The Portsmouth Hall of Fame provide the details of some of Portsmouth's famous residents, some of who were born in Portsmouth and others who lived and worked in the City.

Portsmouth has a wealth of famous people both present and in the past, these include writers, politicians, sports personalities and musicians.

If you know of someone who you feel should be included on these pages, but is missing, then please send us an email to info@welcometoportsmouth.co.uk and let us know the details.

Thank you for your interest.



Born 15th January 1841 in Portsea, Sarah was a poet and novelist and is probably best known as a childrens writer. Her works include, Psalms for Life, 1871, a collection of 60 hymns, Under Grey Walls 1871, 'Where Swallows Build', Girl's Own Paper 1898, Thy Heart's Desire 1888, Katherine's Keys 1896 and The Vanished Hand 1896. She died on the 8th December 1926 in Oxford.

Photo of Nicola Duffet.


Born 22nd January 1963, Portsmouth. She remains best known for two long-running soap opera roles. After appearing as Debbie Bates in EastEnders from 1993 to 1995 she went into the role of boozy floozie Cat Matthews in Family Affairs. Cat first appeared in Family Affairs in late 1998 and has been a key character in the show's storylines ever since. Prior to her success in soap opera Duffet played a key role, that of Mrs Bast, in Ismail Merchant and James Ivory's 1992 film adaption of Howards End.

Photo of Aurthur Conan Doyle.


Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes was a prolific writer. His large body of work includes poetry, plays, historical fiction, commentary on social and legal reform, war and military chronicles, enthusiastic articles on various sport, and finally writings on behalf of Spiritualism. In 1882 he came to Portsmouth and set up his first practice at 1 Bush Villas, 41 Elm Grove, was a member of Portsmouth (North End) Cricket Club and Southsea Bowling Club, in 1884 he was a founder member of Portsmouth Football Club and played for the club as goalkeeper.

Picture of Helen Duncan.


Scottish spiritualist, Duncan held a seance in Portsmouth, 1941 and predicted the sinking of HMS Barham. On the 19th Jan 1944 during seance at a Copnor Road, Chemist Shop, she was arrested and charged with Witchcraft, tried at the Old Bailey and was jailed for 9 months. She was the last person to be tried for Witchcraft in England as the act was repealed in 1951.

Spike Edney of Queen


Musician Phillip 'Spike' Edney was born 11th December 1951 in Portsmouth. He is often referred to as the 5th member of Queen because of the amount of concerts played with them. During the mid-1970s, he recorded and toured with The Tymes and Ben E. King, playing keyboards, bass, guitar and trombone. In the late 1970s, he was musical director for Edwin Starr and, during the early 1980s, worked with Duran Duran, the Boomtown Rats, Dexys Midnight Runners, Bucks Fizz, Haircut One Hundred and The Rolling Stones. Edney's collaboration with Queen included mostly keyboards (his main instrument), plus rhythm guitar and backing vocals.

Author Neil Gaiman born in Portsmouth


The author Neil Gaiman was born in Portsmouth on November 10th 1960 and lived with his family at Portchester. Neil started his career as a journalist and his early books included a Duran Duran biography and the Douglas Adams biography, 'Don't Panic: The Official Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion.' He has a wide repertoire including science fiction, fantasy, childrens and adult novels. Neil wrote the cult Sandman series of graphic novels as well as the children's fantasy novels Coralline and Stardust, both of which were made into films, he has also written several episodes of the Dr Who TV series. Neil Gaiman's work has been honoured with many awards internationally, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals.

Photo of composer Murray Gold of Portsmouth


Born in Portsmouth in 1969, Murray is a composer, working mainly in Film, Television and Theatre. He has written the music for The Second Coming (starring Christopher Ecclestone), Servants (BBC series), Clocking Off and Channel Four's series Shameless. Murray is best known as the core composer of the hit BBC TV series Doctor Who and the spin off series Torchwood and has been nominated for a BAFTA four times in the category Best Original Television Music.

Picture of Jonas Hanway


Jonas Hanway(1712-1786), traveller, prison reformer and philanthropist. Born at St Georges Square 12 Aug 1712. He founded the Marine Society to keep up the supply of British seamen, in 1758 he became a governor of the Foundling Hospital and was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital. Famous as the first man to carry an umbrella on the streets of London, to the derision and outrage of hackney carriage coachmen, who feared for their business.

Photo of Portsmouth born Christopher Hitchens.


Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949 in Portsmouth, England) is among the best known and most controversial figures in contemporary American media. He is a prolific author, journalist, literary critic, and public intellectual who is often described as a "contrarian". He has been a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Nation, Slate, and an occasional contributor to many other publications. Christopher died on 15th December 2011 aged 62.