Dance champion and her dad killed in head-on crash

Jim Davies, front row, far right, in 1938

Jim Davies, front row, far right, in 1938

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Those who read last Friday’s Remember When will recall the exploits of Portsmouth firefighter George Warren during the blitz.

The pictures and memories came from his son, also called George, who lives at Horndean.

Jim Davies during his time with the Portsmouth force

Jim Davies during his time with the Portsmouth force

He also included the story of Jim Davies, his brother-in-law, who features in two of the pictures on this page.

In the photo of the men in front of the old fire engine Jim is on the far right of the front row.

The picture was taken in 1938, probably in Park Road where, George says, the fire brigade headquarters was based.

George says: ‘Jim came from Llanybydder, a village in south Wales. I believe a number of Welshmen came to Portsmouth to join the force at that time because the police chief also came from Wales, but I can’t confirm that.’ In those days you had to complete a year as a fireman before becoming a policeman.

Gloria Davies  a champion dancer

Gloria Davies a champion dancer

Jim served in the army in the Second World War and when he was demobbed he returned to the city and the police force.

George continues: ‘He soon married my sister Peggy and had two daughteers, Gloria and Janet.

‘Jim was stationed at North End and became a well-known figure spending much of his time on point duty at the junction of Stubbing Avenue, Gladys Avenue, Angerstein Road and London Road.

‘His daughter Gloria was a national dance champion and an excellent dance teacher.’

CHAMPIONS Gloria Davies and her dancing partner Leonard Leslie, also from Portsmouth

CHAMPIONS Gloria Davies and her dancing partner Leonard Leslie, also from Portsmouth

But on the Saturday before Christmas 1965, when Gloria was driving her father and George’s daughter Ann and her dancing partner Gary, both 10, to a competition, they were involved in a head-on collision.

George adds: ‘Gloria, just 21, was killed instantly. Jim died the next day.

‘Ann and Gary suffered serious injuries, but after lengthy stays in hospital, thankfully, both recovered.

‘It was a big story in The News and people were so very kind, but nothing will ever bring them back.’

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