Attended by servicemen, many of whom were injured in the war, as well as the King and Queen, the event was preceded by a luncheon and processions in London. The sacrifices of men were translated into music with a choral concert.

‘To The Vanguard’, a poem dedicated to The Old Contemptibles (those part of the British Expeditionary Force) and written by Beatrix Brice Miller, was put to music by Arthur Somervell for the occasion. First published in The Times on 2nd November 1916, the poem also features on the Southampton Old Contemptibles Memorial Plaque on Admiralty House.

The banner was made at the Royal School of Art, Needlework, South Kensington, and is made of yellow silk with silk thread embroidery detailing the Hampshire Regiment’s battle honours. This banner, and it’s fellow Regiments banners, were displayed on the evening. In the reverse of the doors is the Roll Call of those who were The Hampshire Regiment during those first few months. This Roll Call was read out at the end of the evening.


An extract from the Hampshire Regimental Journal. It states: 'For us it is hardly yet possible to realise the achievement of our First Seven Divisions. At no time in our history has our national life and honour stood in such mortal danger; never in the history of war has an Army so long resisted the attack of forces so huge and so disciplined, so heavily armed, and so determinedly driven. This we shall know some day, when the tale is told in peace, as part of the vast epic of the war. But even now we can thank and commemorate those who saved us; we can see them as they were and are. No men have ever stood for Britain more truely than these; none ever represented more faithfully her quiet chivalry, her love of duty, her hatred of wrong; none have fulfilled more perfectly the ideals of a long and honourable tradition. To surpass them is beyond the hopes of man; to resemble them will be the desire of many generations.

A tribute to the First Seven Divisions, written in the Hampshire Regiment Journal, 1917.


A black and white imag eof the banner in its wooden frame. the left of the image shows it closed at the right shows it open. At the top it states 'June 1918 The Hampshire Regiment Journal' and underneath the picture it states 'The Banner used at the Commemoration Service for the first seven Divisions, Albert Hall, December 15th 1917.

An image of the Banner printed in The Hampshire Regiment Journal, June 1918.