Pregnant before the wedding ... so they ran away to Milton

A marvellous photo of the Camber bridge,  Old Portsmouth.
A marvellous photo of the Camber bridge, Old Portsmouth.
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Acouple of Saturdays ago I wrote about St James’s Church, Milton, Portsmouth, which was, unbeknown to me, always called the runaways’ church.

The church was demolished and the one you see today was built on adjacent land in 1913.

jpns-26-04-17 rw St James Church Milton

MILTON CHURCH FOR RUNAWAYS
The original St Jamess Church, Milton, the runaways church

jpns-26-04-17 rw St James Church Milton MILTON CHURCH FOR RUNAWAYS The original St Jamess Church, Milton, the runaways church

At one time engaged couples had to be married in the parish they or the bride lived in.

Jim Randall, from Copnor, dropped me a line to say his maternal grandparents James George Bradshaw and Annie Elizabeth Dodd were married in the original church on September 14, 1890.

Ray sent me a copy of the marriage certificate which is interesting.

James was a gunner in the Royal Artillery stationed at Southsea Castle.

The marriage certificate of James and Annie Bradshaw married at the runaways church at Milton.

The marriage certificate of James and Annie Bradshaw married at the runaways church at Milton.

Annie lived at 26, Cuthbert Road, just a few hundred yards from St Mary’s Church and I am sure if things had worked out differently that is where she would have been married.

As we know well, in those strait-laced Victorian days, if a girl became pregnant before marriage she would have been known as a ‘fallen woman’.

When the couple were married, Annie was about four months pregnant and this, no doubt, influenced their decision to get married at Milton.

The postcard is circa 1910 but before 1913 of course.

Not Portsmouth after all, but Kiel, Germany, shortly before the First World War.

Not Portsmouth after all, but Kiel, Germany, shortly before the First World War.

•How about this cracking photo of the Camber bridge that crossed the Camber dock in Old Portsmouth until 1925 when it was demolished?

Monty Theobald’s son thinks the photo (above) was taken by his late father, a recognised photographer in the city.

It certainly makes a change to see a view of the bridge from the north. It also provides a fascinating look into the area as it once was.

•Can anyone tell me anything about the picture of the Zeppelin?

Barry Cox, who supplied the photograph, is not sure about the location.

However, I suggested it might be the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour with Portsdown Hill on the horizon.

I am not so sure of the date though.

We know a Zeppelin attacked Portsmouth in 1914 dropping its bombs harmlessly in the harbour waters.

It might just be a composite photograph with the Zeppelin overlaid on the view to inform the Admiralty that an attack was possible from the enemy.

Any further information would be appreciated.

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