For the Fallen - Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fort Nelson will ring to the sound of gun salutes to mark Armistice Day on Friday, November 11, and again on Remembrance Sunday, November 13.

An original 18-pounder field gun from the First World War will be fired in salute on Armistice Day to mark the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month – commemorating when the guns fell silent on the Western Front in 1918. A further gun-firing follows at 1pm.

The Fort will also join the nation on Remembrance Sunday in honouring those British servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the two World Wars and later conflicts – including Iraq and Afghanistan. These commemorations will include the firing of a First World War field gun, manned by a uniformed crew at 11am, followed by two minutes’ silence. A local battery of Royal Artillery (V), from the Territorial Army, will be in attendance.

Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday have special significance at Fort Nelson as the Victorian building acted as a transit depot for soldiers embarking at Portsmouth for France, and was one of the barracks for the Portsmouth garrison, which at times numbered as many as 25,000 men.

In the Second World War, the Fort was converted to become the main ammunition depot for anti-aircraft gun batteries in the central south region, and 10 storage sheds were built on the Parade.

One January night in 1941, the Germans launched one of their heaviest bombing attacks of the war on the Portsmouth area. Fort Nelson was damaged but remained operational – and commended for its men’s unstinting efforts in supplying extra ammunition to gun positions.

The Fort will open early on both days at 10am and museum visitors are welcome to attend all gun firings.

Museum admission is free.

For more information about Fort Nelson:

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Notes to Editors

Download the PDF press release.