Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fundraising drive for £50,000 Winchester WWI memorial

A £50,000 fundraising drive has started for a memorial to troops who stayed in camps near Winchester during World War I.

The To Honour a Promise project will tell the story of Morn Hill Camps, which was a major site for troops destined for the Western Front.

Volunteers hope to raise funds for a memorial in the city and information boards at the site by next year.

It will mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.

Liberal Democrat Hampshire county councillor Jackie Porter is secretary of To Honour A Promise.

She said: "Winchester played an enormous part in the support of soldiers in the World War I.

"It was an enormous camp and it's a significant part of Winchester's history.

"It's a real credit to Winchester that they welcomed soldiers from all over the world and worked with them to support them."

US soldiers

Stories and photographs of the camp are being sought.

Ms Porter added: "It's about building a memorial but also about interesting the public in the story."

The project was launched after research by Royal British Legion member and historian Tony Dowland revealed a promise was once made to put up a memorial at Winchester Cathedral for US soldiers - but it failed to materialise.

Donations so far include £3,000 from Winchester City Council, £6,000 from Hampshire County Council and funding from Kings' School in the city and the local Army Cadet Force.

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