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ROLL of HONOUR

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					               ROLL of HONOUR.
                      1899-1990.




 The names of the firemen and firewomen of Kent's
  pre-war fire brigades, 30 Fire Force National Fire
Service, the „Kent‟ stations of the adjoining 31 and 37
Fire Forces and the post war Kent Fire Brigade who
          died as a consequence of their duty.
                           1
                                          Introduction.
                              Fire-fighting is not a risk free activity.
                             The risks greatly increase in time of war.
This book remembers by name the members of Kent‟s various fire brigades who died whilst in service. In
most cases, the circumstances of the death is also recorded. Not surprisingly, the majority of the deaths
occurred during time of war.
World War I was very much a military affair on foreign soil and in proportion to the casualty numbers there,
civilian deaths at home were not great. Enemy action on the Home Front was largely limited to
bombardments of the East Coast by German Cruiser Squadrons and air raids by Zeppelins and Gotha
bombers. Industrial accidents, particularly in munitions factories, were by no means unknown and in 1916,
when a munitions works near Faversham exploded, the entire works fire brigade perished. The names of
only three of the firemen are known and these are listed in this book.
The „Roll of Honour‟ boards displayed in the entrance hall of „Godlands‟, Maidstone, Kent, a building that
has been a Fire Brigade Headquarters since the earliest days of 30 Fire Force, National Fire Service
provided the starting point for this list. Next was a search of the „Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour‟
published by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (C.W.G.C.). Its 3,889 pages and 77,000 entries
were scoured and the names of 1,218 members of the Auxiliary Fire Service, National Fire Service and
works fire brigades who were killed during W.W.II. were found. From these, more names of „Kent‟ firemen
and firewomen were identified and extracted. At its peak in March 1943, 343,000 men, women and youths
were serving in the National Fire Service.
The post war, Fire Services Act (1947), Kent Fire Brigade suffered fatalities and their names are also
remembered here. Thankfully, since its inception in 2004, Kent Fire and Rescue Service has not suffered
any fatalies.
Local newspapers were the usual source of information concerning the circumstances of death. During the
war the press was subjected to strict censorship, „Walls have Ears‟ etc,. but despite this newspapers often
contained useful information and, surprisingly, some new names. Dover, and Folkestone were subjected to
much enemy action and suffered many, mainly civilian, deaths. Dover has a particularly well organised „In
Memory‟ register and the compiler found this a great help. The magazine „Fire and Water‟ was a good
source of information for the fatalities of the late 1800‟s and early 1900‟s. A menu from the Fifth Annual
Dinner of the Beckenham A.F.S. Association, held at the Public Hall, Beckenham on Friday 20th April 1951
proved very useful confirming the names of the thirty one men from that area who died during the war.
They all served in the Beckenham district and its out stations, West Wickham, Stanhope Green, Elmers End,
and Coneyhall. These stations suffered grievously. Fortunately, a few years ago, the compiler had been in
touch with Jack Marchant a watch room attendant from Beckenham who had first hand knowledge of the
major disasters there. Sadly, he died just as this book was being completed.
In this list, entries are placed in date order, earliest first. Where an incident resulted in a single fire brigade
death the entry is in black ink. An entry in a coloured ink indicates an incident with more than one F.B.
fatality and the same colour is used for all the fire brigade fatalities of that incident. Blue ink indicates a
direct copy from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission‟s, Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour. Grey
print indicates an entry of general interest.

                                          This „Roll of Honour‟ lists;
                                              15 pre 1939 names.
                                            91 World War II names.
                                        16 Kent Fire Brigade names.
                                          A total of 122 „Kent‟ names.


                                                       2
                                                Fireman LLOYD. (47 yrs).
                                                Bexleyheath Fire Brigade.
                                                     28th July 1899.
        “Bexleyheath Fire Brigade, last month lost one of their members, Fireman Lloyd, under distressing circumstances.
   They, together with the Dartford and Erith Brigades, received a call on July 27th to the chemical works of Messrs Hugh
 Wallace and Co. at Crayford Creek and on their arrival found a large fire in progress. A delay caused by the necessity for
searching for hydrants buried under the roadway, gave the flames additional headway, and the work of coping with the fire
became one of the greatest difficulty and danger from the bursting of the carboys, and the deadly fumes from the nitric acid
                                                          thus liberated.
       Every precaution was taken, but, in spite of this, a number of firemen, notably members of the Bexleyheath Brigade
     stationed on the leeward side of the fire, and at times working in the interior of the building, began to show signs of
                            suffering from the fumes. Several Dartford firemen were also affected.
       No serious results were anticipated, however, the next morning, Engineer Smeed and Fireman Lloyd of Bexleyheath,
  were both taken ill, and the latter died within a short time. Captain Smith and Foreman Fairman were also placed on the
 sick list but both they and Engineer Smeed are recovering. The Brigades were at work on the fire until evening, and in the
                          end were successful in saving a large flour mill and other adjoining property.
     An enquiry into the death of Fm. Lloyd was held on the 31 st July when the evidence showed that the deceased, although
                                      strong to all appearances, suffered from a weak heart.
         After a brief consultation the jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from syncope, caused by accidentally
inhaling smoke and fumes at the fire. The funeral took place on August 2 nd and appeals were made for donations to benefit
                                            Fm. Lloyd‟s widow and her eight children.
                                        (source; „Fire and Water‟ magazine, September 1899).


                                          Police Constable J. ROLFE. (25 yrs).
                                                        Margate.
                                                     rd
                                                   23 January 1905.
     There is no doubt that P.C. John Rolfe, aged 25 years, died in the early hours of Monday, the 23rd of January 1905 or
 that he died from smoke inhalation whilst attempting to rescue a family in a building described as an „oil shop‟ in Market
       Place, Margate. Two adults and their 16 year old daughter who all lived over the shop were seriously injured.
     The only doubt about this tragedy is whether P.C. Rolfe‟s name should be included in a list of firemen who died whilst
on duty. Combined Police/Fire Brigades were, by no means unusual at this time but there is no evidence that Margate was
   one of these. At the Inquest both services were separately represented; the Borough of Margate Police Force and the
         Borough of Margate Fire Brigade. They had separate stations and independent mobilising arrangements.

      This incident does not fall within the parameters of this list (the firemen being on a social „jolly‟) but it is included
 because it was certainly a tragedy and additionally, it gives an insight into the nature of fire brigades of the time and the
                       social activities they undertook. „Fire and Water‟ of August 1906 reported;
                                 SAD ENDING TO A FIRE BRIGADE OUTING.
                              A MOTOR BUS TRIP RESULTS IN TEN DEATHS.
      “The members of the Orpington and St. Mary Cray Fire Brigade started on the morning of July 12 th for their annual
outing, intending to travel to Brighton by motor bus as a pleasant variation from the ordinary excursion.
     A party of 36 occupied the outside and inside of the bus, the outside seats naturally having preference. The journey
was commenced under favourable conditions and Handcross Hill was reached without mishap shortly before 11 o‟clock. It
was while the motor bus was descending this notably dangerous declivity that the fatal disaster occurred. The brakes were
applied and for a short time controlled the bus; then they appeared to have suddenly failed from one cause or another and
the heavy vehicle started running down at a tremendous pace. In spite of the efforts of the driver, an experienced man, to
keep the vehicle on the roadway it swerved several times and finally crashed into a large oak tree. Nine died outright and
the tenth died two days later from the effects of the terrible wounds inflicted. Three of the dead were firemen”.
                                                              They were;
                           Fireman E. Packman, - Fireman H.A. Burch, - Fireman H.S. Hutchings.
                              (The Times newspaper dated July 13th 1906 also reported the accident).




                                                            3
                                           Fireman C.C. EADES. (46 yrs).
                                             Horton Kirby Fire Brigade.
                                                 30th August 1907.
       “An extensive fire at Sutton Court Farm, Sutton at Home on August 30 th caused the destruction of a large amount of
valuable property and while attempting to check the outbreak a member of the Horton Kirby Fire Brigade received injuries
  from which he died the following day. The fire started at 0230 hrs but by the united efforts of three Brigades (Sutton at
Home, Dartford and Horton Kirby) several of the buildings and stacks were saved. It was while endeavouring to check the
 flames that Fm. C.C. Eades, of the Horton Kirby Brigade met with an accident that cost him his life. He was handling a
line of hose in one of the barns when a warning cry was raised that one of the beams was falling. Eades turned to quit the
     building but was struck down by a heavy beam and buried in debris. He was released and medical aid having been
                                            rendered was conveyed to his home.
      Though conscious, it was evident that his injuries were of a very serious character and slight hope was entertained of
   his recovery. He passed away at his home on the night of 31 st. August. Fm Eades had served with the Brigade for two
 years and he left a widow and children. The inquest heard that he had suffered a crushed spine and that several ribs were
                                    broken. They returned a verdict of „Accidental Death‟.
       The Horton Kirby firemen are insured by the Parish Council and a cheque for £200 was promptly forwarded by the
    Ocean Accident Corporation. A cheque for £36-5s has also been received from the S.E. District Death Levy Fund”.
                                              (source; „Fire and Water‟ Oct. 1907).

                                       Second Engineer J. FENN. (29 yrs).
                                             Bridge Fire Brigade.
                                               31st March 1910.
“A fire which destroyed four cottages in Bridge on the 31st March was indirectly responsible for a far more serious disaster.
  To call members of the Fire Brigade together a maroon is generally fired by an experienced man. Unfortunately, he was
   absent when the call was received and the second engineer of the Brigade, Mr. John Fenn, the first man to arrive at the
  station, essayed to fire the signal. By some means or other, it is thought the maroon exploded before Mr. Fenn could get
  clear. This, however, is only a surmise, as no one witnessed the explosion. A few minutes after he was found, by other
 members of the Brigade, lying on the ground unconscious, with the left side of his face completely fractured. Medical aid
 was summoned, but death ensued shortly after the doctor arrived. The inquest jury returned a verdict to the effect that the
 deceased met his death accidentally while firing a maroon and that the explosion was probably due to a defective maroon.
 John was in his 29th year and had been connected with the Brigade for eight years. He was married with two children and
                        by trade was an engineer and cycle trader. The funeral took place on April 3 rd”.
                                            (source; „Fire and Water‟; May 1910).




