Big guns, mystery ships and trois French matelots in Portsmouth

A Nelson-class battleship: but was it HMS Nelson or HMS Rodney?
A Nelson-class battleship: but was it HMS Nelson or HMS Rodney?
Ian Darke

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For those who might have missed yesterday’s Remember When, here’s a briefing note.

Rod Gudge, of Hayling Island, recently bought three cameras at auction.

A&B guns of  a British battleship. PPP-140820-101840001

A&B guns of a British battleship. PPP-140820-101840001

One of them was a Kodak Pocket No1 and when he examined it he discovered a roll of film inside. It turns out that it was exposed 77 years ago.

He sent it away for processing, not believing for a moment that this old film would contain any images, let alone anything of note.

He was wrong. For back came prints of the 1937 Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead.

So today I’m featuring more photos from that film in the hope that the shipspotters among you might be able to officially put names to the ships.

Possibly the German Graf Spee. PPP-140820-101945001

Possibly the German Graf Spee. PPP-140820-101945001

Above, I think we might be looking at either HMS Nelson or HMS Rodney, a shot showing the B7X gun turrets and the companionway.

The photographer must have been on a tourist boat going around the fleet when he or she took the close-up of the big guns of a British ship. But which one might it be?

I’m pretty certain the third ship here is the German raider and heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

The final photograph shows French sailors enjoying a petit RnR along Southsea seafront. In those days it was called entente cordiale.

French sailors along the seafront. PPP-140820-101756001

French sailors along the seafront. PPP-140820-101756001

To see video of George VI reviewing his fleet at Spithead in 1937, click here.