Royal visitors see warren of tunnels cut into hill

The Queen during a visit to Portsmouth in what looks like a Nissen hut, on September 30, 1942
The Queen during a visit to Portsmouth in what looks like a Nissen hut, on September 30, 1942
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Awhile ago I asked if any reader could put a firm date to a picture showing a visit by George VI to Portsmouth.

Not only could Patrick Daley do just that, but he also came up with the photograph here and those in our In Pictures: Hill Tunnels feature (click the link to the right of this story to open it)..

Patrick, of Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, is the son of Portsmouth’s famous wartime lord mayor and lady mayoress, Sir Denis and Lady Margaret Daley.

He dipped in to the family’s archive and discovered the exact date of the original photo and has done the same for all the others.

So, the shot in the In Pictures feature of the King at the tunnel entrance to one of the extensive air raid shelters dug into Portsdown Hill above Cosham, was taken on September 30, 1942. The King is in conversation with Lady Daley while Sir Denis stands to the King’s right.

Also taken on the same day was the picture on this story showing the Queen walking through what appears to be a Nissen hut with the lord and lady mayoress behind. Does anyone remember where this was?

The Queen is also seen meeting civic dignitaries in the shot below right during the same visit.

In other photographs in the In Pictures feature we go inside the warren of tunnels in the hill.

They give us a glimpse of what life was like for those who used them during air raids on Portsmouth (right) and the Red Cross emergency treatment area.

Why don’t you share your memories with us? If you have your own story or pictures from days gone by that you would like featured on this page

please e-mail Chris Owen at or write to him at The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth,PO2 9SX