£5,500 to help commemorate Pompey service personnel

More than 20 retail stores in and around Portsmouth have rallied together to support a charity dedicated to remembering the Great War.

Southern Co-op members Peter Strickland (left) and Julia Stroud (right) are shown around the Pompey Pals museum at Fort Widley

As the country observes the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Pompey Pals charity has been given a donation of £5,500 by colleagues at Southern Co-op’s stores in Portsmouth, Havant, Porchester, Drayton and Purbrook.

The Pompey Pals charity aims to commemorate all men and women from the Portsmouth region who served in any capacity during The Great War, whether at home or overseas.

It is estimated that the war claimed the lives of approximately 7,500 people from Portsmouth.

Earlier this year, the Pompey Pals charity opened its first museum at Fort Widley dedicated to telling the stories of those involved in the war.

Chris Pennycook, from the Pompey Pals charity, said: “As we near the centenary of The Armistice, we are now looking to expand the story.

“The donation from Southern Co-op will enable us to further the ongoing development of our Museum and Research Centre at Fort Widley. The emphasis will be on the personal stories of the men and women from Portsmouth and the local area who have served the country over the last 100 years and to support our current day veterans.

“We are delighted Southern Co-op has chosen to support The Pompey Pals charity. We look forward to meeting many of the members at our centre in the future.”

Members of Southern Co-op – a regional, independent co-operative owned by its members – were recently given a special behind the scenes tour of Fort Widley and the Pompey Pals charity.

Pete Raynor, Southern Co-op’s Area Business Manager, said: “We are lucky to have a community engagement programme at Southern Co-op which allows us to sponsor projects like these.

“What was just as special was being shown around the museum and being given the chance to share our families own stories during The Great War.”

Southern Co-op’s community engagement programme ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ addresses four key social themes for promoting: ‘Greener’, ‘Healthier’, ‘Safer’, and ‘More Inclusive’ neighbourhoods.

Click here to find out more about the Love Your Neighbourhood scheme.