Prince Edward Visits South Coast War Memorials

Special panels have been installed at First World War memorials on the South Coast, allowing people to use their smartphones to learn about the history of soldiers who died.

More than 100 information panels are being put up by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at memorials across the UK as part of a campaign to provide more information to the public as the 100th anniversary of the First World War approaches.

The Duke of Kent unveiled panels today at Portsmouth Naval Memorial and Southampton's Hollybrook Cemetery.

Each panel carries information about the site of the cemetery or memorial and also includes a Quick Response (QR) code.

When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code provides access to information including personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated at the memorial.

Prince Edward said: ''The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is at the heart of events to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Our cemeteries and memorials will be the focus for many acts of remembrance over the coming years and this initiative will help inform visitors of the historical context which brought these places into being, while putting a human face to the names of those who died.

It is a powerful means of combining traditional methods with new technology to ensure we never forget.''

The QR code at Portsmouth Naval Memorial reveals the story of David Bedell-Sivright, a Scottish rugby international who captained the British Lions and died at Gallipoli.

It also explains the sacrifices made by the local community in sending sailors to fight in the two world wars.

The QR code at Hollybrook tells about Lord Kitchener who is commemorated at the memorial there.