Portsmouth station wrecked in biggest raid of the war

The remains of Portsmouth Harbour railway station 75 years ago today
The remains of Portsmouth Harbour railway station 75 years ago today
Signal box - The bleak and isolated siting of the Idsworth signal box illustrates the loneliness of the signalman's lot

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Time runs out on the lonely reign of a signal box man

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Seventy-five years ago today Portsmouth people emerged from their air raid shelters to find a place they hardly recognised.

The face of the city was altered forever in the most ferocious German raid on Portsmouth of the Second World War.

It came in two phases over the night of January 10 and 11, 1941, leaving 171 people dead and 3,000 homeless.

Many public buildings were destroyed and the shopping centres of Commercial Road, Palmerston Road and King’s Road devastated.

In the picture on the right, taken in the aftermath of that raid, we see the remains of part of Portsmouth Harbour station. The buildings in the distance across the water are in Gosport.

The cameraman is standing between platforms 2 (right) and 3 (left) and nothing looks salvageable.

To the left are the remains of rolling stock caught in the blast before they were moved to sidings.

There would be no holidaymakers taking a trip to the Isle of Wight from this location for several years to come.