An entire Portsmouth family at war – but do you recognise these men?

The Gibson family of 30, Wimborne Road, Southsea  a father and four sons who all did their bit.
The Gibson family of 30, Wimborne Road, Southsea  a father and four sons who all did their bit.
HMS Dreadnought, ready for the fleet in a year and a day. She outclassed every other battleship when commissioned.

BOB HIND: Built in just a year and a day, the ship that ruled the world

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It is often forgotten today, more than 70 years on, that during the Second World War entire families sometimes served.

In the photograph above we see the Gibson family who lived at 30, Wimborne Road, Southsea.

French sailors marching through a Portsmouth street. Can anyone put a name to it? 							                           Picture: Barry Cox Collection

French sailors marching through a Portsmouth street. Can anyone put a name to it? Picture: Barry Cox Collection

Mr Gibson, sitting right, served in the First World War in the Royal Marine Engineers.

In the second he was a special constable for a year and then an ARP Warden. Seated, left, is eldest son Lawson, also in the Home Guard.

Standing left and right are Robert and Walter who were in the Royal Engineers. In the middle is Harold, a corporal in the bomb disposal squad.

If anyone has any knowledge of the Gibson family please let me know.

The entrance to Southsea Castle a century ago with the long gone lightkeepers/gatekeepers cottage.

The entrance to Southsea Castle a century ago with the long gone lightkeepers/gatekeepers cottage.

•The Entente Cordiale was a series of agreements signed on April 8, 1904, between the United Kingdom and the French Third Republic which saw a significant improvement in Anglo-French relations.

With the boring Brexit talks now going on I thought this a topical photograph to publish.

In 1905 a grand fleet review was staged at Spithead and referred to as the Entente Cordiale Review.

Thousands of French sailors took over the town with public transport dressed in the flags of the two nations. The French were allowed free travel on trams and were well-received by the public.

A look down Cromwell Road, Eastne, in 1977. More changes than you would believe. 
Picture: courtesy of John Rich

A look down Cromwell Road, Eastne, in 1977. More changes than you would believe. Picture: courtesy of John Rich

•Most of us have been inside Southsea Castle but can anyone remember this cottage that was outside the gate?

I believe it was the lightkeeper’s cottage or maybe the gatekeeper’s.

As you can see see the structure was one plain colour at that time, not the black and white bands of later.

In October 1845 the castle became a military prison capable of holding 100 prisoners.

•Looking along Cromwell Road, Eastney, in 1977 you might think little has changed. But look ‘into’ the photo and you will see much has.

On the left are the Royal Marines Barracks. Behind the wall to the left is the former divisional school building. It was partially converted to married quarters in 1904 and became the RM Museum in 1958. It was demolished in 1984.

Farther along the wall can be seen the main gate with a mortar above. Until 1967 there was a central gate post which was removed because lorries had grown in size.

The barracks finally closed in 1991 with the final parade on October 31.

On the right hand side of the road farther down can be seen a long gone garage.