Nazi bomb killed Bolly’s conker-playing friend...

On the left is Sid Byng whose life was brutally ended during a Luftwaffe raid on Portsmouth
On the left is Sid Byng whose life was brutally ended during a Luftwaffe raid on Portsmouth
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These two lads did not have a care in the world apart from who was going to win this game of conkers in 1936.

The nine-year-olds were best mates and for them it was an age of innocence.

Five years later their friendship came to a brutal end when a German bomb killed the boy on the left along with several members of his family nearly 70 years ago.

He was Sid Byng and his conker-playing friend was Bolly Hart.

Bolly is the grandfather of Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainer Clayton Patilla, from Portsmouth.

He got in touch with this photo on behalf of his mother Glenda Patilla (nee Hart), Bolly’s daughter.

Clayton said: ‘Bolly’s grandfather and Sid’s father were brothers.

‘Not long after this photo was taken my grandfather lost his best friend when a bomb fell on the Byng family home in Belgrave Street, Landport.

It happened on May 5, 1941, when 59 Belgrave Street suffered a direct hit.

Clayton added: ‘The entire family was lost. There was one survivor, Sid’s aunt Peggy Byng who was staying overnight with the family and who was pulled from the rubble some days after the attack.

‘My grandad survived the war and after his stint in the Army later married my grandmother Audrey, also from Portsmouth.

‘They eventually settled in Somers Town and now boast an impressive six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.’