NOSTALGIA: Memorials to Portsmouth dead gleamed before pollution

The funeral of CPO  Herbert Lee in April 1914 at Kingston cemetery. Look at those pure white memorials.
The funeral of CPO Herbert Lee in April 1914 at Kingston cemetery. Look at those pure white memorials.
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Take a walk through any Portsmouth cemetery and look at some of the memorials carved in the early 20th century and you will find they are blackened with decades of grime.

I don’t think this is down to the passage of time but because of traffic pollution which did not exist back then.

The Royal Standard pub on the right was on the north side of Queen Street, Portsea, looking west.

The Royal Standard pub on the right was on the north side of Queen Street, Portsea, looking west.

The memorials seen in the picture, above, are just inside the main gate of Kingston cemetery in New Road, Copnor.

Look at how white the marble was then for this 1914 naval funeral.

• I first published the marvellous second photo here a a while ago and said it was a view looking along Queen Street, Portsea, from The Hard.

For the life of me it looks like Admiralty Road on the left, but apparently I was wrong.

In this photo we can just make out the final lettering of the Royal Standard next to the Royal Naval Arms.

In this photo we can just make out the final lettering of the Royal Standard next to the Royal Naval Arms.

Tom Coleman, a former matelot who used to drink in the Royal Naval Arms on the corner of York Place, tells me the Royal Standard stood next door, thus we are looking north along Queen Street.

And in the second picture we see The Royal Naval Arms with the Royal Standard next to and to the north of it and the final two letters of StandaRD.

• Australian flu seems to be spreading but in 1957 another strain was widespread.

Rob Jerrard, joined the navy at HMS St Vincent, Gosport, in 1956 and the following year flu hit most of the establishment.

Rob Jerrard at HMS St Vincent, Gosport, 1956.

Rob Jerrard at HMS St Vincent, Gosport, 1956.

He remembers putting a towel over his head and his face over a jug of water containing menthol crystals to try to beat the virus.

Rob goes on to say that St Vincent was the better of the two boys’ training establishments – the other being my old alma mater HMS Ganges.

Ah yes Rob, but we had the proper mast, not a half-cut one!