Somme1

On Friday afternoon 1 July Cllr Faith Ponsonby, current Mayor of Havant and her consort Michael took the Museum a little by surprise by arriving slightly earlier than had been anticipated, in order to open the Museum's exhibition on the Battle of the Somme. But she coped admirably, putting everyone at ease and even cutting the ribbon over the door twice to accommodate the photographers. In her opening remarks she not only talked about her father's role in WW1, but said she could understand the sacrifices so many local people had made in that war. She referred to Emsworth's position in Havant as 'the jewel in the borough's crown' which everyone appreciated very much.

She then toured the exhibition, joined by her brother and sister-in-law, who had come especially for the occasion, and posed again for the press in front of Ian Banfield's original painting of Archie Paxton, who had died on the first day of the Somme battle. In February and March this year two Chichester University second-year history students had recorded Cllr Ponsonby talking about the Somme and she was given a copy of their recording. She ended the visit by joining Dorothy (Museum Secretary) to chat over a welcome cup of tea and biscuit.

200

 Article Margaret Rogers

Pictures John Tweddel

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