Sky at Spithead lit up for Coronation Fleet Review

The fleet lit up for the Coronation fleet review at Spithead in 1953
The fleet lit up for the Coronation fleet review at Spithead in 1953
Super parents Cora and Gerry Watson

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Marjorie Davies wanted to share these six postcards from her collection showing warships illuminated for the Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead in June 1953.

She was six and,with her twin brother and elder brother, was taken to see the spectacle by their mother.

The fleet lit up for the Coronation fleet review at Spithead in 1953

The fleet lit up for the Coronation fleet review at Spithead in 1953

Marjorie says: ‘I remember the occasion more for two things that happened rather than the review and subsequent fireworks.

‘Firstly, I got lost and was found by a young man who carried me on his shoulders up and down the prom until I spotted my mum.

‘Secondly, shortly before we left to come home, my mother either lost or broke her glasses and, as she was virtually blind without them, we children led her home through the rock gardens. Fortunately we lived in Florence Road, Southsea, so we did not have far to go.’

More than 300 warships and other vessels packed the Solent on June 15 that year. It was the first review after the Second World War.

On display was the largest number of submarines ever shown at such an event.

Twenty-eight boats and four submarine depot ships were inspected by the Queen on board the royal yacht – 50 per cent of the Royal Navy’s submarine force.

This was a show of power in response to the threat of the rapidly increasing number of Soviet submarines.