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:
Notes to Editors
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson houses the national collection of historic cannon and big guns. The museum houses one of the world’s finest collections with over 350 cannon dating back over 600 years and from every corner of the earth. The collection originated at HM Tower of London and has been on display in Hampshire since 1995. Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.6billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
- Hampshire County Council has worked in partnership with the Royal Armouries since 1988 to provide a home for the national artillery collection. This has included leasing Fort Nelson to the Royal Armouries, maintaining the structure and providing ongoing support from the council’s property services team.
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson also tells the story of the Palmerston Forts, built to protect Portsmouth from a feared French invasion in the 1860’s.
- Fort Nelson is open every day except 24-26 December. April to October 10am –5pm (Wed 11am-5pm), November – March 10.30am – 4pm (Wed 11.30-4pm).
- Admission to the Royal Armouries is FREE.
- Admission charges apply to some events.
- Information line: 01329 233734
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour with sites at Fort Nelson, Leeds, HM Tower of London and Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
- To support the work of the Royal armouries; make a donation at justgiving.com
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.