NOSTALGIA WITH BOB HIND: Royal Navy’s big guns on ship and ashore, possibly at Eastney

Royal Marines pose in front of a training gun at Fraser gunnery range, Eastney. Can anyone confirm please?
Royal Marines pose in front of a training gun at Fraser gunnery range, Eastney. Can anyone confirm please?

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Southsea beaches miss out on blue flag

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Wow! Did these guns really exist?

The picture above, from the George Millener collection, shows a practice gun which, the caption states, was located at Fraser gunnery range, Eastney.

From the quarterdeck of the battleship HMS Emperor of India we see her X&Y turrets with 11 inches of armour with 13.5in guns.

From the quarterdeck of the battleship HMS Emperor of India we see her X&Y turrets with 11 inches of armour with 13.5in guns.

I never knew the range but I wonder if any of you senior senior servicemen can tell me if it is correct?

George’s father, William Herbert, always known as Bert, and a former Royal Marine based at Eastney, can be seen on the far end of the front row.

•I know that battleships went out of the Royal Navy after the Second World War when rockets and missiles became warships’ main armaments, but I think the appearance of ships with guns seemed to offer a bigger threat. Do you agree?

Guns could fire their 16in shells up to 25 miles whereas a missile can be fired half-way around the world as we know only too well.

But that is not the point I am making. It is the overall look of threatening gunnery that would worry me.

If I saw a modern Daring class destroyer coming over the horizon alongside a ship equipped with guns like those here on the quarterdeck of HMS Emperor of India, I know which one I would take try to take out first. And the Japanese had battleships with 18in guns.

With four turrets A&B forward and X&Y aft, X turret was always manned by Royal Marines.

WHO RECALLS BUNJO STORES?

two responses about the car spares shop featured last week.

Robert James, of Milton, tells me it was on the corner of Hatfield Road and Reginald Road and the school in the background was Reginald Road School.

Robert knew the shop as the school tuck shop as he attended Eastney Modern, also in Reginald Road, where he could buy 1d packets of usually broken crisps. They were eventually banned on school premises because of the litter. They must have sold a lot of crisps! The shop is now accommodation.

Roger Brown, of Copnor, went to Reginald Road School from 1962 to 1966. During those years the shop was known as Bunjo Stores.

n Thanks to all those who e-mailed me after a wrong photograph was used last week.

Special thanks to Ron Taylor who wrote: ‘Dear Bob, may I be the fiftieth person to e-mail you to say the photograph you have put in is of Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, not his father.

‘I try to get out more but I am catching up on five volumes of Why We Lost India.’

Ah, a Private Eye reader eh? Sorry about that folks.