Two brothers, billies and fearsome drill instructors

Two gentlemen of Southsea: Arthur and Francis Wing in Festing Road.
Two gentlemen of Southsea: Arthur and Francis Wing in Festing Road.
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MEMORIAL UNVEILING SUNDAY 20, AUGUST 2017

Part of the memorial to be unveiled in Guildhall Square next Sunday at 2pm.

Seconds out! Long-awaited tribute to Portsmouth boxers to be unveiled

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Today we have a selection of fascinating snapshots from around Portsmouth in the first half of the 20th century.

One photograph here has always intrigued me as I cannot date it.

A brace of Billys. Here we see two Brighton tank locomotives being prepared in Fratton Yard for a day's work over the  branch line from Havant to Hayling Island.

A brace of Billys. Here we see two Brighton tank locomotives being prepared in Fratton Yard for a day's work over the branch line from Havant to Hayling Island.

I think it is the early 1950s but stand to be corrected.

It is looking out from Lower Church Path onto the junction of Edinburgh Road and Commercial Road, Southsea.

The man with his little girl looks like he is wearing a bus conductor’s uniform.

In the distance can be seen Finlay’s the tobacconist and the signal for the dockyard branch-line railway.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Gunnery instructors on Whale Island.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Gunnery instructors on Whale Island.

I like the picture of two brothers Arthur and Francis Wing having their picture taken in Festing Road, Southsea sometime before 1936.

Although the buildings to the rear remain unchanged the scene has, of course.

A tram can be seen turning into Highland Road and two boys to the right are pulling a handcart.

Sadly, Arthur Wing was killed in Hilsea during an air raid on March 4, 1941.

Lower Church Path looking out to the Edinburgh Road junction with  Commercial Road.

Lower Church Path looking out to the Edinburgh Road junction with Commercial Road.

We also have a photo of a line up of gunnery and drill instructors at HMS Excellent, Whale Island.

As many a matelot will know you crossed these men at your peril.

They were the be-all and end-all of gunnery and parade training in the Royal Navy and what they did not know was not worth knowing.

They could frighten the life out of you by just talking let alone shouting but they were good at what they did.

As anyone who has been under their instruction at one time or another will know, once trained you remained trained.

Does anyone know any of the men pictured?

Another photo shows a pair of Brighton tank locomotives in Fratton Yard.

They hauled trains over the Havant to Hayling branch line.

Most locals always called it the Hayling Billy line and the locomotives were named after it.

The line closed in November 1963 but the two locomotives were saved from the breakers and run on preserved lines.