On the night of July 15, 1944, just when the people of Portsmouth had every reason to think the end of the Second World War might just be in sight, catastrophe came to Stamshaw.
On that evening citizens who had heard of D-Day and the advance of the Allies on mainland Europe must have thought it would all be over very soon.
Sadly, for 15 residents of Newcomen Road, Stamshaw, it was to end with their deaths. Another 82 needed hospital treatment.
On that night a V1 aimed, it is believed, at London ‘winged’ when approaching the seafront over Eastney and came down in the back gardens of Newcomen and Winstanley roads causing the destruction seen in the picture above.
We are looking up Newcomen Road from the foreshore end with the blast damage to the houses to the left.
The houses on the right received the worst of it and it must have been heartbreaking for the rescuers trying to dig out the survivors and the dead.
In the middle of the picture is a lad looking at the camera which I’ve enlarged and used below. Does anyone know who he is/was? I would very much like to talk to him if he is still around.
In the ‘now’ picture we see the housing that replaced those too far gone to be rebuilt.
All was peaceful on this Sunday morning, a far cry from that evening when the last bomb fell on Portsmouth.