Visit Southampton

First World War Centenary

2018 commemorated 100 years on from the end of the First World War.

    • Silent Soldiers

    Silent Soldiers

Southampton City Council made a donation for the statues to the Royal British Legion, who have created the 1.6 metre tall figures as part of their Silent Silhouettes Campaign as a 'Thank You' to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed, rebuilt and changed the nation.The figures also represent those who returned home, but whose lives would never be the same again.

The Silent Silhouettes commemorate the 1.1 million British and Empire service men and women who died during the war – which ended in November 1918. In addition to the iconic image of a 'Tommy' (the original Silent Soldier) there are equally significant representatives of the members of the communities the nation says thank you to, including those who gave medical support, soldiers from across the commonwealth, RAF/RFC, Navy, munition factory workers and Suffragettes who lead the fight for votes for women. They all helped makes us the nation we are today.
Seventeen life-size silhouettes have been placed across Southampton to mark 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
A figure is located in each council ward and one near the Cenotaph.
In addition to the iconic image of a 'Tommy', there will be RAF, Commonwealth and Suffragette Silhouettes, representing members of the communities.
Locations of where these will be placed are

The Cenotaph  / Tommy
Bargate Ward - South side of The Bargate Monument / Tommy
Bassett Ward - By War Memorial on Bassett Avenue / Tommy
Bevois Ward - Rockstone Place Park / Commonwealth
Bitterne Ward - St Christopher's Church, Pepys Avenue, Thornhill / Tommy
Bitterne Park Ward - Riverside Park entrance by Cobden Bridge / Tommy
Coxford Ward - Lordshill Library / Tommy
Freemantle Ward - Shirley Road, near St Marks CE Primary School / Tommy - Removed due to vandalism
Harefield Ward - Bitterne Library / RAF
Millbrook Ward - Blighmont Army Reserve Centre / Tommy
Peartree Ward - By benches on top of the hill on Bitterne Road / RAF - Removed due to vandalism
Portswood Ward - Portswood Recreational Ground / Suffragette
Redbridge Ward - Romsey Road, junction with Wimpson Lane and Rownhams Road / Suffragette
Shirley Ward - Southampton Old Cemetery, by Titanic Bench, near The Cross of Sacrifice / Suffragette
Sholing Ward - Sholing Green, Off Kathleen Road / Tommy - Removed due to vandalism
Swaythling Ward - Daisy Dip entrance, Bluebell Road / Suffragette
Woolston Ward - Bridge Road by side of Itchen Bridge, by bench / RAF

View the locations on the Google Map below

    • Silent Silhouette at The Cenotaph

    Silent Silhouette at The Cenotaph - Photo Credit: Southampton City Council

    • Silhouette at Southampton Old Cemetery

    Silhouette at Southampton Old Cemetery - Photo Credit: Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery

  • Previous
  • Next

Southampton and WW1

2018 commemorated 100 years on from the end of the First World War.
We are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of its long-term impact on society and the world we live in today.

During the First World War, Southampton Docks became the number one military embarkation port. Troops marched through the town on their way to the trenches, many never to return. The war had a profound effect on the Home Front of the country, including Southampton.
The Council for British Archaeology is coordinating a national project to record the remains of surviving sites, structures and buildings of the First World War. This Home Front Legacy Project runs throughout the First World War centenary period, 2014 to 2018. The records will eventually be included in local Historic Environment Records (HERs), including the Southampton HER.
Southampton Docks
During the First World War Southampton Docks were requisitioned as No.1 Military Embarkation Port for troops leaving for the war in France. Troops marched through the Bargate on their way to the trenches, many never to return. The war had a profound effect on the Home Front of the Country, including Southampton. 
Southampton Common
The Common served as an army camp for soldiers waiting to embark. Local halls were used in army 
recruitment drives, perhaps including the former drill hall in St Mary’s Road, now a sports centre.
Factories were turned over to war production. A large steel rolling mill was built at Weston Shore. This was demolished in about 1990, although part of the boundary wall survives. 
In 1917 a large jetty was built for military use to the west of Royal Pier. This was later demolished and any remains now lie partly under Mayflower Park. 
Southampton University
As the wounded started to arrive from France, some large houses were converted into hospitals. The newly opened University College in Highfield, the forerunner of Southampton University, became a military hospital for the duration of the war. Buildings such as Bevois Mount House were used to house prisoners of war.
After the war, the Cenotaph and other war memorials were built to commemorate the fallen. The Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the first version of a template later used for the Whitehall cenotaph and other war memorials. A memorial was built at Southampton Golf Course to commemorate a war horse called Warrior. 

More Information

First World War Centenary website > 

Royal Mail Stamps
Royal Mail are issuing a landmark series of Special Stamps to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. There will be 30 stamps in total – six per year from 2014 to 2018. Find out more > 

Hollybrook War Memorial
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. Find out more >

Royal British Legion - #THANK YOU100
100 years ago the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. In 2018 The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world. Join in the conversation using #THANKYOU100  Find out more >