Happy memories for Portsmouth Schoolboys football team at Southern Grammar: RETRO

The photograph of the Portsmouth Schoolboys football team in 1961, published on September 18, was seen by Brian Carmichael, now of Edinburgh, Scotland.

By Bob Hind
Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 3:32 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 3:40 pm
Portsmouth Schoolboys football team in 1961
Portsmouth Schoolboys football team in 1961

He tells me: ‘I think we beat Plymouth and I used to know the score but it now escapes me.

‘I think we subsequently lost to Reading or Swindon, possibly by 2-1 but I'm not entirely sure.

‘I am in touch with Peter Higgins as we were both at Southern Grammar, as was John Jenner. I sometimes attend school reunion dinners and meet other old boys, including some ex-members of what was an amazing Southern Grammar school team.

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'I left in 1961 to rejoin my parents in Edinburgh, having remained in Portsmouth with my uncle and aunt to do my O-levels and to play a second year for Portsmouth Schoolboys.

‘Peter Higgins also played two years, and Bobby Moffat, Barry Figgins and Colin Crawford may also have done.

‘You probably also recognise the name of our gym teacher, Brian Naysmith, who played for Pompey in those days.

‘He didn’t run our football team on a regular basis but he often coached us and provided timely advice when we had a big match to play.

‘This was especially true that year, when we played Northern Grammar at Fratton Park in the final of the Fourth Year Cup which I think was under-16.

‘It was my last match for the school and we were pleased to win 5-0 on the day.

‘In 1969, I joined the RAF as a pilot and, although sport continued to play a part in my life, its importance became less as time passed.

‘My time with Portsmouth Schoolboys provided many happy memories and your article informed me of one thing I had not realised – the involvement of Portsmouth Football Club.’

It never ceases to amaze me how much mail I receive about events that happened during the Second World War.

No doubt there will be even more next year as it is the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

Tony Thompson tells me of former Portsmouth police officers who died, and a National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) memorial service in Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday, November 8.

The service begins at 10.30am. It is by invitation but Tony informs me anyone interested in local history can attend.

Relatives of PC Spooner, who was killed while on duty in North End, attended last year.

He is believed to have been the first police officer in the UK killed by enemy action while on duty.

Tony says: ‘There are a number of interesting stories associated with the memorial, the most recent of which is that since last year’s service we have traced relatives of one of the former Portsmouth police officers, PC Charles Wilton and PS Butterly, who were killed while serving with the RAFVR in 1945.

‘They were part of the crew of a Dakota aircraft which crashed into Sulphur Mountain, in Alberta, Canada, killing all on board.

‘For many years it was not known what happened to them until a group of hunters chanced upon the wreckage in 1953.

‘Sadly, due to an administrative error, the families were never informed.

‘Recent research has identified the families of the pilot, Sergeant Daniel Sorfleet, and recently the family of PC Wilton.

‘The nephew of Daniel Sorfleet, Peter Sergeant, has attended our service for the past two years, and this year the niece of Charles Wilton, Janet Russell, will be attending for the first time.’

It is amazing how this information has come to light after so many years, largely due to the power of the internet.

It makes Tony wonder how many other relatives of those named on the memorial they might be able to trace and invite to the service.

If anyone is a relative of those named in this article wish to attend the service, please email me or drop me a line and I will inform Tony.

On October 2, I published a photograph of Horndean Workhouse.

It was built around 1835 on the old A3 London Road.

I asked why a workhouse would exist in such a small village?

Andrew Fairly, the authority on boxing matters, came up with a rather sad reply.

He tells me: ‘The building of the workhouse coincided with the introduction of mechanised farming equipment.

‘Threshing machines and the like made countless farm workers redundant.

‘Thus, the plethora of workhouses that sprang up in mid-Victorian times.’

To contact me, please email [email protected]