NOSTALGIA: They’re changing the guard at Eastney Barracks

With long gunnery gaiters and bayonets fixed to their rifles, we see Royal Marines changing guard  just inside Eastney Barracks' main gate. 'Picture: Robert James Collection
With long gunnery gaiters and bayonets fixed to their rifles, we see Royal Marines changing guard just inside Eastney Barracks' main gate. 'Picture: Robert James Collection
The barque-rigged Discovery in Portmouth Harbour, ossibly taken in 1923 after refitting at Vosper's yard were we see the RRS Discovery.

NOSTALIGA: Shackleton’s famous ship on a 117-year voyage of Discovery

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Seen just inside Eastney Barracks’ main gate, here we see the changing of the guard.

The marines are wearing long gunnery gaiters and their rifles are fixed with the lengthy bayonet favoured at the time. They appear to be wearing a kind of naval cap.

Surrounded by ships' cannon topped with cannonballs,  here we see a porch inside HMS Vernon, now Gunwharf Quays. Does anyone know what its purpose was?

Surrounded by ships' cannon topped with cannonballs, here we see a porch inside HMS Vernon, now Gunwharf Quays. Does anyone know what its purpose was?

In the background can be seen the central gate pillar which was removed when large lorries became the norm and the two smaller gates could not accommodate them.

These marines may have belonged to the Royal Marine Artillery which moved in in 1867 from Fort Cumberland as I think this view dates to before 1923.

That was the year Forton Barracks in Gosport closed and the Royal Marine Light Infantry moved to Eastney and it became the home of the Portsmouth Division of the Corps.

To the rear can be seen the recently closed Royal Marines Artillery Tavern.

The corner of Derby Road and London Road, North End, Portsmouth, when St Mark's Church was a landmark. 'Picture: Robert James Collection

The corner of Derby Road and London Road, North End, Portsmouth, when St Mark's Church was a landmark. 'Picture: Robert James Collection

• Perhaps some of you former HMS Vernon boys can tell me more about the structure, below right?

As you can see, it is surrounded by iron ships’ cannon with cannonballs mounted on the muzzles. The field guns have their tampions fixed and I wondered if they were still used for saluting practices at the time.

If anyone can tell me where the porch was located within the establishment I would like to know.

As we know, this site is all now part of the Gunwharf Quays shopping, restaurant and leisure complex.

A job long gone  since the passing of the big-gun ships, polishing the brass work and the tampions of the guns. 'Picture: Robert James Collection

A job long gone since the passing of the big-gun ships, polishing the brass work and the tampions of the guns. 'Picture: Robert James Collection

• Up until the late 1960s the corner of Derby Road and London Road, North End, Portsmouth, was still countryfied and the spacious grounds around St Mark’s Church gave the area a very rural feel.

London Road was widened in 1923 and the wall seen on the corner was demolished and set back somewhat.

Unfortunately this all came to an end when the church was demolished and shops built along London Road. A new modern church was built on the opposite side of Derby Road.

• And so to the final picture...

Posing in front of the armaments of A and B turrets of a battleship we see sailors of the time busy cleaning the guns. The sailors sitting on A turret have the guns’ tampions in their arms but I cannot make out the crest to tell what ship it might be. I am sure there will be someone who can tell me.

Notice the sailor walking along the barrel of B turret.

With the passing of big-gun ships this part of a sailor’s duties became a thing of the past.