Live updates

Sikh memorial unveiled to honour WW1 soldiers

Sikh memorial unveiled today Credit: ITV News Central

The UK's first national Sikh memorial in honour of those who fought during the Great War has been unveiled.

The memorial is the first of its kind and was made by a team in Basingstoke in Hampshire. The statue commemorates the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the First World War.

Major General Patrick Sanders says it is important to recognise the role of Sikh soldiers during the Great War, and to honour their bravery:


German aviator forever linked with the town of Gravesend

Aviator became the first and only German prisoner of war to escape from Britain. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A town in Kent is honouring its links to a unique piece of wartime history. A plaque and information board in Gravesend will remember the exploits of the only German prisoner to have escaped from Britain in both world wars. Derek Johnson reports.

Who owns this First World War medal?

Appeal to find medal's owner Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police are trying to find the owner of a World War One medal which was found recently in Ashford. This is likely to have high sentimental value to someone and Kent Police would like to find the owner. Anyone with information should e-mail

New composition pays tribute to young poet killed in WW1

The experiences of a young soldier killed in the First World War underpins new work by the world-renowned composer and University of Southampton professor, Michael Finnissy.

Remembrance Day draws on the poetry and prose of Henry Lamont Simpson, who was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917.

He was brought back to Southampton and then treated at a military hospital in Hursley Park near Winchester. Returning to The Front in 1918, he was killed by a sniper while reconnoitring No Man’s Land. He was just 21 years old.

Henry Lamont was an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and was injured in Belgium in 1917. Credit: UniversityofSouthampton

Professor Michael Finnissy comments:

It is fitting that young people are integral to the performance. The student musicians are much the same age as Henry when he was sent to fight in the war and this premiere gives them the chance to reflect on the horrors faced by young soldiers a century ago.

My composition simply presents evidence, much as Simpson’s poetic war-diary does. Significantly, he laments the loss of his friends, but does not accuse or apportion blame. It is not the work of a general, or a war-hero, or a politician and moves from scenes of mass volunteer-enlistment, to the horrors of the battlefield – from regret, to simple off-duty pleasures in the countryside.

– Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy’s piece receives its world premiere at the University’s concert venue Turner Sims on 16 November. Finnissy himself will play the solo piano part, and Henry Lamont Simpson’s great nephew will be in the audience as a special guest.


WW1 battlefield soil arrives in Southampton

The ship the Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton today, bringing with her some soil from a World War 1 battlefield.

It is the culmination of a project that started two years ago to build a memorial garden using earth gathered from every battlefield in Flanders where soldiers of the seven regiments of the Household Division died.

School children from Aylesbury, Newbury, Southampton, Basingstoke, Brighton, Farnham, Portsmouth and Littlehampton have been involved in collecting the soil. Mike Pearse reports:

Kent soldiers killed in the Great War remembered

Hundreds of people have turned out in Belgium to remember soldiers from Kent killed during the Great War.

Ex-servicemen, re-enactors and the Band of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment joined locals in the village of Tertre near Mons - at the site of a memorial to the fallen of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

The West Kents were among the very first troops to see action in Europe when the war began as Derek Johnson now reports.

We speak to: Former serviceman Arthur Healey; Col Peter White of the Queen's Own Buffs Regimental Association; Chaplain Rev Keith Fazzani; Tertre villager Elena Marredda; Peter Zieminski of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group and Barbrara Taylor and her daughter.

Load more updates