South African evacuees update and – how do you say ’Cosham’?

Opening of the new school by the home secretary in October 1927. The headmaster, Canon Barton, is on the lowest step, on the left. Dorothea Barton is possibly there, somewhere. (PGS Archive)

NOSTALGIA: A red bluestocking at Portsmouth Grammar School

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Last week I told of the children from Portsmouth who were evacuated to South Africa and asked if anyone knew anything of them.

I received a reply from Gill Tidman of Portchester who tells me Gordon and Eileen Bond were her cousins.

Both Gordon and Eileen returned home from South Africa shortly after the war.

Eileen died on April 24, 1948, aged 17.

Gordon won a scholarship to Oxford due perhaps, to the education he received in South Africa.

During summer vacations he could be found as a deck chair attendant on Southsea beach. His mother died in 1952 and his father in 1962 so there seemed little to keep him in England. Gill believes Gordon went back to Bloemfontein and she lost touch with him.

n Derek Mott has dropped me a line asking if anyone knows the proper pronunciation of Cosham? Some say Cosh-am some say Coz-am. Oddly enough I always say Bos-am when talking of Bosham along the coast but always say Cosh-am when talking of Cosham.

Anyone have an opinion on this subject?