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Portsmouth Exhibition

CWGC exhibition at Portsmouth International Port

19 May 2014

A D-Day veteran and local schoolchildren have opened a new exhibition by the CWGC at Portsmouth International Port.

88 year old Frank Rosier, who was among the second wave of soldiers fighting on the Normandy Beaches on 6 June 1944, joined year 6 pupils from Solent Junior School in Portsmouth at the unveiling of the new exhibition in the passenger terminal. Called "Discover Wartime Memories", the specially designed exhibition will run for the next month until 19 June.

Frank Rosier, Secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association in Portsmouth said, "I'm really pleased to see that the children are so keen to learn about D-Day and this exhibition will be incredibly helpful for their education. I am a big supporter of the CWGC. Given the First World War was 100 years ago their cemeteries throughout Europe are so beautifully kept. It's the biggest compliment that could be paid to those who died in both World Wars."

This year the nation will mark the Centenary of the start of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day. With thousands of people expected to head to Northern France to remember the conflicts, managers at the Port invited the CWGC to produce the informative and emotive displays on the mezzanine level of the terminal building.

Passengers, local visitors and school children will be able to discover the personal stories of young men like sixteen year old Jack Banks of the Durham Light Infantry, who is buried in Jerusalem War Cemetery - the smallest military cemetery in Normandy. Or Arturo Fanconi, who was awarded the Albert Medal when he gave his life to rescue his comrades. Albert is buried at Bayeux War Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in Normandy.

Also attending the opening was Mr Alan Pateman-Jones, Director General of the CWGC. The organisation ensures that 1.7 million people who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. It cares for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. Its values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were almost 100 years ago.

Mr Alan Pateman-Jones said, "I am honoured and delighted to be here today on this special occasion. With the Centenary of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day in the limelight, the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to find out more about exploring the D-Day landing beaches, museums, war cemeteries and memorials in Normandy as well as in Portsmouth and its surrounding area."

The CWGC is working with the Royal British Legion, the Normandy Veterans Association and the Ministry of Defence to deliver a number of commemorative events to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Further details can be found at: www.gov.uk/mod/dday70