Scary matron stalked the wards like a man-o’-war

Sheila Jennings, the nurse on the far left, at QA, about 1953
Sheila Jennings, the nurse on the far left, at QA, about 1953

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

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You might have seen Tony Jennings’s story here yesterday about his father watching the German fleet’s surrender at the end of the First World War.

But Tony, from Locks Heath, also included in his package the three pictures here of the old Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Christmas 1953 PPP-140717-161147001

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Christmas 1953 PPP-140717-161147001

They were taken in the 1950s and the photo on the right includes his wife Sheila (circled).

Tony, of Hazel Grove, says: ‘How many people remember Matron de la Coor, a fearsome lady who breezed the corridors like a man-’o-war under full sail?

‘Sheets with straight corners, beds in line and not a speck of dust to be seen.’

Meanwhile, regular contributor Simon Hart is hoping readers might be able to help mark a couple of little-known anniversaries this year.

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Christmas 1953 PPP-140717-161159001

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Christmas 1953 PPP-140717-161159001

Simon, of Anne’s Grove, Fareham, says 2014 is the centenary of the first issue of Postage Due stamps of various denominations in the UK. It is also 20 years since they were last issued.

‘Although they were 80 years in use, they are little-remembered, but Remember When readers might change this,’ he adds.

‘As a child philatelist in the mid-1980s and growing up at Portchester, these more unusual stamps took my interest.’

He remembers buying a selection from the ‘impressive’ philatelic counter in the Slindon Street post office with his pocket money.

He adds: ‘I then decided I wanted an example of Postage Due stamps in use. I was inspired to send a postcard to myself.

‘I ensured there was insufficient postage by not putting any stamps on it. I couldn’t fail, or so I thought, and the postcard duly arrived... with no postage due stamp.’

He wonders if readers have examples of the stamps on a letter/postcard sent to a Portsmouth area address which I could use on these pages to mark the centenary. Over to you.