Hidden away, inside the entrance to Hollybrook Cemetery, opposite Southampton General Hospital is a national First World War memorial few people know about. Yet, it is as important as its famous counterparts like the Menin Gate at Ypres and Thiepval on the Somme. The Hollybrook Memorial was unveiled by the War Graves Commission in 1930. It commemorates by name the members of the Commonwealth land and air forces who were lost or buried at sea or whose final resting place is unknown.
Many of the men and women listed on the 109 panels died when the hospital ships, troop ships or merchant ships they were sailing on were mined or torpedoed, mostly in home waters. Each of the 1,930 people and the twenty-eight ships and two airships named have fascinating and resonant stories to tell – forgotten stories of tragedy, heroism and sacrifice.
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