                                                          4
                                              Fireman Stephen Epps.
                                              Fireman Herbert Foley.
                                       Fireman Stephen Vidgeon Sayewell.
                                           (plus other names not known).
                               Cotton Powder Mills Works Fire Brigade, Faversham.
                                                  2nd April 1916.
 This is a „grey‟ incident, not involving a local authority fire brigade. It is included here because of its scale, more than 100
munitions workers died including the entire works fire brigade. Explosions in munitions factories were by no means uncommon
       and this all reveals the risks accepted by civilians working to support the fighting men of the front line and fleet.
                                                   “The Great Explosion”.
     “At 14-20 on Sunday 2nd April 1916, 109 men and boys were killed by an explosion at the Explosives Loading Company
      factory, Uplees, near Faversham. 15 tons of TNT and 150 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up when some empty sacks
                                                              caught fire.
     So great was the explosion the windows across the Thames Estuary in Southend were shattered and the tremor was felt in
     Norwich. The crater made by the explosion was 40 yards across and 20 feet deep. The Cotton Powder Mills Company‟s
    huge factory, adjacent to the Explosives Loading Company‟s plant was also seriously damaged. This was the worst disaster
    ever to occur in the history of the U.K‟s Explosives Industry. A brave attempt was made to extinguish the fire before it got
         out of control but the factory manager, George Evetts ordered everyone to leave the site when the situation became
    hopeless. However the explosion occurred as everyone was leaving the site. Included in the 116 dead was the whole of the
    works fire brigade. (compilers underlining) Many firemen died in subsequent smaller explosions on the site. Many bodies
     were recovered from the surrounding marshes and dykes, but seven were recorded as missing, most probably atomised by
                                                            the explosion.
                    Many of the dead were buried in a mass grave at Faversham Cemetery on the 6th April 1916”.
    Local insurance company Fire Brigades attended together with the Army and many awards for bravery were announced in
       the London Gazette about four years later. The site where this tragedy occurred now forms part of the Oare Marshes
                                   Nature Reserve, an area renowned internationally for its bird life.

                                         Police/Fireman W.I. GRIGGS. (36 yrs).
                                                         Dover.
                                                     9th July 1926.
    The Dover Express and East Kent Gazette of Friday 9th July reported this tragedy at great length. This precis of the report
                                                    was written by the compiler of this list.
    “On Wednesday evening a petrol tank on the yacht „Quo Vadis‟ lying in Granville Dock exploded, unfortunately leading to
                                                         the death of P.C. W. Griggs.
         The explosion blew up the deck of the yacht and the wheelhouse fell down around the P.C. pinning him to the deck.
      Despite many courageous attempts it was impossible to free him for over an hour until the flames had been beaten down.
             There is no doubt that death was instantaneous as there were severe head injuries and the body was not burnt.
        This was the first fatal accident to a member of Dover Police Force since Inspector Nash was killed in September 1903
      launching the lifeboat. The „Quo Vadis‟ was one of the old M.L. class of motor launches built in America during the war
     and employed in considerable numbers during hostilities. The hose reel from the Queen Street Fire Station was brought to
    the scene by P.C. Milton, Detective Sergeant Cadman arriving at the same time by bicycle. The police standpipe was fixed
    and a good supply of water obtained. The water was poured down the hatch into the engine room where the fire was raging
     fiercely. Soldiers who came to the scene set to work to aid the police with the hose. Several of the police officers were on
    board trying to fight the flames including P.C. Griggs. He was off-duty and about to go to bed when the call came through.
    The explosion was heard all over the town. All efforts to subdue the fire seemed helpless for a long time, the water being by
      no means a good method of extinguishing petrol flame but there was nothing else available. P.C. Griggs was 36 years of
        age and had been in the force for some 12 years and was one of the regular firemen living by the Fire Station in Queen
                                               Street. He was married and had three children”.
              The following week the paper again carried an extensive report – this time about the funeral. It reported;
                                      “The funeral left the Fire Station in Queen Street at 2 o-clock.”
    Both these reports strongly suggest that Dover Police routinely, undertook firefighting duties in the town and were equipped
                                      for this role. At the, time this was not an unusual arrangement.




                                                              5
                                        Fireman F.B. COKAYNE. (53 yrs).
                                        Gillingham Volunteer Fire Brigade
                                                 11th July 1929.
A “live fire” demonstration at Gillingham Park Fete which went disastrously wrong. A total of fifteen people including nine
                                                          boys died.
       The surname is spelt as Francis himself spelt it and the family name continues in this form in the 21 st century.
                 (source; Stan Cokayne, grandson of Francis and school friend of the compiler of this list).

                                        Fireman A.J. NICHOLLS. (56 yrs).
                                        Gillingham Volunteer Fire Brigade
                                                 11th July 1929.
A “live fire” demonstration at Gillingham Park Fete which went disastrously wrong. A total of fifteen people including nine
                                                         boys died.
                          (Albert Joseph also served as Secretary of the Gillingham Fire Brigade).

                                        Fireman A.J. TABRETT. (40 yrs).
                                        Gillingham Volunteer Fire Brigade.
                                                 11th July 1929.
 A “live fire” demonstration at Gillingham Park Fete which went disastrously wrong. A total of fifteen people, including
                                                        nine boys, died.
Gillingham Fire Brigade‟s „wedding party„ display started with „guests‟ parading humorously around the park as they had
done, without mishap, at the town‟s annual Park Fete for the previous twenty years. Arthur John Tabrett played the role of
  the „bridegroom‟. Following the parade, the wedding party went into a „house, specially built for a pretend party, and
where, after a short interval, red flares should have been lit to simulate fire. The flares were the cue for the fire brigade to
     rush in, rescue the guests and then, when all had been rescued, the building was to be set on fire for the brigade to
                                                          extinguish.
      On this dreadful day, for reasons never discovered, the red flare stage did not happen. The building caught fire
immediately. Flaming bodies fell from the windows and the brigade, parked only 50 yards away, rushed into action. 1200
 gallons of water were available, escapes and ladders were pitched and rescues attempted. Firemen who ran forward to
                                      pick up the victims were themselves badly burned.
                                                     It was all to no avail.
               (sources; Memorial plaque from Gillingham Fire Station and a transcript of Coroner‟s report).

                                         Fireman H.T. HOOKER. (37 yrs).
                                            West Malling Fire Brigade.
                                               22nd January 1935.
  Henry Thomas Hooker was fatally injured on 13th January 1935 when he fell from a ladder whilst dealing with a chimney
 fire in a cottage adjacent to the Red Rover public house, East Malling. The fall was caused by the collapse of the chimney
stack and Henry was impaled on the iron railings surrounding the garden. He was taken to West Kent Hospital, Maidstone
                         with severe internal injuries and despite surgery, died there on 22 nd January.
 „Harry‟, as he was known, had lived at, 1 King‟s Square, East Malling with his wife and three children. He was buried in
                                             St. Mary‟s churchyard, West Malling.
    The brass helmet worn by the fireman footing the ladder was deeply dented by the falling bricks and another man was
                                                        struck on the chin.
                                 (source; family contact with the museum in September 2006).




                                                           6
                                         Dispatch Rider A.C. SMITH. (26 yrs).
                                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Strood.
                                                   22nd May 1940.
SMITH, Civilian, ALBERT CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 22nd May 1940. Age 26. Dispatch Rider, A.F.S. Son of Arthur
Albert and Edith Alice Smith, of 28 Temple Street, Strood. Died at Strood.
      Records suggest there was no enemy action in the area on the 22 nd May and the “Rochester Chatham and Gillingham
                                                    News” 30/5/1940 reported;
      “Some eighty firemen from Strood A.F.S. acted as Guard of Honour and Bearers at the funeral at Strood Cemetery on
    Monday, 26th May 1940 of Mr. Albert Charlie Smith of 28 Temple Street, Strood. Mr. Smith received fatal injuries while
      on duty early on Wednesday morning last week when the motor cycle he was riding was in collision with a lorry. The
   Mayor and Town Clerk were with a large gathering that assembled at the graves-side. Stn.O. Fowle was also in attendance.
     The coffin was conveyed to the cemetery on a flower laden A.F.S. Tender. Following behind was an Auxiliary Vehicle
                                          carrying wreaths with a trailer pump attached”.
                       (sources; K.C.C. W.W. II bombing records, Maidstone and the C.W.G.C register).
     Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, page 647. It maybe significant that the
    accident happened in the darkness of early morning. It is very likely both the lorry and the bike were showing ‟black out‟
                                  lights and these were incredibly dim. Did they see each other?

                                           Fireman J.G. PENNELL. (40 yrs).
                                           Auxiliary Fire Service, Northfleet.
                                                   16th August 1940.
PENNELL, Civilian, JESSE GEORGE, Civilian War Dead. 16th August 1940. Age 40. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of K. M.
Pennell, of 5 May Avenue. Died at Vale Road.
     The Northfleet area was raided at about 1230 hrs and about 50 high explosive bombs landed in the Waterdales / Colyer
    Road area. 20 people were killed. The Colyer Road first aid post caught fire. (source; K.C.C. W.W. II bombing record).
                „The Reporter‟ of Saturday 24th August 1940, reported; (the article has been heavily precised here).
                                            NORTHFLEET FIREMAN‟S FUNERAL.
     “A large parade of firemen and members of the A.F.S. and Northfleet‟s Civil Defence services attended the funeral on
                  Wednesday afternoon of Mr. Pennel, 40yrs. who was a popular member of the Northfleet A.F.S.
    He died suddenly on Friday. Born at Gravesend, Mr. Pennell moved to Northfleet 16 years ago. He was in the Merchant
   Navy for many years and served during the last war. He was employed for 13 years at Henley‟s Telegraph Works and left
   in September last year to take up full time service in the Northfleet A.F.S. A widow, a son aged 14 and a daughter aged 7,
                                                            are bereaved.
                   The parade was in the charge of Commandant T. Foster, C.F.O. of Northfleeet Fire Brigade”.
     Did Jesse die as a result of the enemy action or as the result of, perhaps, a heart attack? If it was a heart attack, was it
   brought on as a result of his fire brigade activity? To many, the term „died suddenly‟ suggests a natural cause and not the
                                                    direct result of enemy action.
                     Another report in the same issue of „The Reporter‟ suggests Jesse was killed. This reads,
     „Two members of the Fire Service in a car at this spot [where a bomb exploded] were caught by the blast and one was
                             killed. They were on their way to their action post. The car turned over”.
     Unfortunately the paper does not appear to have carried the inquest report of Jessie‟s death.. With 20 fatalities at this
             incident alone perhaps it just didn‟t have the space to do so. There was no shortage of news at this time!




