Lost men of the Second World War
The war memorials mounted on the walls at each end of the school’s Memorial Library testify to the courage and sacrifice of its former pupils – Old Portmuthians – who served in the armed services as sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen. The Second World War memorial was unveiled in 1949. The wartime Commander in Chief, Portsmouth, Sir William James did the honours. In his address he said that “it was with humble hearts that they recognised the debt they owed to those young men who had lit a lamp which would never go out as long as the school endured”.
Until recently the number of former pupils thought to have died was 110 but, following a research project an additional 38 have been identified, including two civilians. This presented the school with a problem – the memorial was full up.
With the generous help of former pupils – the Old Portmuthian Club – two additional wings were crafted in the style of the original memorial and a signwriter commissioned to add the names of the forgotten men in gold leaf, with space left for future identifications. A new Book of Remembrance was also printed and bound with assistance from the Club.
The new memorial extensions and Book of Remembrance were unveiled by Ken Bailey, an OP in his 90s who served in the Army during the war.