A navy cut above

Passchendaele. Picture: Imperial War Museum

Pompey Pals will lay wreath at Guildhall Square for Passchendaele dead

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A few weeks ago I mentioned the aromatic cigarettes smoked by posh ladies in Southsea and made somewhere in Portsmouth.

Lilly Rump tells me that in 1941 she worked in the factory that made them and it was located in Purbeck Street, Portsea. Called Spanish Shaw, they were made on one day of the week.

Lilly says the dried tobacco leaves were laid on the factory floor and sprayed to keep them moist. It was then Lilly’s job to cut the centre stem from the leaves which were then shredded and made into cigarettes, mostly Navy Cut for service use. They were all hand packed.

Lilly did not last long in the poorly-paid job. She went home with her hands stained and leaf flakes in her hair.