                                                             7
                                           Fireman H.F. WELLS. (32 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Ramsgate.
                                                  25th August 1940.
WELLS, Civilian, HERBERT FRANK, Civilian War Dead. 25th August 1940. Age 32. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 3 Packers Lane.
Son of Mrs. S. J. Wells, of 16 Hardres Road. Died at General Hospital.
                                       The Isle of Thanet Gazette of 30th August 1940 reported;
      “In senseless savagery, waves of German bombers dropped 250 high explosive bombs on Ramsgate on Saturday. The
    raiders also attacked firefighters and ARP wardens with machine guns. One of the bullets killed an auxiliary fireman”. A
      later paragraph reads; “A member of the A.F.S. who was killed by machine gun bullets had had his home bombed in a
    previous raid. At that time he was provided with a new home and £80 in cash by the Assistance Board within twenty four
                                              hours. Herbert lived at 16 Hardres Road”.
         An integral part of this tragedy was the action of a second Auxiliary Fireman who was also injured in the attack.
           The official account in the Supplement to the London Gazette, 3rd January 1941 (lightly précised here) reads;
    “Firemen Moore and Auxiliary Fireman Herbert J (?) Wells were reporting to their station, when a bomb exploded
    near them. Wells sustained a very severe laceration of the abdomen and was gravely injured. Fm. Moore received
    two splinter wounds in the right thigh and suffered from shock. The enemy then machine gunned them and Moore
  received three bullets in the left arm, one making a hole through the arm whilst another severed an artery. A further
    bullet injured his left wrist. Although bleeding profusely, Moore dragged his comrade to a more sheltered spot and
  then tried to carry him to a First Aid Post. Wells was a very big man and Moore, being much smaller, found the task
     impossible. Moore then staggered the 300 yards to the First Aid Post to report the condition of his comrade. An
      ambulance was at once dispatched and Wells was taken to the General Hospital where he died three days later.
                                         Fireman Moore was in hospital for three weeks”.
                            Auxiliary Fireman H.J. Moore was awarded a George Medal for his actions.
   (sources; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, page 644 and the London Gazette).

                          Works Fireman W.J. RICHES. (57 yrs).
      Thames Ammunition Works. (on Erith Marshes. A works fire brigade. Did not become part of the N.F.S.).
                                     28th September 1940.
      RICHES, Civilian, WILLIAM JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 28th September 1940. Age 57. Works Fireman. Husband of
         Margaret Riches, of 16 Lincoln Road, Slades Green, Erith. Died at Thames Ammunition Works, Slades Green.
    No further information has been found, almost certainly because of security considerations.. The site was on the marshes
    adjacent to the Thames and had been an explosive works for many years. It was common for it to be attacked by bombers
            on their way to London or when returning. William‟s death could well have resulted from enemy action.
     The compiler remembers the site being demolished in about 1964 and of many hours spent „standing by‟ whilst the large
     sheds were destroyed by fire. They were of wooden construction surrounded by substantial earthen embankments. Not
                                            surprisingly, the sheds burnt furiously.




                                                            8
                                       Leading Fireman W.A. BEER. (30 yrs).
                                         Auxiliary Fire Service, Rochester.
                                                17th October 1940.
BEER, Civilian, WILLIAM ALFRED, Civilian War Dead. 17th October 1940. Age 30. Leading Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of
Gladys Marion Beer, of 1 Collis Street, Strood. Died at Wardens' Post, Elaine Street.
  The final report states that; Two high explosive bombs landed in the area of the Warden‟s Post, Elaine St. Strood. 1
  Ambulance, 1 First Aid car, and 1 private car were damaged. 2 men were killed, one A.F.S. and one ambulance man. Six
  other people were killed elsewhere in the area.
                          (source; K.C.C. W.W. II. bombing records, Maidstone and C.W.G.C. page 645).
                             The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News dated Fri. 25 th !940 reported;
    “In one district Kenneth Jenner, a member of a first aid post and William Beer were killed by a bomb which fell near them
     whilst they were on duty. They were buried during a morning raid. As they died together there was something tragically
               apt that in the decision that the two heroes of Civil Defence should be buried in a common ceremony.
    There was something apt also about the sounding of the „alert‟ siren as the cortege reached the cemetery chapel. Members
   of the A.F.S. acted as Mr. Beer‟s pall bearers which had been brought to the graveside on a fully equipped A.F.S. lorry. The
               members of the personnel then saluted their departed comrades before departing from the cemetery”.
        The BBC website, „WW2 People‟s War‟ lists the following story under the headline „A Sad Payday in Kent.‟ It was
                       submitted by Penny Summer (formerly Penny Chambers) and is dated 26th April 2005.
     “I was seventeen years old, living in Strood, Kent. I had just married a regular soldier, Sgt. Lionel Chambers. After five
     weeks he was sent to Dunkirk and was posted missing for six months, believed killed. I later discovered he was, in fact,
                              alive and after five years in a prisoner of war camp he returned home to me.
   One of my strongest memories is of one Thursday. It was my first day as a Fire Girl in the Auxiliary Fire Service. I was on
    an afternoon shift from 2 pm to 10 pm, at the headquarters at the top of Strood Hill, opposite the Coach and Horses public
      house. My job was to liaise with the firemen who went out to incidents and log their location. One of the firemen, Bill
    Beer, rang to tell me he was in position. The next thing I knew was that, moments later, he had been killed by a bomb. He
    had lived in Darnley Road. He had four children. That day was payday – I remember seeing his pay packet left untouched
   that evening. I felt dreadful, and cried for days. I broke down, but had to pull myself together and come back the next day.
                                         There were to many more days like that ahead of me”.
     (Autumn 2008: It is pleasing to report that Bill‟s daughter, Penny, continues to be in touch with the K.F.+R.S. Museum)

                                             Fireman S.T. KIRBY. (40 yrs).
                                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Dover.
                                                  25th October 1940.
KIRBY, Civilian, SIDNEY THOMAS, Civilian War Dead. 25th October 1940. Age 40. Dover A.F.S. Son of Mr. and Mrs. T.
Kirby, of Waterworks Road, Martin. Injured 24 October 1940, at Martin Farm; died at Royal Victoria Hospital, Waldershare,
Tilmanstone.
     Sidney was injured at Martin Farm on the 24th October 1940. This is a rural area very close to the White Cliffs and the
   entire Dover area was regularly shelled from enemy occupied France, a hundred shells a day was not unusual. Maybe one
    of these killed Sidney. Enemy aircraft also attacked „targets of opportunity‟ and when working in the fields Sidney would
               have been easy to spot. He died the next day at Royal Victoria Hospital , Waldershare, Tilmanstone.
                                                The family‟s obituary notices read;
                                                             KIRBY;
    In ever loving memory of our dear son Sidney Thomas Kirby, who was taken from us through enemy action, October 25th
                                     1940. From his loving Mum, Dad, Brothers and Sisters.
                                             The call was sudden, the shock severe,
                                               We little thought the end so near.
                                               Only those who have lost can tell,
                                             The bitter heartache without farewell.
                                                      Another tribute reads;
                                                There is a little patch of ground
                                                    We tend with loving care,
                                               And often go and stand and think
                                                  Of our loved one lying there.
     The funeral at East Langdon Churchyard was described in the Dover Express and East Kent News of 08-11-40 as,‟ semi
     military with uniformed pall-bearers and many unformed firemen in attendance. The coffin was draped with the Union
                                                               Flag‟.


                                                             9
                                        Fireman H.G. JEROME. (32 yrs).
                                   Auxiliary Fire Service, Bromley. (Springhill).
                                               2nd November 1940.
JEROME, Civilian, HAROLD GEORGE, Civilian War Dead. 2nd November 1940. Age 32. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of E.
M. Jerome, of 86 Burnt Ash Lane. Died at Springhill Fire Station.
   This report taken from The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 8 th November 1940 has been precised by the compiler of
                                                            this list;
                                                 A.F.S STATION HIT.
                                               Tragedy In Daylight Raid.
   “During a daylight raid on Saturday morning a high explosive bomb landed in the yard of an A.F.S. station in a south east
      town, two firemen being killed. They were Auxiliary Firemen J.J. Taylor aged 28 and H. Jerome aged 32. Both were
    married and had families. Taylor, who was formerly in the employ of a local optician, had an increase in his family two
        days previously. Mrs Taylor was not well enough to be told of her loss. Before the war Jerome was a chauffeur.
       The two men were standing with the Section Officer in charge of the station and two other firemen when the bombed
   dropped. Taylor and Jerome were buried underneath debris, earth and a car. The Section Officer was also buried up to the
                                                               neck.
   The rescue party were quickly on the scene and in five minutes the Section Officer had been dug out unhurt. The bodies of
                                  the other two men were recovered within a quarter of an hour.
                                                  “LIKE AN EXPRESS TRAIN”
     Patrol Officer W. Hall told a reporter “I was in the yard when I heard the bomb falling. It made a terrific noise like an
   express train at full speed. One minute everything was peaceful and the next minute it was just chaos. The most amazing
   thing of all was the behaviour of the men who escaped uninjured. Their nerves were splendid and they tackled the task of
                                              rescuing the entombed men right away”
    Another bomb which dropped a short distance away demolished a detached house and damaged others but there were no
                                                            casualties”.
    In June 1941, at Christ Church, Bromley, Harold‟s sister Lucy married a London fireman, Mr. E. Appleton. Harold had
                                    been verger at Christ Church, as had his father before him.

                                         Fireman J.J. TAYLOR. (27 yrs).
                                   Auxiliary Fire Service, Bromley. (Springhill).
                                               2nd November 1940.
     TAYLOR, Civilian, JOHN JAMES, Civilian War Dead. 2nd November 1940. Age 27. Fireman, A.F.S. Son of Ebenezer
    John and Irene Mary Taylor, of 13 Glebe Road; husband of Winifred Clara Taylor, of 32 Portland Road. Died at Springhill
                                                     Fire Station, College Road.
     John James was buried in Bromley Municipal Cemetery. (source; Bromley and West Kent Mercury November 8th 1940.)
                         The West Kent Mercury described the temporary fire station and also reported;
   “Three converted cars and two trailer pumps were smashed and twisted by the explosion and other equipment was lost. The
     premises at which the station is housed is a large house standing in its own grounds and was formerly used as a women‟s
    hostel. The outside structure of the wall where the bomb fell was cracked. The premises are also used as a stretcher party
                                      post but there were no casualties among their personnel”.

                                            Fireman C.W. FARR. (38 yrs).
                                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Bexley.
                                                2nd November 1940 .
FARR, Civilian, CHARLES WALTER, Civilian War Dead. 2nd November 1940. Age 38. A.F.S.; of 13 Birch Grove,
Welling. Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Farr, of 46 Coniger Road, Fulham, London; husband of Dorothy Mary Farr. Died at 13
Birch Grove.
                                  The “Kentish Times” dated November 15th 1940 reported;
                                                   A TRAGIC SATURDAY.
“Bombs fell in a housing estate and in one street, two houses were demolished. Mr and Mrs Farr and their ten your old son
were killed. Two younger girls, who were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom, had a miraculous escape although it was a
considerable time after the house collapsed before they were rescued from the debris”.




