Portsmouth, with the great and historic Naval Dockyard at its heart, was a prominent
target for Luftwaffe bombs in the Second World War. Great swathes of the
city were laid waste, the destruction so complete that when reconstruction did
occur eventually, some parts of Portsmouth were completely unrecognisable
compared to what had gone before.
Although the need for national security meant that little was publicised at the
time, after the war images published by the Portsmouth Evening News recorded
the devastation wrought by the blitz, whilst the subsequent clearance of damaged
sites was also captured in photographs.
Using contemporary images – many sourced from the Portsmouth Evening
News – well-known local historian Robert Hind has compared each view with the
current scene, laying the pictures side by side to show not only what has been
lost forever, but in some cases what has, remarkably, stayed the same.
War-torn Portsmouth – Then, After and Now celebrates how this great city has
risen phoenix-like from the ravages of war.
Robert Hind began his writing career when working as a railway guard
in 1989: always good at “composition” at school, he volunteered to put
together a staff magazine and has been writing ever since. Now living
in Havant, he is a regular nostalgia correspondent for the Portsmouth
News, with a column every Saturday, and has to date written three
Inprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 288 0, paperback, 205x205mm, 144 pages. Published June 2016.