Old scenes of Cosham are barely recognisable today

Cosham 1910
Cosham 1910
Lively Lady amid the  welcome-home flotilla of 400 small vessels off Southsea.'All pictures: Graham Stevens

NOSTALGIA: Home to Portsmouth and a hero’s welcome

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If it was not for Fort Widley looming out of the distance on top of Portsdown Hill, you would be hard-pressed to recognise these views of Cosham.

The older of the two was taken in 1910 as a Portsdown and Horndean Light Railway tram negotiates the double track section west of Cosham.

Portsdown Hill from London Road, Cosham.   Picture: Paul Costen

Portsdown Hill from London Road, Cosham. Picture: Paul Costen

The later photograph is undated but looks as though it comes from the 1920s or 1930s.

It comes from the collection of Waterlooville photographer and collector Paul Costen (costen.co.uk) and clearly shows Queen Alexandra Hospital in the middle distance.

Building work began in 1904 and it received its first patients four years later as the Queen Alexandra Hospital for Wounded Soldiers.

Special ambulances were brought from Aldershot and patients were brought in from as far as Weymouth, Dorchester and Winchester.

In 1926 the Ministry of Pensions took over the hospital for the care of disabled service personnel from the First World War.

It continued in this role until 1941 when the first civilian patients were admitted as a result of bomb damage to the Royal Hospital in the middle of Portsmouth – the site now occupied by Sainsbury’s in Commercial Road.

The following year two land mines put the Royal completely out of action and even more patients were transferred to QA.

By 1950 the hospital was treating a majority of civilian patients.