                                                           10
                                        Fireman W.A. RAWLINGS. (30 yrs).
                                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Erith.
                                                8th November 1940.
RAWLINGS, Civilian, WILLIAM ALBERT, Civilian War Dead. 8th November 1940. Age 30. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 65 Bostall
Park Road, Bexley Heath. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings, of 2N Peabody Estate, Southwark Street, London; husband of
Kathleen F. Rawlings. Died at Elmhurst, Bedonwell Road, Belvedere.
The local newspaper reported he was an auxiliary fireman living at 65 Borstall Road Park Road, Bexleyheath and that William
                       had joined the A.F.S. in October 1938. (source; Kentish Times, November 15th 1940).
      “William was killed by falling debris at „Elmhurst‟, Bedonwell Rd, Belvedere, a building being used as an A.F.S. station.
    The bomb, one of five dropped in the vicinity, penetrated to the cellar but the casualties were all in the hall which was used
    as a rest room. A colleague told the journalist, “We heard the bombs dropping then we heard the crash. We rushed into the
      rest room. It was in darkness and we could hear groans coming from under the debris. We could not see the men and our
       difficulties were increased as part of the floor had collapsed into the cellar. One of the more seriously injured men was
                                           pinned in a hole in the floor with his legs in the air.
    The Chief Officer told the Kentish Times that the men had turned out to bomb incidents a short time previously. “While the
     rescue work was proceeding more bombers came overhead and bombs fell close-by,” he added. The building continued in
                  use despite being hit by a second bomb which damaged the stable block used as an appliance bay”.
    William is described in the „Mortuary Register of Erith District‟ as, 5 feet 10 inches tall and of heavy build. When received
     in the mortuary he was dressed in civilian clothes and his occupation was recorded as, „Auxiliary Fireman, part time‟. He
                                was buried in the town‟s cemetery on Thursday, 15th November 1940”.
    Erith was quite often bombed during the war. It borders the Thames making it easy to find, is close to London and was also
                                          a large industrial centre. At this time it was „Kent‟.
    The main Erith Fire Station in Bexley Road, built in 1907, was destroyed by an enemy bomb on the 21 st July 1944. Three
 firemen were injured. Not until 1961 was a new, purpose built fire station opened. Four years, later in 1965, the „top end‟ of
  Kent; Erith, Bexley, Bromley, Beckenham, Orpington, Sidcup, Biggin Hill and West Wickham became London boroughs and
 150 men and 20 appliances were transferred to L.F.B.. (source;” Fifty Vigilant Years –A History of the Kent Fire Brigade”).

                                           Fireman A.E. STEVENS. (38 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Swanscombe.
                                                 10th November 1940.
STEVENS, Civilian, ARCHIE EDWARD, Civilian War Dead. 10th November 1940. Age 38. Swanscombe A.F.S.; of 143
Church Road, Swanscombe. Son of Edith Ann Stevens, of Treewall Gardens, Grove Park, Bromley, and of the late Archie
Edwin Stevens; husband of Edie Elizabeth Stevens. Injured at 143 Church Road; died same day at Gravesend and North Kent
Hospital.
               The Reporter, dated Saturday, 16th November 1940 carried the following story. It is edited here.
                                                BOMB HITS PUBLIC HOUSE.
                                                Large number Buried in Debris.
   “Four bombs which fell in a working class district on Sunday evening caused a number of casualties, several of them fatal.
  Most of them occurred when a direct hit demolished a public house which was crowded with people. A friendly darts match
                                      was in progress with a team from a neighbouring town.
  A number of people were buried amid the pile of bricks, wood and rubble. A.R.P. workers who rushed to the scene worked
    with unremitting energy in their efforts to extricate the injured. Several bodies were recovered from the debris and there
       were distressing scenes as relatives of the men and women known to have been at the public house gathered round.
    Among those taken to hospital with serious injuries was the licensee, Mr. Stevens. He died within a short time. His wife
                                        and young baby were in the dug out and survived”.
                                          (We now know 27 people died at this incident).
                                       The November 30th issue of the newspaper reported;
              “The funeral took place recently of Mr. Arthur Stevens, licensee of the “Morning Star”, Swanscombe.
       The late Mr. Stevens who was 38 had been at that house for two years. He was a member of the A.F.S. and also the
                                                   Swanscombe Bowling Club”.
     2008, the „Morning Star‟ continues to serve its community. It was rebuilt, probably in the 1950‟s, in virtually the same
                                                       position as the old pub.




                                                             11
                                       Sub Officer A.T. BEAUMONT. (43 yrs).
                                              Faversham Fire Brigade.
                                                21st November 1940.
BEAUMONT, Civilian, ARTHUR THOMAS, Civilian War Dead. 21st November 1940. Age 43. Sub-Officer, Faversham Fire
Brigade. Husband of G. L. Beaumont, of 110A St. John's Road, Faversham. Died at Buckland Farm, Norton. Posthumous
Commendation from His Majesty the King for brave conduct in Civil Defence.
   A crashed Heinkel bomber exploded during fire-fighting operations at Mockbegger Farm, Norton. Almost certainly, Arthur
     was „killed on the spot‟. Posthumously, he was awarded a „Commendation for Brave Conduct in Civil Defence‟ and this
    was announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette, dated 21 st March 1941. The official citation reads; “for services
           when an enemy aircraft crashed and caught fire”. Arthur was 43 years old and had served in the Army from
                              1914 - 1922. He joined the Brigade in 1926. He left a widow and 2 sons.
         (sources; Faversham News and East Kent Journal, 29 th November 1940 and the London Gazette, March 1941).

                                        Leading Fireman C.S. DAVY. (48 yrs).
                                         Auxiliary Fire Service, Faversham.
                                                21st November 1940.
DAVY, Civilian, CLAUDE SHERLOCK, Civilian War Dead. 21st November 1940. Age 48. Leading Fireman, A.F.S.
Husband of A. E. Davy, of 18 St. John's Road. Injured at Mock Begger Farm, Norton; died same day at Cottage Hospital.
    A crashed Heinkel bomber exploded during fire-fighting operations at Mockbegger Farm, Norton. Claude was caught in
     the blast and died an hour later in the local Cottage Hospital. He was 47 years old and had worked for a firm of local
                                                              builders.
                             (source; Faversham News and East Kent Journal, 29th November 1940.
            The road leading to the present, recently built, Faversham Fire Station is named „Beaumont Davy Close‟.

                                          Fireman A.S. HUMPREYS. (50 yrs).
                                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Erith.
                                                 29th November 1940.
HUMPHREYS, Civilian, ALBERT SYDNEY, Civilian War Dead. 29th November 1940. Age 50. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 76
West Street. Husband of M. E. Humphreys. Died at The Running Horses, High Street.
      A bomb hit „The Running Horses‟ PH. Walnut Tree Road, Erith. at about 1930 hrs. Three men sitting at the bar were
   killed; they were, two ARP ambulance men and Albert, (Humpreys) a local man who lived in 76 West Street. The publican
   and four other people were also killed and twenty people were injured. Albert was taken to the mortuary and it is recorded
  that he was in „civvy‟ clothes, 5 feet. 9 inches tall and of heavy build. He had been killed by a bomb splinter and was buried
                                                    in Erith Cemetery in grave B6.
    In 1914 Albert had joined the Royal Artillery and he served throughout W.W.I but his luck had finally run out. (sources;
      BBC, The Peoples War; Internet search; „Running Horses‟ Public House, Erith; Kentish Times, December 6th 1940).

                                      Leading Fireman G. KENNARD. (37 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Chatham.
                                                14th December 1940.
KENNARD, Civilian, GEORGE, Civilian War Dead. 14th December 1940. Age 37. Fireman, A.F.S. of 18 Ordnance Street.
Died at 18 Ordnance Street.
   George lived at 18 Ordnance Street, Chatham. A land mine destroyed ten small houses in the street. Thirteen people were
   killed and George was one of these. Twenty people were seriously injured and ninety nine slightly injured. 700 properties
        were damaged and sixty were eventually demolished. Despite all this, public morale in the area was described as
                „generally high!‟ (source; KCC W.W. II. bombing records, Maidstone and the C.W.G.C register).
                    The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News, dated Fri. 20th December 1940 reported;
      “A low flying single raider dropped a land mine which started a fire in a newsagent‟s shop and damaged many houses.
   Once the fire had been brought under control by the local F.B. the rescuers found their work less difficult and a tunnel was
    cut into the debris. It was six hours before the family could be extricated. Both Mrs Herbert and her infant son were still
   alive and removed to hospital but the elder boy was dead. It would appear the Mr. G. Kennard, an A.F.S. man, was leaving
  Mr. Herbert‟s shop when the bombs fell. He was among the fatalities, being found buried beneath the debris. His wife, who
                                     was on the opposite side of the road, escaped with shock”.



                                                            12
                                         Fireman C.W.M. DREW. (27 yrs).
                                  Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (Coneyhall).
                                                  19th March 1941.
DREW, Civilian, CHARLES WESLEY MESSENGER, Civilian War Dead. 19th March 1941. Age 27. Auxiliary Fireman,
Beckenham Fire Service. Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Drew, of 96 Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent; husband of W. M. Drew, of 38
Keswick Road, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Plaistow Road. (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under WEST HAM, COUNTY
BOROUGH).
The appliance, which was travelling in convoy with other pumps to a factory fire in Silvertown, was hit by an enemy bomb in
Plaistow Road, West Ham. Coneyhall is a suburb of West Wickham.              (nb. The exact form of „Coneyhall‟ can vary).
                                          (source; J .Marchant, W.W.II. Fm at Beckenham).
    This report, taken from The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28 th March 1941, has been precised by the compiler of
                           this list. The procession started from West Wickham Fire Station, Glebe Way.
                                             FIVE FIREMEN KILLED IN AIR RAID.
    “We deeply regret to announce the deaths in an air raid in another part of the London area, of five members of Beckenham
      Auxiliary Fire Service who were attached to Coneyhall sub-station. Mr. Drew was a voluntary part-time member of the
    A.F.S. being by profession an insurance official. He went on duty at the sub station two nights out of every three. Charles
                married three years ago in June and he lived in West Wickham with his wife and one year old son.
                                                     BURIED IN ONE GRAVE.
                                                     IMPRESSIVE FUNERAL.
                  The five firemen were buried in one grave in West Wickham Churchyard on Tuesday afternoon.
     The procession with five hearses, a motor pump from West Wickham bearing the hundreds of wreaths stretched from the
   top of Corkscrew Hill almost to the church. The band of Bexley A.F.S. played „Onward Christian Soldiers‟ and „Abide with
                                                  Me‟ and other selections on route.
    The coffins, draped with Union Jacks were borne into the church by auxiliary firemen, the only exception being in the case
    of Mr. Leslie Palmer. His four brothers were among the six bearers, three of them being in the uniform of the Home Guard
                                                   and one an Auxiliary Fireman”.

    Plans were made as early as 1947 for a memorial to remember all the war dead of Beckenham‟s fire
       stations but post-war shortages meant that it was not unveiled until Sunday 25th October 1953.
   Divisional Officer C.T. Davis, Kent Fire Brigade laid a wreath as did John Drew, aged 13 who placed
                                    a wreath in memory of his father.

