NOSTALGIA: Send her Victorious

HMS Victorious leaving Portsmouth.
HMS Victorious leaving Portsmouth.
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Here’s a spectacular picture of HMS Victorious leaving Portsmouth during the 1960s posted on the Memories of Bygone Portsmouth Facebook page.

It’s notable not only for the ship, but also for the detail of Old Portsmouth and the size and scale of the old power station.

The cover of the programme for the royal smoking concert.

The cover of the programme for the royal smoking concert.


They are a little dog-eared and faded, but the pages reproduced here are 81 years old and were probably carried by their owner throughout the Second World War.

They belonged to William Alsford Egleton and they were sent to me by his son Graham in response to my feature last week about Edward VIII/the Duke of Windsor.

William joined the Royal Navy as an 18-year-old Stoker in 1933. Graham says the family lived in Canterbury, Kent, and his father enlisted for 12 years at Chatham dockyard.

Among his memorabilia is this programme for a Home Fleet Smoking Concert held for the visit of ‘His Majesty The King’ held on board HMS Courageous at Portland.

Graham says: ‘What is particularly interesting is the date of the visit and concert – November 12, 1936.

‘The King at that time was Edward VIII during his brief reign (January 20, 1936, to December 11, 1936) and this concert was only four weeks before his abdication.

‘As the visit was to review the Home Fleet it is highly likely some sailors listed in the programme as taking part in the concert were Portsmouth men.’

Anyone recognise any of the names?