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Papers relating to St Mary's Portsea (Portsmouth) during the First World War


St Mary’s is one of Portsmouth’s main churches. It was Mother Church to a large area.  CF Garbett (later Archbishop of York) was Vicar of the Parish 1910-1919; he had about 15 Curates to assist him, and one of these was the Rev. Oswald Andrew Hunt (1879-1959, Balliol 1897). Hunt served as a Curate at St Mary’s Portsea 1904-1920. The parishioners included many naval families, and Hunt seems to have been especially associated with St Wilfrid’s Mission.

The volumes are the work of his sister Hilda, who made collections re WWI,  especially  copies of letters to Hunt and others which he lent her, mostly from men serving in the Royal Navy, with many insertions (both  loose and glued in) of newspaper cuttings re naval engagements, notes on the War at Sea, photographs, and Parish ephemera, material concerning memorials and memorial services, etc.

Hilda Margaret Hunt (1873-1955) married AW Pickard-Cambridge (Balliol 1891) in 1901. Together they compiled and edited the Balliol College War Memorial Book.

A similar volume created by Hilda Pickard-Cambridge, focussing on Balliol College during WW1, is in the Bodleian Library.


Given to Balliol College in ?2007 by Mrs Olivia Bovill, daughter of the Revd OA Hunt, through the offices of Roger Ashley.


1 archive box; 5 volumes.


5 volumes, copied letters and newspaper cuttings with some letters by OA Hunt to his sister HM Pickard-Cambridge (nee Hunt). In Vol 1, a long account, illustrated, of a March 1915 visit by Hilda Pickard Cambridge to her brother at Portsea, describing many visits to wives and mothers of men lost at sea ,parish activities etc .The copied letters include some from soldiers in India, many from sailors and in particular a long and detailed letter from Captain JD Allen RN of HMS Kent dated 9 Dec 1914 to his wife, who was a leading lady in the Portsea local naval community. In this letter he described an action near the Falklands (part of the Battle of the Falklands, 8 Dec 1914) in which the Nürnberg was pursued and sunk.

Vol 1 1914-1915

Vol 2 1915-1916

Vol 3 1916-1917

Vol 4 1917-1918

Vol 5. Similar in character to I–IV, with at the end, p154-157, “St Wilfrid’s Roll of Sacrifice “giving full names, ships  and dates of death of men associated with St Wilfrid’s who had died in WWI, including 29 on 31 May 1916 (Battle of Jutland).

Correspondence re provenance.

- John Jones, 4 Dec 2010, reviewed July 2012, ed. Anna Sander.

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