                                      Fireman D.G. FITZGERALD. (28 yrs).
                                  Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (Coneyhall).
                                                  19th March 1941.
FITZGERALD, Civilian, DENIS GERALD, Civilian War Dead. 19th March 1941. Age 28. Auxiliary Fireman, Beckenham
Fire Service. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Fitzgerald, of 133 High Street, West Wickham, Kent; husband of Gwendoline Fitzgerald,
of 30 Keswick Road, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Plaistow Road. (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under WEST HAM,
COUNTY BOROUGH).
     “The appliance received a direct hit by a land mine whilst proceeding to a factory hit by an enemy bomb. Coneyhall is a
      suburb of West Wickham. All five victims were buried in a common grave in St. John‟s churchyard, West Wickham.
                                          (source; J. Marchant, W.W.II. Fm at Beckenham).
       Dennis was a keen worker at West Wickham Parish Church. He was a server, Sunday School teacher, bell ringer and
    member of the Parochial Church Council. He married Gwendoline in May 1939. He joined the A.F.S. before the war and
                 later gave up his position at Barclays Bank, Fenchurch St. London to undertake full time duties”.
              (From, The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28th March 1941. Lightly precised by the compiler).




                                                            13
                                          Fireman F.W. MOORE. (35 yrs).
                                   Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (Coneyhall).
                                                   19th March 1941.
MOORE, Civilian, FREDERICK WALTER, Civilian War Dead. 19th March 1941. Age 35. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 22 Lawrence
Avenue, Carshalton, Surrey. Son of Kenelm Frederick and Alice Moore, of 34 Carshalton Park Road, Carshalton. Died at
Plaistow Road. (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under WEST HAM, COUNTY BOROUGH).
      “The appliance received a direct hit by a land mine whilst proceeding to a factory hit by an enemy bomb. Coneyhall is a
       suburb of West Wickham. All five victims were buried in a common grave in St. John‟s churchyard, West Wickham.
                                         (source; J. Marchant, W.W.II. Fm at Beckenham).
                       Frederick, a single man, was a coachbuilder. His brother also served at the station”.
             (From, The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28th March 1941. Lightly precised by the compiler).

                                          Fireman L.J. PALMER. (31 yrs).
                                   Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (Coneyhall).
                                                   19th March 1941.
PALMER, Civilian, LESLIE JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 19th March 1941. Age 31. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
George W. and Eva Palmer, of 36 Dorset Road, Ashford, Middlesex; husband of Doris Maude Palmer, of 16 Lawrence Road,
West Wickham, Kent. Died at Plaistow Road. (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under WEST HAM, COUNTY BOROUGH).
    “The appliance received a direct hit by a land mine whilst proceeding to a factory hit by an enemy bomb. Coneyhall is a
      suburb of West Wickham. All five victims were buried in a common grave in St. John‟s churchyard, West Wickham.
                                        (source; J.Marchant, W.W.II. Fm at Beckenham).
   Leslie was the organiser of concerts and shows presented by firemen and others. He was the soul of good humour and had
   recently taken the role of „Widow Twankie‟ in the production of „Puss in Boots‟ held in Coney Hall. He had served in the
                                 A.F.S. for nearly a year and before had been a transport clerk”.
             (From, The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28th March 1941. Lightly precised by the compiler).

                                        Leading Fireman S. SHORT. (36 yrs).
                                   Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (Coneyhall).
                                                   19th March 1941.
SHORT, Civilian, STANLEY, Civilian War Dead. 19th March 1941. Age 36. Leading Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Husband
of Florence Lilian Short, of 94 Addington Road, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Plaistow Road.
                          (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under WEST HAM, COUNTY BOROUGH).
     “The appliance received a direct hit by a land mine whilst proceeding to a factory hit by an enemy bomb. Coneyhall is a
       suburb of West Wickham. All five victims were buried in a common grave in St. John‟s churchyard, West Wickham.
   Stanley lived in Addington Road with his wife and two children. Traders of Coneyhall and their staffs have contributed £12
                           10s 6d (about three weeks wages for a fireman) for the widows and orphans.”
              (From, The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28th March 1941. Lightly precised by the compiler).

                                           Fireman E.W. LAMBERT. (32 yrs).
                                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Bromley.
                                                    20th March 1941.
LAMBERT, Civilian, ERIC WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 20th March 1941. Age 32. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 37 Park Road.
Son of Clifford William and Janet Lambert, of 53 Sandringham Road, Worcester Park, Surrey; husband of Ada Lambert. Died
at Park Road.
                                  (From The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 28 th March 1941).
     “A bomb which demolished a house also wrecked a tradesman‟s van which was passing. The driver, Mr. Eric Lambert, a
       mechanic and part-time member of the A.F.S. and Mrs. Rozier, who was sitting next to him, were killed, and Mr. E.G.
       Rozier who was in the back of the van died the following morning. Mr and Mrs. Rozier had been bombed out of their
        house the night before. They had been spending the evening with Mr Lambert and were on they way to a rest centre‟.
                               Eric lived and died in Park Road, Bromley”. (source; C.W.G. C. register).
      The funeral notice published in the Bromley Mercury reads; „Mr. E.W. Lambert, of Haxted, Park Road, Bickley died on
                      Thursday last week at the age of 32. Interment was in St. Luke‟s Cemetery on Wednesday‟.
    It is interesting to note that Eric is included in the „official‟ list of war dead although he was not engaged on A.F.S. duty at
                                                            the time of his death.


                                                              14
                                           Fireman F.C. CHATER. (34 yrs).
                                           Auxiliary Fire Service, Rochester.
                                                    8th April 1941.
CHATER, Civilian, FRANCIS CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 8th April 1941. Age 34. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of Alice
Jessie Chater, of 296 City Way. Died at Fire Patrol Station, Willis Avenue.
                                          The Kent Messenger dated 12th April 1941 reported;
                                                   VICIOUS MOONLIGHT BLITZ.
      “Eleven people are feared to have been killed and about 100 others seriously injured during a raid on a South East town
      early on Tuesday morning. Two members of the A.F.S., Firemen F.C. Chater and C. Gibbons were killed when the fire
               patrol station received a direct hit. Three colleagues, Firemen Barnes, Rider and Durling were injured”.
                                              (sources; K.C.C. W.W. II. bombing records,).
                        The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News dated Friday 18th April 1941 reported;
   “It is with deep regret that the „News‟ records the death of Mr. Francis Charles Chater of 296 City Way, Rochester who died
     in tragic circumstances on Tuesday. He was 34 years old. He was educated at St. Michael‟s R.C. School and later at the
    College of Commerce. He was a popular member of the A F.S. and also the Suburbal and Conservative Clubs. He leaves a
      wife, Alice, and five year old son, Lewis. The funeral took place at Chatham Old Cemetery on Saturday preceded by a
      church service at St. Michaels, Chatham. A guard of honour was formed by members of the A.F.S .who also acted pall
                                                                 bearers”.

                                            Fireman C. GIBBONS. (31 yrs).
                                           Auxiliary Fire Service, Rochester.
                                                    8th April 1941.
GIBBONS, Civilian, CYRIL, Civilian War Dead. 8th April 1941. Age 31. Fireman, A.F.S. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. D. J.
Gibbons, of 100 Gravesend Road, Strood; husband of Marjorie Sylvia Gibbons, of 37 Dorritt Way. Died at Fire Patrol Station,
Willis Avenue.
                                        The Kent Messenger dated 12th April 1941 reported;
                                                  VICIOUS MOONLIGHT BLITZ.
      “Eleven people are feared to have been killed and about 100 others seriously injured during a raid on a South East town
    early on Tuesday morning. Two members of the A.F.S, Firemen F.C. Chater and C. Gibbons were killed when an A.F.S.
               sub station received a direct hit. Three colleagues, Firemen Barnes, Rider and Durling were injured”.
                                             (sources; K.C.C.. W.W. II. bombing records),
                       The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News dated Friday 18 th April 1941 reported;
   “The death occurred recently in tragic circumstances of Mr. Cyril Gibbons of 37 Dorrit Way, Rochester. He was a member
   of Rochester A.F.S. He was the son of Mr. H.O.J. Gibbons, leather merchant. He was educated at Ordnance Street School,
       Rochester and on leaving school he was employed for 13 years at Messrs. Murdoch‟s of Chatham (Piano and Organ
   manufacturers) He joined the A.F.S. at the outbreak of war. He was married and for the last two years lived with his wife
   at Dorrit Way. They were well known at the Ebenezer Church, Chatham where they worshipped for many years. They had
       one child, a two year old daughter. Mr. Gibbons favourite hobby, at which he spent many happy hours, was repairing
                                                         watches and clocks”.




                                                           15
                                            Fireman F.F. RYDER. (33 yrs).
                                           Auxiliary Fire Service, Rochester.
                                                    9th April 1941.
RYDER, Civilian, FREDERICK FRANK, Civilian War Dead. 9th April 1941. Age 33. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of Mabel
Louisa Ryder, of 107 Henry Street, Chatham. Injured at Rochester Esplanade; died same day at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
        It is known that at 0320hrs on this day a parachute mine exploded at the entrance to the Short‟s aircraft works, The
      Esplanade, Rochester. The telephone exchange was gutted, 1 man was killed, 15 seriously injured and 2 slightly. It is
       recorded that productivity remained 100%.! Could this bombing have been the cause of Frederick‟s death. on the 9th
            (sources; C.W.G.C. Register of Civilian Casualties, page 647. K.C.C. W.W. II. bombing records, Maidstone).
                                    The Kent Messenger and Observer dated 19th April reported;
   “Mr. Frederick Frank Ryder, A.F.S. of 107 Henry Street Chatham, was laid to rest at Chatham New Cemetery on Tuesday.
     The Rev. Jarvis, Vicar of All Saints Church officiated and the A.F.S. acted as pall bearers. The Mayor of Rochester and
  Corporation officials attended. Mr Ryder was a native of Sittingbourne but had lived in the Medway Towns nearly all of his
      life. He attended school at Sittingbourne and later at Holy Trinity, Brompton. He leaves a widow and three children”.
          The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News dated 18 th April 1941 reported in its Acknowledgements Column,
  “Mrs. F. Ryder of 107 Henry Street, Chatham thanks all her relatives and friends for the floral tributes also Rochester A.F.S.
                                  and Mr. L. Fowler for the kindness shown in her bereavement”.

                                           Fireman R. BEACON. (27 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham.
                                                   16th April 1941.
BEACON, Civilian, RICHARD, Civilian War Dead. 17th April 1941. Age 27. Fireman, A.F.S.; of Rayleigh, Maidstone Road,
Borough Green. Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Beacon. Died at corner of Wickham Road and Court Downs Road.
                                       Enemy bomb, Court Downs Road, Beckenham, Kent.
    The night of the 16/17th April brought the heaviest raid (up to then) of the war”. The driver of the vehicle, Fm. C. Taylor,
                                               won a George Medal at this incident.

