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  1. ITV Report

Plymouth pauses to remember 'forgotten young sailors' on Armistice Day

People in Plymouth paused on Monday to remember hundreds of teenagers who lost their lives in conflict.

School pupils joined the service for sailors as young as 14 years old at Wantage Gardens memorial

Every Armistice Day for the last 20 years, local resident Robert Machin has been coming to the site alone to pay his respects.

Robert Machin (left) was joined by Cdr Steve Ward (right). Credit: ITV News

It just seems as though nobody knows about it or they've forgotten about it. I just think that's wrong. More than ninety per cent of the headstones here are for children, sixteen, seventeen, fifteen, fourteen years old. My eldest two sons are in the Royal Navy and it would be very very sad for any parent to think that their children have been forgotten about in this way.

– Robert Machin
Youngsters came along to the service. Credit: ITV News

Robert was joined on Monday by Royal Navy personnel, along with pupils from a nearby primary school.

Hundreds of thousands of Naval heroes in both the first and second world wars were the legal age of 18, a fact which still resonates down the generations.

I think it's just an easy sell in Plymouth. Once the word goes out it's easy just to give two minutes of your busy day to remember isn't it. They were very keen, the kids have put together a little reading, a little presentation, they wanted to be here and do their bit and it's absolutely right that we should remember isn't it.

– Cdr Steve Ward, HMS Drake
The memorial garden has headstones for young sailors. Credit: ITV News

We had (people) from nought years old up to a lot older people. We think it's important that the little ones we look after understand a bit about remembrance day and trying to keep them away as they grow up. I think they need to grow up knowing the history of the community they live in.

– Rachel Giblett, childminder