More than 10,000 soldiers of the Royal Hampshire Regiment who lost their lives during the First World War were commemorated on Friday (August 1).

Around 10,000 crosses were placed in a Field of Remembrance in Winchester to pay tribute to the brave soldiers who fought for the county and their county between 1914 and 1918.

During the First World War alone, the regiment lost more than eight thousand soldiers.

The field of poppy crosses will pay tribute to those killed in both world wars, as well as those who have died in conflicts since WW2.

Among them was a Sergeant Goode of Fleet, who trained in Colchester and served the entire war on the Western Front.

Dozens of Lights Out events are being held across Hampshire on Monday (August 4) to mark the centenary of the war.

It comes after refurbishment of Winchester's Serle House Museum, which is dedicated to the Hampshire Regiment, funded by a £93,000 Heritage Lottery Grant.

Secretary of the Royal Hampshire Regiment Trust, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Bulleid, said the work was timed to coincide with the centenary and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.

"To highlight the anniversaries, and to commemorate the members of the regiment who were killed on active service, it was decided to place a little poppy cross in the ground for each member who died – 8,023 in the First World War, 2,149 in the Second World War, and 87 after that," he said.

'Haven of tranquility'

10,000 poppy crosses have been planted to commemorate the Hampshire Regiment.

The poppies will remain in the Regimental Memorial Garden from August 1 until mid-September, spanning the period of the start of the first and second world wars.

"In addition, we are inviting people to sponsor an individual cross for a loved one, which will be in the ground for the same period of time," added Lt Col Bulleid.

“The Regimental Memorial Garden in Winchester, with its ornate rose beds, is a haven of tranquillity in a busy city. The field will be a fitting tribute and commemoration to those members of the regiment who gave their lives so we are able to sit out and enjoy it."

The crosses were placed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force.

On Friday (August 1), the service started at 11am and was conducted by the Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Rev John Kirkham, himself a former Royal Hampshire Regiment National Serviceman.

Among those in attendance was Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, the leader and the chairman of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry and Cllr Colin Davidovitz, and the mayors of all the Hampshire towns who gave the regiment freedom.

The Royal Hampshire Regiment, known as the Tigers, was in existence for nearly 300 years. It recruited extensively from Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

In the First World War, it managed to raise 36 battalions from a county that was already was providing a lot of men for the Royal Navy in Southampton and Portsmouth.

Pick up this week's News & Mail for our special eight-page commemorative supplement honouring the 1,630 men and women from our area who gave their lives to protect British shores.

News & Mail First World War Supplement