‘A bit rough, and none the better for want of a shave’

Alan Sanger and his cousin Audrey (with their backs to the camera) are in the centre of this historic blitz picture taken at Fratton.

Bomb site boy is revealed, 76 years after blitz on Portsmouth

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On this day in 1914, 37 injured soldiers, including 14 wounded German prisoners, arrived at Fratton railway station from Southampton docks and were taken to the Girls’ Secondary School in Fawcett Road (now Priory School), which had been converted into a military hospital.

The Hampshire Telegraph reported that they looked ‘a bit rough, and none the better for want of a shave’.

There was disappointment among the crowd gathered outside that the Germans wore ‘peaked caps, not the spiked helmet which one usually associates with German soldiers’ – John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.

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