640 men were killed when the South African troop carrier was hit by a cargo ship in 1917.
Work Begins On New £130,000 War Memorial
Work is underway to create a new memorial wall to commemorate Southampton residents who were killed in wars or conflicts.
The impressive glass walls will run either side, North and South, of the Cenotaph in Watts Park and will list the names of those two thousand Southampton men and women who lost their lives in the First World War, the five hundred who were killed in the Second World War, together with those who have died in subsequent conflicts.
Work to prepare the ground will start today and it is hoped the walls will be completed in time for Armistice Day on 11, November 2011, the 90th anniversary of the unveiling of the original Lutyens' Cenotaph.
The project was commissioned by Southampton City Council in partnership with Southampton and Fareham Chamber of Commerce and The Royal British Legion.
Councillor John Hannides cabinet member for Resources, Leisure and Culture at Southampton City Council said:
"For some time now we have been working with the Royal British Legion and the Chamber of Commerce to deliver a fitting memorial to our city's heroes.
"The new memorial walls will mean their bravery will never be forgotten."
The memorial will commemorate the men and women from Southampton, who gave their lives serving in the armed forces or Merchant Navy during the Great War 1914-1918, World War II or post 1945 conflicts.
The total cost of the project is £130,000, of which Southampton City Council has contributed £50,000. A campaign to raise the rest of the money is underway with the total raised so far standing at nearly £14,000.
Reasons behind the memorial
A recent inspection of the Lutyens' Cenotaph revealed significant erosion of the Portland limestone and inscribed Roll of Honour.
The high cost of re-inscribing the stone was the reason behind the wall concept which will preserve all Cenotaph names and honour the memory of others.
Two concepts were produced, one in Portland limestone, the other in toughened and laminated glass. Both were presented to English Heritage, City of Southampton Society, Southampton Common & Parks Protection Society, and various City Council departments. The glass concept was selected as the preferred design for development.
For further information on how you can donate visit www.soton-chamber.co.uk
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