Pompey boys take their revenge

The George Hotel, Queen Street, Portsea: the tiling below the left hand ground floor window has the inscription Jewell & Sons Ale, a unique survivor of this former Portsmouth brewery.
Pictures: Steve Wallis/Amberley

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I wonder how today’s newspapers and websites would report this story from 1374?

It was all to do with the French sacking the old town of Portsmouth in 1337, 1369 and 1372.

In the first 1337 attack the whole town was all but destroyed. Two years after the last attack the local lads had had enough and took their revenge.

They crossed the Channel and, on seeing five ships at anchor at Le Harve, set them on fire.

I can just imagine the local headline writers making as much as they could from it: ‘Pompey boys torch French navy’; ‘French president says ‘‘We have had enough – no more attacking Les Rosebifs of Portsmouth for us’; ‘Five French ships sent to the bottom – Pompey boys gave that sinking feeling’.

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