Ralph delivers the goods

Havant Home Guard in 1944
Havant Home Guard in 1944

THIS WEEK IN 1971: Gosport schools’ plight is ‘horrifying’

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Two recent pictures spurred regular contributor Ralph Cousins into action to find these two photographs.

Inspired by the snap of Portsmouth Water Company’s Home Guard parading at Havant Recreation Ground, he found this second picture taken, he believes, towards the end of 1944 when they were stood down. He said they were finally disbanded on December 31, 1945.

Portsmouth Water Company's Home Guard parading at Recreation Ground in 1944

Portsmouth Water Company's Home Guard parading at Recreation Ground in 1944

Ralph said: ‘In both photos I was standing with the photographer and I think it was at this parade they they held a mock battle on the cricket pitch.

‘It was all very exciting for us kids – blank ammunition, smoke bombs and thunderflashes. It was the best thing I have ever saw there.’

Ralph was also able to identify a couple of men from the Havant Rovers team of 1927-28. He said that on the far left of the middle row is Frank Stockley, while on the right of the front row (seated) is trainer R Hall.

He also enclosed this picture of the same club from 1923-24 which features his father, also Ralph, third from the right in the front row.

That season they won the Hampshire Intermediate Cup and the Portsmouth Premier League, a title they had also clinched in the 1921–22 season.

Back Row (l to r): S Wareham, A Walls, T Tanner, Archdeacon Rogers, Fred Leng, J Martin,

Chris Wilkins, T Till, C Bailey, A Palmer, ?

Middle: Billy Rutter (sec), H Stemp, A Ley, C Martin, F Stemp (capt), H Hudson, C Ellis, H Harfield.

Front: G Parvin, V Reeves, Fred Plumpstead, Ralph Cousins, Mick Magee. R Hall (trainer) .