Memories of Jim Priestley

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War Time in Gosport

Many moons ago (1948) I left Gosport to join the Army and travelled quite a bit and when my time came to leave the Army I settled in N. Ireland in 1969  and strangely enough thats when the troubles started here.

I lived in Old Rd when I left Gosport but before that I was at school at Clarence Sq boys school. I left school aged 14 in 1944 and started work as a grocers assistant in Shaftbury Ave /Rd/ can’t remember which. I remember the Blitz in Jan(10th) 1941 when we were pretty well killed by bombs  and  again in Mar(10th) 1941 when they bombed us and Portsmouth. The battleship King George V was in harbour and was the obvious target but they were driven off  somehow.

 Next day a German plane came over taking photos, I assume but was hit by AA fire and we watched the pilot come down by parachute and all the people living in Willis Rd set off after him to kill him and although armed with axes, shovels, and misc. things to cut  or stab with, then the local bobby chasing after them saying don’t harm him he will be a P.O.W. when he lands   but he was pushed off his bike and I don’t now what happened after that.

I also remember walking over troops sleeping on the pavement waiting to embark on the landing craft for the D Day invasion, they were all around Clarence Sq and on the ferry approaches by the New Barracks, then one day there were none.

So if you any info or photos of Gosport during the  war years I would certainly love to see/read them. thank you.

J.Priestley  ex 7 Old Rd now of Ballywalter Co Down 2004

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