In tune and mentioned in despatches 90 years ago

The band in HMS Despatch, 1926
The band in HMS Despatch, 1926
The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

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This was the ship’s band in the Portsmouth-based light cruiser HMS Despatch, photographed in 1926.

It came to me from a Portsmouth reader, Mr P Burchell, who would like to return it to the family of one of the men in the picture, Able Seaman TW Whitfield, who is on the right hand end of the back row.

Mr Burchell says: ‘The picture was loaned to me by Gordon Whitfield, the son of the man in the picture, in the late 1960s. Gordon then emigrated to Australia and I was unable to return it to him.’

He says the family hailed from Gosport.

Meanwhile, here’s the full list of names of those in the picture in case you can spot a relative:

Back row (l to r): E Doughty Mne, L Parrot SPO, NH Samson AB, HE Wharton Lgd Sea, TW Riggs AB, W Beeby AB, GV Blake Sto, GJ Holloway AB, CG White Ldg Sea, W Weller AB, TW Whitfield AB.

Centre: WT Allen PO Tel, C Pike AB, TE Law Ldg Tel (bandmaster), Capt RC Davenport, Lt JG Moncrieff, N Atkinson AB, W Bell AB.

Front: J Dusman SPO, T Peckover AB, GJ Dolan AB, JA Walker Ldg Tel, WJ Gidley AB.