Gray at grammar school

Phil Spaven, Paul Morgan. Ian Whitewood and Roger Glancefield with Paul Morgan's 1940s Willys JEEP    (180082_01)

History re-enactors herald the opening of Second World War film

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On this day in 1945 the playwright, author and diarist Simon Gray started at Portsmouth Grammar School.

The son of a Hayling Island doctor, the family moved away two years later.

In a 45-year writing career, Gray published five novels and 40 original plays, adaptations and screenplays.

Among his last books were his diaries, The Smoking Diaries trilogy and Coda, reflecting wittily on his everyday observations, decline and imminent death – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.