Portsmouth bride buried in wedding dress beside new husband

THEN 42 and 44 Sunningdale Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, after the Luftwaffe had left
THEN 42 and 44 Sunningdale Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, after the Luftwaffe had left

Saint Roger's halo didn't slip when he gave me interview

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These three pictures come from my new book War-Torn Portsmouth, Then After and Now which is out tomorrow.

Many stories came out of the blitz on the city in the early years of the Second World War, but these pictures tell a very sad story.

NOW  42 and 44 Sunningdale Road, Copnor, Portsmouth

NOW 42 and 44 Sunningdale Road, Copnor, Portsmouth

Laurence Pearce, 23, was a member of the Pharmaceutical Society and employed by the well-known Portsmouth company Timothy White’s & Taylor.

Laurence attended the Southern Grammar School, studied at the technical college and also went to night school.

He was offered an appointment with Timothy White’s but forgot to turn up for the interview.

He phoned the manager, told him his problem and they agreed to rearrange the interview which Laurence passed and was taken on.

MARRIED JUST FIVE WEEKS 
Laurence and Iris Pearce nee Kane on their wedding day.

MARRIED JUST FIVE WEEKS Laurence and Iris Pearce nee Kane on their wedding day.

He was well thought of in the company and would have gone on to higher things had his life not been taken when so young.

Iris Kane was also 23 and worked in the same store as Laurence as a shop assistant. She lived at 23, Balliol Road, Kingston.

Both were only children and when they married they lived with an aunt at 9, Milton Road, Copnor.

On the afternoon of November 10, 1940, the couple were visiting Laurence’s parents at 42, Sunningdale Road, Copnor, when the surprise raid began.

A bomb fell between his parents’ house and number 44 killing the couple instantly.

Alfred Purkis, who lived at 44, was also killed.

The couple lie alongside each other in Kingston Cemetery. Iris was buried in her wedding dress.

They had been married for five weeks.

n War-torn Portsmouth, Then After and Now is available from tomorrow at Waterstones, Commercial Road, The Cathedral Bookshop, New 2 U, Cosham, and JG Riley, Locksway Road, Milton at £9.99.