THIS WEEK IN 1986: Gang went to mass after a punch-up

The telegram received by William Halls mother  still upsetting to read 78 years on.

NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Curse of the telegram: Dear Mrs Hall – your son is dead

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A gang member who allegedly assaulted a group of sailors on Christmas Eve went to midnight mass with blood on his boots, Portsmouth Magistrates Court was told. About a dozen youths picked on five sailors without the slightest provocation, it was alleged.

‘It was Christmas Eve – the season of goodwill towards men and women, but clearly, not towards sailors in Lee-on-Solent,’ said Stephen Parish, prosecuting.