way for Hampshire, I have more than eleven thousand grave images, in fact without the help of Andy and Alan Wedge I would probably be still in Portsmouth photographing Haslar Royal Naval cemetery! Nearly four thousand graves in there from the mid eighteenth century on...

Using the "old county ground" I have covered more than two thousand six hundred miles at an average speed of six miles per hour, a long way very slowly! I was very lucky with Portsmouth Kingston and Milton cemeteries, the plots are virtually all toe to toe so I was able to trundle up and own the rows taking photographs, I did more than eleven miles in Kingston cemetery alone! There was a downside, in Milton cemetery I was busy looking at the headstones, not the ground, I failed to see a grave that had sunk by roughly a foot, I think it would be fair to say I stopped suddenly and sharply! I now have some new scars from where I was thrown forward in to the handlebars and box, a lesson learned, one eye on headstones and one on the ground...

The wildlife of Hampshire has been mixed, I enjoyed hearing the cuckoos at the start of spring and was pleased to see hedgehogs, or as I described them, hooligans doing so well in Warsash, I still haven't managed to see a smooth snake though...

the cats for the most part have enjoyed themselves I think, whether it was at Ryde Tesco catching all the voles and shrews or Missy trying to imitate a Savannah cat and trying to catch the hawking swallows on the campsites. I still get a lot of criticism about having cats with me but it is outweighed by all the people who are pleased to see a cat a) on a lead and b) happy with its environment. I can only think of one episode recently when Missy, the almost bomb-proof cat got upset, Hamble-le-Rice, I was trying to find a D Day memorial that had disappeared, I was told to ask at the yacht club, i duly did, two gentlemen were coming out carrying bits for a sail, Missy went bonkers trying to get away, the only thing I can think is that she thought the long floppy sail bag was a huge snake.

The collections are down, I collected just over £2,000 pound in Hampshire and I finally found out why, Tesco and other businesses have taken a lot of grief over charity collectors, unknown charities, unknown collectors etc, I could very well be one of those complained about so they have tightened their rules and procedures, I didn't find out about this until I think it was the end of June and couldn't understand why up until then. I again have a letter that I hand in when I arrive at the store and they are happy for the bucket to stay on the trailer whilst I'm out, I won't ask to collect in the lobby though anymore, if I'm asked or invited that's a different thing.

On the subject of collecting, I need to say thank you to ten of the eleven council areas that gave me licenses to collect throughout Hampshire, the only one that didn't was East Hampshire and when they phoned me in March spoke to me as if I was a complete imbecile and didn't know what I was doing, the press enjoyed hearing about this when I was in Petersfield, obviously like ammunition to have ago at the council with,. I have just emailed all the councils with my collection returns. I will point out as a lot of people are surprised to find out that I need to have a licence to collect money for charity in public places, if you don't its fraud, you also need a letter of authority from the charities to say you are allowed to collect on their behalf, I have all these if anyone wants to see them, it nearly as rare as hens teeth for me to be asked though.

The highs and lows of Hampshire

  • I loved the New Forest though it is over grazed :)
  • Finding a War Memorial vandelised :(
  • Stockbridge and its huge trout :)
  • The Isle of Wight and its hidden spots :)
  • Music festivals :'(
  • The military history of the county :)
  • The state of the roads and pavements :( to be fair this could apply anywhere in the country
  • The wildlife, it makes me smile :)

In all I've enjoyed Hampshire and its countryside and residents, warm and welcoming for the most part, parts of Portsmouth left me frustrated with the attitude of some of the youngsters but as I've been told "Welcome to Pompey".

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