Former student who died in World War I commemorated on street plaque

Park Building in 1908

A former student whose death in the First World War was recorded in a Portsmouth student magazine more than 100 years ago, has been commemorated on one of the many street plaques around the city.

Second Lieutenant Royden James Childs was secretary of the Old Students Association of the Portsmouth Municipal College, a predecessor institution of the University based at Park Building.

2nd Lt. Childs of the Royal Berkshire Regiment died at the Battle of the Somme on 27 July 1916, aged only 23.

Front cover of The Galleon, Christmas term, 1914

The University’s Archivist, Anna Delaney, found the record of his death among many World War I stories while researching old copies of the college’s student magazine The Galleon, which continues with the same name today as the University’s student newspaper.

As the son of Edward and Elizabeth Ellen Childs, of 14 Claremont Road, Portsmouth, he has been commemorated on one of the many street plaques around the city to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Portsmouth Municipal College opened in 1908 in Park Building, which was purpose-built for the college. The college taught a range of subjects in science, engineering, arts, commerce and domestic science and various levels of qualifications including degrees. The college changed its name in 1953 to Portsmouth College of Technology, later becoming Portsmouth Polytechnic and eventually, in 1992, the University of Portsmouth.

Read Anna Delaney’s blog post for more details of the war’s impact on students as reported in The Galleon a century ago.  

Portsmouth City Council’s street plaque for Claremont Road

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