Frederick Charles Wynne (b.1897)

2:0854 WYNNE, Frederick Charles, ‘Old Pompey and Other Places’, TS, with MS additions, pp.79 (c.35,000 words). Brunel University Library.

‘Frederick Charles Wynne’ in Burnett, John, David Vincent, David Mayall (eds) The Autobiography of the Working Class: An Annotated, Critical Bibliography 1790-1945.3 vols. (Brighton: Harvester, 1984, 1987,1989)

Born 1897. 2nd child of a soldier. Educated at Church Street School from age 4; left school at age 14. Was too young for active service so was sent for 1 year to the Royal Military School of Music (1914-15). Later took a course in commercial subjects at Kingston Technical School (1919-20). Childhood was spent in Portsmouth; living in Cowplain, Hampshire, in 1983.

Joined a firm of chartered accountants in 1912; boy musician in the army (1913), actively serving in France from 1915; discharged as unfit for further service in 1919; began a 42 year career in hospital service as a clerk, ending in 1962 as a Secretary.


An evocative and finely-remembered portrait of a childhood spent in Portsmouth around the turn of the century, recalling the problems of unemployment; the system of poor relief, casual wards and workhouses; street entertainers and traders; his grandparents’ public house; diet and ‘delicacies’; shopping and food prices; leisure (theatre and cinema); gradations among the working class; home amusements; children’s games (confined mainly to the street in which he lived); patriotism and the Boer War; transport (trams); schooling; the home and improvements; the supply of gas; profiles of relatives and local characters.

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