                                    Leading Fireman D.J. CHALMERS. (31 yrs).
                                        Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham.
                                                 16th April 1941.
CHALMERS, Civilian, DAVID JAMES, Civilian War Dead. 17th April 1941. Age 31. Fireman, A.F.S.; of 10 Maberley
Road. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest William Chalmers. Died at corner of Wickham Road and Court Downs Road.
                                     Enemy bomb, Court Downs Road, Beckenham, Kent.
     Note the date in the C.W.G. Register entry – the 17th. The compiler of this list has quoted the 16th This is taken from a
    highly reliable source – the menu used at the Fifth Annual Dinner of the Beckenham A.F.S. Association, dated 20 th April
   1950. The „Roll of Honour‟ page clearly shows these four names, the date 16 th April 1941 and the address, Court Downs
                                                        Road, Beckenham.
      The two other major Beckenham incidents are similarly listed on the menu. The survivors would not have tolerated
                                                           inaccuracies.

                                          Fireman S.R. HUDDERS. (30 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham.
                                                   16th April 1941.
    HUDDERS, Civilian, STANLEY RICHARD, Civilian War Dead. 17th April 1941. Age 30. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of
          Lilian May Hudders, of 14 Pelham Road. Died at corner of Wickham Road and Court Downs Road.
                                Enemy bomb, Court Downs Road, Beckenham, Kent.




                                                            16
                                              Fireman J. MAYNARD. (37 yrs).
                                                       Beckenham.
                                        9th   November 1941. ( injured 16th April 1941)
 MAYNARD, Civilian, JOHN HENRY, Civilian War Dead. 9th November 1941. Age 37. Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Albert and
 Anne Maynard, of 16 Anthony Road, Woodside, Croydon; husband of Hilda Bertha Esther Maynard, of 21 Gowland Place,
  Beckenham, Kent. Injured 17 April 1941, at Courts Down Road, Beckenham; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom.
                       Listed in the C.W.G. Register under Epsom and Ewell Municipal Borough, Surrey.
                                         Enemy bomb, Court Downs Road, Beckenham, Kent.
   The Beckenham Journal of Saturday 10th January 1942 carried a lengthy report about discussions between John‟s widow
                              and Beckenham Borough Council. A flavour of the report is given here;
    “The Committee much regret the passing of Fm. Maynard who struggled so gallantly for life after serious injury and that
      the grief of the widow should have been made the occasion for propaganda in both the national and local press. The
  primary object may have been to urge that pension rates are inadequate but the result has been to suggest that the subject has
                 been treated unfairly and that proper interest has not been taken in the welfare of Mrs. Maynard.
                                          The account continues with specific points such as;
          1. The widow has been granted the full pension allowed. Fm Maynard was granted sick pay for 13 weeks – the
                                                                allowable period.
        2. During Fm. Maynard‟s long stay in hospital he was regularly visited by Officers of the A.F.S. – who never went
                                                                 empty handed.
                                    3. The maximum grant towards funeral expenses has been made.
         4. The A.F.S. Commandant urged the men to join an insurance scheme and Fm. Maynard had done so. This was
           subject to a „ three months rule‟ but despite the fact that the policy had not been in operation for three months when
                                the terrible accident occurred the insurance payment on death was paid in full.
                               5. The London Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund made the maximum grant.
          6. Mrs. Maynard was offered the practical help of the Commandant of the A.F.S. and was assisted by the Public
                                                        Relations Dept. at the Town Hall.
        7. Fm. Maynard‟s A.F.S. colleagues have contributed to a fund which will be (or has been) handed to the widow”.
  This account is included here only because it gives us a rare insight into the aftercare offered by the authorities at this time.

             Auxiliary Fireman C. TAYLOR was awarded the GEORGE MEDAL for his actions at this incident..
   Directly connected with the Courts Down Road incident and the tragedy of the previous four names was the courage of the
driver of the vehicle. It is very likely that this was Auxiliary Fireman Taylor and the following citation appeared in the London
                 Gazette dated 20th June 1941. Unfortunately, we know nothing more about Fm. Taylor‟s war.
  “A trailer pump unit was returning from a fire when a high explosive bomb fell about twenty feet behind the towing vehicle.
  Fragments pierced the petrol tank and ignited the petrol, and the vehicle was instantly enveloped in flames. Two firemen on
the running boards were killed. The driver of the vehicle, Auxiliary Fireman Taylor, managed to open the door and escape, but
  although suffering from shock and other injuries he immediately went back and by an almost superhuman effort, managed to
      drag a badly injured fireman from the vehicle and carry him to a place of safety. (the casualty was probably Fireman
   Maynard). Taylor displayed great courage in going back into the flames, risking his own life to save that of his comrade”.
                                                 “Fire” magazine, August 1941 states;
“Fragments of a h-e bomb killed two of the crew of a trailer pump, perforated the petrol tank and started a fierce fire. Although
 suffering badly from shock and other injuries Auxiliary Fireman Carl Taylor dragged a badly injured fireman from the blazing
                                            appliance and carried him to a place of safety”.

                                       Fireman P.C. AITCHISON. (27 yrs).
                               Auxiliary Fire Service, West Wickham, (Beckenham).
                                                  19th April 1941.
AITCHISON, Civilian, PERCY CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 27. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
 Robert Imrie Aitchison and Eugenie Louise Sarah Aitchison, of 20 Copse Avenue, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Old Palace
                                                        L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.



                                                              17
                                         Fireman R.M. BAILEY. (25 yrs).
                               Auxiliary Fire Service, West Wickham, (Beckenham).
                                                  19th April 1941.
BAILEY, Civilian, RONALD MARK, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 25. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.; of 81
Links Road, Tooting. Son of Mark and Violet Rosina Bailey, of 194 Albert Road, Woodside, South Norwood; husband of
Stella Irene Lilian Bailey. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
    fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London FB) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                 (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                      Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.


       The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 2nd May 1941 report the funeral at length. It has been precised here by the
               compiler. An account of the funeral of the two other men killed at this incident appears later in this list.
                                               FUNERAL OF NINETEEN FIREMEN.
      Nineteen of the 21 members of Beckenham Auxiliary Fire Service, including several from West Wickham, who lost their
       lives while rendering assistance in fire fighting in response to a call from a London borough were buried on Saturday at
       Elmers End Cemetery after a service at Beckenham Parish Church. In compliance with the wishes of relatives the other
      two men had been buried at West Wickham the day previously. The nineteen men had been lying in state at Beckenham
                                                       Parish Church for three days.
      The flag of St. George was flown at half mast from the parish church. Long before the time fixed for the service the road
        leading to the church was filled with the fire-fighting vehicles and comrades from three hundred and fifty stations and
                                                                 brigades.
      A guard of honour lined the entrance to the church which was crowded to capacity. About 120 A.F.S. men occupied the
     chapel at the side of the church as the pall bearers. The coffins of oak were each draped with a Union Jack and a beautiful
                                          wreath cross of flowers rested on the name plaques.
                                                           THE ADDRESS.
   The rector, in a short address, prefaced his remarks with a message from the Bishop of Rochester who had asked him to tell
  the congregation how distressed he was at not being able to be present at that service as he would greatly have desired to be.
 He bade the Rector to offer the bereaved his greatest sympathy in their sorrow, and to assure the bereaved that he would keep
  them in his prayers. He sent his sympathy and his blessing. Continuing, the Rector said that their hearts were much too full
            for much speaking at this time of great distress. They contemplated that day of tragedy which was unique.
  “Our best tribute to those gallant men, and one which they would most have wished, would be the strengthening of our own
     resolve to carry on the struggle to which they gave their lives, a struggle to free the world from oppression, tyranny and
 selfishness, the struggle to make the world sweeter, purer and fairer where men might live full, free lives as children of God.”
  At the conclusion of this part of the ceremony the coffins were borne by ten motor hearses, and when this sad duty had been
completed the procession headed by a detachment of Beckenham A.F.S. men and the London Fire Service Band under Station
Officer Simms proceeded with a slow march to the strains of Chopin‟s Funeral March to the cemetery. Most of the traffic had
   to be stopped or diverted while the cortege was passing and many local tradesmen closed their establishments for an hour.
  The chief mourners were conveyed to the cemetery in closed cars and were followed by two of the Beckenham large pumps
                                       covered with hundreds of wreaths and floral emblems.
  When the cortege arrived the bodies were lowered into the grave and these flowers were strewn over the tops of the coffins.
 The final words of committal were said by the Rector and then two trumpeters sounded the Last Post and Reveille. The final
                                                 hymn was played by the L.F.S. band.
                                                       AT THE GRAVESIDE.
   The tributes of sorrow were so numerous that a large number had been sent to the graveside and a large area of the turf was
covered on one side. The grave itself, which the deceased‟s colleagues had assisted in preparing, was lined with green matting
    decorated with daffodils. A bank of blooms, the offering of the sympathetic concourse of mourners, occupied one side.




                                                              18
                                       Fireman A.C. BARBER. (26 yrs).
                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                19th April 1941.
BARBER, Civilian, ALAN CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 26. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
W. C. E. and E. S. Barber, of 120 Gipsy Road, West Norwood; husband of Winifred Rose Barber, of 6 Fairford Close,
Shirley, Croydon, Surrey. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                       Fireman E.R. BEADLE. (32 yrs).
                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                19th April 1941.
BEADLE, Civilian, ERNEST REGINALD, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 32. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son
of E. A. and A. Beadle, of 57 Ravenscroft Road, Beckenham, Kent; husband of Florence M. Beadle, of 211 Birkbeck Road,
Beckenham. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at West Wickham Church, Friday 25th April 1941.

                                       Fireman K.J. BOWLES. (30 yrs).
                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                19th April 1941.
BOWLES, Civilian, KENNETH JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 30. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.
Husband of Mollie Bowles, of 27 Beckenham Road, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
  At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
    a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                               found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                               (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                    Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                      Fireman H.J.C. CARDEN. (29 yrs).
                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                19th April 1941.
CARDEN, Civilian, HARRY JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 29. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of the
late Henry and H. Carden; husband of Amy Amelia Carden, of 7 Mounthurst Road, Hayes, Bromley, Kent. Died at Old
Palace L.C.C. School.
    At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.




                                                           19
                                       Fireman R.J. DEANS. (28 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
DEANS, Civilian, ROBERT JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 28. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of Mrs.
E. L. Deans, of 144 The Grove, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                 found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                 (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951)
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941..

                                      Fireman F.J. ENDEAN. (36 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
ENDEAN, Civilian, FRANK JAMES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 36. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
Frank James and Rose Endean, of 40 Salisbury Road, Bromley, Kent; husband of Daisy Ellen Endean, of 34 Aviemore
Way, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
    a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                               found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                               (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                    Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                        Fireman C. FARLEY. (43 yrs).
                             Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
FARLEY, Civilian, CECIL, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 43. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Husband of E. F. M.
Farley, of 5 Linden Leas, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                       Fireman G.J.J. HALL. (30 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
HALL, Civilian, GEORGE JOHN JOSEPH, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 30. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son
of George and Annie B. Hall, of 44 Warwick Road, Anerley, Kent; husband of Ethel Beatrice Hall, of the same address.
Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
    a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 Firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                               found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                               (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                    Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.




