The night the former King left from Portsmouth

King Edward the Eighth when Prince of Wales.

King Edward the Eighth when Prince of Wales.

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

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Last week I wrote about the departure from Portsmouth by the former King and latterly the Duke of Windsor who left Portsmouth in 1936 in a destroyer for his new home abroad.

I asked if anyone knew or had family references as to being on duty aboard the destroyer or perhaps in the dockyard at the time.

Ralph Cousins of Havant tells me of one possible difference in the story.

His late Uncle Walter was a former Royal Marine and a MoD policeman on duty at the dockyard that night the Duke passed through the gates.

There was a rumour that the former King had either stopped off at Warblington Castle with Lord North or at Asdean House with Louis Mountbatten. As we know through this page, there is never any smoke without fire as my readers always know of something different to what is written in the history pages of journals. I wonder if anyone as ever heard of these rumours?

John Holmes dropped me a line to say his late father Ken was a career submariner and in December 1936 he was based in HMS Dolphin, Gosport.

At short notice he was transferred to the destroy HMS Fury solely for the trip to France with the former King on board. ( It is now believed the Duke ended up in Austria for a while)

John’s father spoke little of his time in the navy and the ‘diversion’ from his normal duties as a submariner was a definite no-go subject.

Please do let me know. Thank you.

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