                                                           20
                                       Fireman L.T. HEALY. (32 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
HEALEY, Civilian, LESLIE THOMAS, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 32. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
Mrs. Healey, of 156 Mackenzie Road, Beckenham, Kent; husband of Aimee Mary Healey, of 15 Greenview Avenue,
Shirley, Surrey. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
     a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                                found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                        Fireman A.V. KITE. (36 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
KITE, Civilian, ALBERT VICTOR, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 36. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Husband of
Gertrude Kite, of 166 Village Way, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
  At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
    a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never
                                               found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                               (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                    Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                      Fireman A.V. MINTER. (46 yrs).
                            Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                               19th April 1941.
MINTER, Civilian, ALFRED EDWARD, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 46. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.
Husband of Anne Minter, of 48 Aylesford Avenue, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
  At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as
    a fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F..B) also died but their bodies were never
                                               found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                               (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                    Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.


    This account of the funeral of the two men buried at West Wickham Church was printed alongside the article about the
     funeral of the other nineteen men killed that terrible night. ( Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 2nd May 1941).
                                           “DIED AS SOLDIERS.”
                                          West Wickham Vicar‟s Tribute.
The funeral of the two West Wickham fireman, Mr. N.R. Mountjoy, son of Councllor G. Mountjoy, and his brother-in-law,
Mr. E.R. Beadle, took place at West Wickham Church on Friday. Their bodies were taken to the church on Thursday
evening.
Mr. Mountjoy married a Miss Beadle last June. Both he and Mr Beadle were old boys of Beckenham County School. Mr.
Mountjoy established the West Wickham agency of the Tunbridge Wells Equitable Society and founded a supporters club
for which he organised several concerts.
The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. Shaw Page who in a short address offered condolences to the bereaved
and said, “These young men died as soldiers, fighting the bombs in order to save people‟s home and property”.
Among the congregation were the Mayor of Beckenham, Mr. A. Netherwood, Chief Officer of Beckenham Fire Service,
Patrol Officer Winn, Section Officer Young, and a detachment of A.F.S. men from all parts of the borough who acted as
pall bearers.




                                                           21
                                      Fireman N.R. MOUNTJOY. (30 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
MOUNTJOY, Civilian, NORMAN RICHARD CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 30. Fireman,
Beckenham A.F.S. Son of George and Lily Mountjoy, of 11 Ash Grove, West Wickham, Kent; husband of Olive Mountjoy.
Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at West Wickham Church, Friday April 25th 1941.

                                       Fireman F.G. PARCELL. (32 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
PARCELL, Civilian, FREDERICK GEORGE, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 32. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.; of
28 Love Lane, South Norwood, Surrey. Son of Joseph Parcell, of the same address; husband of Maud Parcell. Died at Old
Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                       Fireman M.C. PARFETT. (31 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
PARFETT, Civilian, MARTIN CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 31. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son of
the late Ernest Richard and Emily Grace Parfett, of The Bungalow, Culmington Road, South Croydon Surrey; husband of
Nellie Ethel Parfett, of 296 Pickhurst Rise, West Wickham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
    At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 Firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                        Fireman W.C. PLANT. (26 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
PLANT, Civilian, WILLIAM CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 26. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.; of 22
Sultan Street, Beckenham, Kent. Husband of M. L. Plant. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
    At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
    fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                     Their bodies were never found. The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                 (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                      Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.




                                                           22
                                          Fireman L. ROOTS. (31 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
ROOTS, Civilian, LEONARD, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 31. Leading Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.; of 10
Avenue Court, Avenue Road, Anerley, Kent. Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. Roots, of 142 Victor Road, Penge, Kent; husband of E. S.
Roots. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951)
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                         Fireman E.W. VICK. (38 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
VICK, Civilian, EDGAR WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 38. Leading Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.; of
234 Eden Way, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace LC.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                     Fireman W.J. WOODLAND. (41 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
WOODLAND, Civilian, WALTER JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 41. Leading Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S.
Son of Matilda Kate Woodland, of West Wickham, Kent, and of the late Bowden Woodland; husband of Doris Sylvia
Woodland, of 68 Links Way, Eden Park, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
   At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
   fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                    The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                     Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.

                                       Fireman H.C. WOTTON. (30 yrs).
                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Beckenham, (West Wickham).
                                                 19th April 1941.
WOTTON, Civilian, HERBERT CHARLES, Civilian War Dead. 20th April 1941. Age 30. Fireman, Beckenham A.F.S. Son
of Samuel and Harriet Wotton, of 11 Reigate Road, Bromley, Kent; husband of Irene Dorothy Wotton, of 78 Upper Elmers
End Road, Beckenham, Kent. Died at Old Palace L.C.C. School.
    At 0153hrs a land mine scored a direct hit on Old Palace School in St Leonard‟s Street, Poplar, which was being used as a
    fire station. A total of 32 Firemen died. 2 firewomen, (probably London F.B.) also died but their bodies were never found.
                                                     The 21 Kent men are listed.
                                 (source; Beckenham A.F.S. Association Annual Dinner menu, 1951).
                                      Buried at Elmers End Cemetery, Saturday 26th April 1941.




                                                           23
                                         Fireman C.L. LAYTON. (34 yrs).
                                     Auxiliary Fire Service, Bromley, (Bickley).
                                                  11th May 1941.
LAYTON, Civilian, CHARLES LEWIS, Civilian War Dead. 11th May 1941. Age 34. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of Beatrice
Layton, of 49 Canon Road, Bromley, Kent. Injured at Brixton; died same day at Dulwich Hospital. (Listed in the C.W.G.C.
register under Camberwell Metropolitan Borough, London).
                            The Bromley and West Kent Mercury dated 16th May 1941 reported;
                                         BROMLEY A.F.S. MAN KILLED.
                                         Victim of Saturday‟s Raid On London.
     “A member of Bromley‟s A.F.S., Charles Lewis Layton of 49 Cannon-road, was killed during Saturday night‟s raid. He
     was in charge of a unit from the Bickley sub-station at Shawfield-park that was detailed to go to another London district.
                     While engaged on fire-fighting duties he was blown from a ladder by the blast of a bomb.
   Layton who was thirty four years of age, had been a full time auxiliary firemen since September 1938. He was very popular
      with his colleagues at the Bickley sub station. He had resided at Bromley since the age of three and as a boy attended
    Bickley and Wigmore Schools. In August 1933 he was married at Farnborough Parish Church to Miss Beatrice Hughes of
    Farnborough. There are two children. For eleven years Mr. Layton was gardener to Mr. Gibbs, Westbury-road, Bromley.
                                        The funeral was yesterday at St. Luke‟s Cemetery”.

                                        Chief Fire Officer A. BATES. (61 yrs).
                                                     Broadstairs.
                                                  16th August 1941.
BATES, Civilian, ARTHUR, Civilian War Dead. 16th August 1941. Age 61. Chief Officer, Broadstairs and St. Peter's Fire
Brigade. Husband of Rose Bates, of 18 St. Mildred's Avenue, Broadstairs. outside Alexandra Mansions, Vere Road,
Broadstairs. (source; Isle of Thanet Gazette, 22nd August 1941).
     “An enemy raider released a number of bombs (5?) on a town on the south-east coast on Saturday night. Mr Bates and
   Second Officer Leonard Lowings were walking along the road when Mr. Bates, who was getting breathless, suggested to his
    Second Officer that he should go ahead because he could not keep up with his pace. Mr Lowings sprinted up the hill. He
    had just turned into a side road when the bombs exploded but luckily, he escaped with bruises and a slight cut. Mr Bates
                                             was found dead in the debris of the street.
     Chief Officer Bates came to the town in 1920 and was appointed Chief Officer a year later. He had joined London Fire
   Brigade after leaving school and after sixteen years in London he was appointed an officer of the Richborough Fire Brigade.
                         He was a member of the local Masonic Lodge and the local Lodge of Buffaloes”.




          2008. Red Watch, Thanet tending the grave of C.F.O. Bates and the other victims of the 16th August raid.



                                                            24
                                         Fireman W.D. HAMMOND. (54 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Broadstairs.
                                                  16th. August 1941.
   HAMMOND, Civilian, WILLIAM DAVID, Civilian War Dead. 16th August 1941. Age 54. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of S.
         A. Hammond, of 12 St. George's Road, Broadstairs. outside Alexandra Mansions, Vere Road, Broadstairs.
    A bomb exploded in the grounds of the building being used by the fire service as sleeping quarters and the firemen were
                                           standing outside. William died at the scene.
    About fifteen firemen were in a rest room when another bomb exploded a few yards away. Although part of the ceiling
                      collapsed most of the blast was stopped by a blast wall and all these firemen escaped.
                                       (source; Isle of Thanet Gazette, 22nd August 1941).

                                          Fireman R.W. PEMBLE. (35 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Broadstairs.
                                                  16th August 1941.
PEMBLE, Civilian, ROBERT WALTER, Civilian War Dead. 16th August 1941. Age 35. Fireman, A.F.S. Husband of Millie
Doreen Pemble, of 102 Beacon Road, Broadstairs. Injured at Fire Station, Vere Road, died same day on way to Broadstairs
Hospital.
    A bomb exploded in the grounds of the building being used by the fire service as sleeping quarters and the firemen were
                                   standing outside. Robert died on the way to hospital.
                                    (source; Isle of Thanet Gazette. 22nd August 1941).

                                        Patrol Officer P.C.R. SPICE. (39 yrs).
                                         Auxiliary Fire Service, Broadstairs.
                                                  16th August 1941.
SPICE, Civilian, PERCY CHARLES RALPH, Civilian War Dead. 16th August 1941. Age 39. Patrol Officer, Broadstairs and
St. Peter's Fire Brigade. Husband of Millicent Spice, of 1, Stanley Place, High Street, Broadstairs; outside Alexandra Mansions,
Vere Road, Broadstairs.
      A bomb exploded in the grounds of the building being used by the fire service as sleeping quarters and the firemen were
                standing outside. Percy died at the scene. Fireman L. Spice, Percy‟s son escaped with minor injuries.
                                            (source; Kent Messenger, 22nd August 1941).

                                            Fireman F. WHITE. (35 yrs).
                                          Auxiliary Fire Service, Broadstairs.
                                                  18th August 1941.
WHITE, Civilian, FRANK, Civilian War Dead. 18th August 1941. Age 35. Fireman, A.F.S. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. White, of
11 Upton Road, Broadstairs; husband of Jessie P. White, of 49 Northdown Road, St. Peter's, Broadstairs. Injured 16 August
1941, at Vere Road A.F.S. Station; died at General Hospital.
     A bomb exploded in the grounds of the building being used by the fire service as sleeping quarters and the firemen were
   standing outside. Frank was taken to hospital with serious injuries and he died two days later at the General Hospital. He
                                had lived with his wife Jessie at 49 Northdown Road, St. Peters.
                                           (source; Kent Messenger, 22nd August 1941).




                                                            25
                                             Fireman H.L. PRIME. (31 yrs).
                                              Auxiliary Fire Service, Erith.
                                                   22nd August 1941.
                                     Not listed in the C.W.G.C. Register of Civilian War Dead.
                        The Kentish Independent and Kentish Mail of Friday 29 th August 1941 reported,
                               AUXILIARY FIRE SERVICE DESPATCH RIDER KILLED.
An AFS despatch rider motor cyclist was killed and his pillion passenger injured in a collision with a horse drawn milk float at
  Lower Road, Belvedere last Friday. The dead man was Henry Leonard PRIME (31 yrs). of 63 Bostall Park Avenue, Erith.
                 The injured man, Ernest Jackson of Hurst Road, Erith is still in hospital suffering concussion.
                       The same paper reported the inquest in the 3rd October edition It is précised here;
  The Coroner asked if the motorcycle was his (Prime‟s) own and his sister said, „yes‟, he had been riding for about 4 years.
     Dr. P.H. McDonald said he saw Prime when he was admitted to hospital. He had a deep wound to his forehead, was
                                        unconscious and had a fractured rib. He died later.
   George Harris, Patrol Officer of the A.F.S. said Prime had Jackson as a pillion. He had no idea what they were doing in
    Lower Road. They were not on official business and were required to report to a Rest Centre at Park Crescent, Erith.
 The Coroner returned a verdict of „Accidental Death‟ and said that it appeared that Prime tried to cut in between a van and
                                             the kerb but unfortunately hit the milk float.
  The N.F.S. started its short but illustrious existence on the 18 th August 1941, four days before this accident. Prime was not
riding a N.F.S. motor cycle and would appear not to have been assigned a task but, confusingly, had been told to report to the
   Rest Centre. His death has not been recorded „officially‟. Later, accidents such as being killed by enemy action whilst at
 home in bed were recorded as „on duty‟. Perhaps if this accident had happened in 1943, (for example) when the N.F.S. was
            more established it too would have been recorded as „on duty‟. Compare this with Fm. E.W. Lambert.

                                          Fireman C.A. RANSLEY. (37 yrs).
                                                    Folkestone.
                                                 th
                                                6 November 1941.
RANSLEY, Civilian, CECIL ALBERT, Civilian War Dead. 6th November 1941. Age 37. Dispatch Rider, N.F.S. Husband of
Mary Evelyn Ransley, of The Village Hall, High Street, Cheriton. Died at Grimstone Avenue.
                           The Folkestone, Hythe and District Herald dated November 15th 1941 reported;
                                                 N.F.S. MAN‟S FATAL INJURIES.
                                                       Accident at Crossroads.
     “A verdict of „Accidental Death‟ was returned at an inquest into the death of Cecil Albert Ransley, 37, of Gordon Road,
  Cheriton. Ramsey, a dispatch rider in the N.F.S, and a married man, was fatally injured when his motor cycle collided with
                                           a tree in Grimstone Ave on Thursday last week.
  Dr. Buttery said Ransley was admitted to Folkestone Hospital just after 6pm on the preceding Thursday. He was then dead.
                               There was fracture at the base of the skull which was the cause of death.
      P.C. Graham said at about 5.50 on this day he was on duty in Grimston Ave near the junction with Sandgate Road. He
  heard a motorcycle approaching from the direction of Shornecliffe Road and shortly after the noise of an impact. He looked
     around and saw a man lying on the footway at the side of a tree outside Kent College. The motor cycle was lying beside
    him, almost on top of him. He went to the spot and saw the rider was wearing the uniform of a N.F.S. dispatch rider. He
                                                was bleeding profusely from the head.
   He interviewed Lt. R. Jackson the driver of a car who stated that at about 5.50 he left Goodwyn Road in his motor car and
    turned left into Bouverie Road West proceeding in the direction of Folkestone. “I had just changed into top gear and my
       speed was about 20 miles per hour. Upon approaching Grimston Ave I sounded my horn and had almost passed over
                                        Grimston Ave……. (the text becomes illegible here).
   The Coroner said the evidence was perfectly clear and he thought it was an accident in which neither driver could be said to
    be negligent. Both drivers reached the crossroads at the same time and the motor cyclist apparently thought he could get
           across and if the tree had not been there he would be alive today. He returned a verdict of Accidental Death”.
                                                          THE FUNERAL.
      The funeral took place on Monday at All Souls Church, Cheriton preceding interment at St. Martin‟s Cemetery. Four
             members of the N.F.S. acted as pall bearers and a guard of honour was formed by personnel of the service.
     Before the war Cecil was a driver for a local firm of wine merchants. He was one of the first pre-war volunteers for the
  A.F.S. Was he yet another fatality of the „black out? There is no doubt this was effective and rigorously enforced, but also,
    that it was responsible for many road deaths including pedestrians. In 1942 it was accompanied by a 25 mph speed limit
        but fatalities continued. Cynics considered the „black out‟ killed more people than enemy action would have done!



                                                            26
                                         Fireman E.W. CARBERRY. (43 yrs).
                                                      Dover.
                                                23rd December 1941.
  CARBERRY, Civilian, ERNEST WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 23rd December 1941. Age 43. Fireman, N.F.S. Husband
                    of Alice Elizabeth Carberry. Injured 19 December 1941, at Sub Fire Station; died at Dover.
                 (sources; C.W.G.C register. and “The Dover Express and East Kent News”, 2nd January 1942).
     “Ernest was injured at Finnis Hill, a sub Fire Station, on Friday, 19th Dec. 1941 when a trailer pump ran over him. The
   pump and its towing car were leaving the station when Fm. Young, who was acting as pilot to the driver of the towing car,
    noticed Fm. Earnest Carberry on the ground. Fm. Young went to check and found Ernest lying on his back. Ernest told
    him, “the pump ran over me”. It is possible he had been on the way to his quarters but there was no indication of how he
   came to be run over. He was taken to hospital and at this stage the surgeon considered his condition to be very good. On
     the 23rd his condition deteriorated and an operation was performed to check for perforation of the bladder. Ernest died
     under the anaesthetic. The Coroner returned a verdict of „Misadventure‟ saying, “There was certainly no one to blame
                                               accept perhaps the deceased himself”.
   He was the husband of Alice Elizabeth Carberry, whom he married in 1930, and, we believe, the son of Patrick Carberry,
    He and his wife had at least two children, Patrick Ernest Walter, baptised at St James on 5th April 1931, when the family
  were living at 12 Chapel Street, and Ernest John, baptised on 11th April 1937, when the family lived at 20 Castle Street. On
  both occasions Mr. Carberry was described as a "motor driver". He is buried at St James, D.R. 12, and officers and men of
    the Fire Service formed a guard of honour at the graveside. His comrades also acted as bearers. His brothers, A. and F.
  Carberry, and his sisters, Mrs. Golden and Mrs. Goldsack, were amongst the mourners, as was his widow, who laid a floral
                        tribute, “In loving remembrance of my dearest one, from his broken-hearted wife”.

                                           Fireman A.J.B. SIFLEET. (27 yrs).
                                                    Rochester (?).
                                                   th
                                                 26 February 1942.
SIFLEET, Civilian, ALFRED JOHN BERTRAM, Civilian War Dead. 26th February 1942. Fireman, N.F.S. Husband of Edith
Sifleet, of 44 Foord Street, Rochester. Died at Maidstone.
                                        The Kent Messenger of 27th February 1942 reported;
                                               DIED AFTER COLLISION.
                                                  Motor Cycle – Cycle
                                                     Met In Road.
    “A collision occurred on Tuesday at 6 pm on Loose Road, Maidstone near the junction of Heather Drive between a motor
   cycle and a pedal cycle. The motor cyclist was Alfred Sifleet age 27 years of 44 Foord Street, Rochester. A dispatch rider
    for the N.F.S. he was admitted to West Kent Hospital with head injuries and unconscious. He died at 0420 hrs. yesterday.
     Gordon Sampson aged 13 years of 123 York Road, Maidstone, the pedal cyclist was also detained in hospital with head
                                                              injuries”.
   Some sources suggest the name is; „Silfleet‟ but this is not recognised by the C.W.G.C. list, whereas „Sifleet‟ is. Journalists
    are usually meticulous when spelling names and the above report, complete with the spelling „Sifleet‟, was taken from the
                                            Kent Messenger, a very reputable paper.
     We know the implementation of the black-out regulations led to a huge increase in road accidents. Was this accident yet
                                               another result of these regulations?




                                                             27
                                            Fireman W.E. WARD. (31 yrs).
                                                 Canterbury (Sturry).
                                                   7th June 1942.
WARD, Civilian, WILLIAM EDWIN, Civilian War Dead. 7th June 1942. Age 31. Fireman, N.F.S.; of 11 Deansway Avenue,
Sturry. Son of William and Harriet Ward, of 16 Sweech Gate Cottages, Broad Oak; husband of Ruby Ward. Died at
Littlebourne Road.
                                                KILLED ON DUTY.
                                           Fireman Pinned Beneath Engine.
                                                CRATER CAUSES TRAGEDY.
  “How the Sturry fire engine, while proceeding to a fire, ran into a bomb crater and overturned, was related to the City
  Coroner (Mr C.A. Gardner) at an inquest held at Kent and Canterbury Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. William Edward
  Ward was thrown from the engine and pinned beneath it. He was employed as a concrete caster and was 31 years of age.
  Evidence of identification was given by Mrs Harriot Ward, his mother of 16 Sweechgate Cottages, Sturry who said her son
  had good health.
  Mr. E.J. Port, a farmer of Goose Farm, Broad Oak and Section Leader of the Sturry Fire Service said that at about
  1.35 a.m. the section had received a call to proceed to a fire in another district. Witness detailed the big pump and fire crew
  to leave at once with a crew of six including himself. The driver was Earnest Banks and the deceased was one of the crew
  having volunteered to come. On the way the engine passed the glow of burning incendiary bombs and then turned into a
  road which was in darkness. They had proceeded a short distance when the engine toppled into a crater in the road. They
  were travelling without lights, as was usual while enemy planes were overhead.
  The engine was travelling quite slowly, about 12-15 mph. Deceased was standing on the near-side of the engine and, as far
  as the witness knew, was thrown under the vehicle when it tipped over.
  Earnest Banks, transport driver and haulage contractor of 1, Orchard Place, Sturry the driver of the engine, said that when
  the vehicle overturned it was buried in the bottom of the crater and the deceased was under the back of the engine and could
  not be extracted. Witness felt that the engine was going over small stones as they were about two yards from the crater and
  applied both brakes but could not avoid the hole. They were travelling towards the centre of the road. Witness had driven
  for the Sturry Fire Brigade for 16 years.
  Giving medical evidence, Dr. N.H. Ashton, pathologist of Kent and Canterbury Hospital, said that he had carried out the
  post mortem examination and found four fractured ribs on the right side and haemorrhage had occurred in both lungs, which
  had evidently been subjected to great pressure. The body was healthy and death was due to asphyxia.
  Sergt. H.E.C. Petts, Canterbury City Police, gave evidence of the fact that deceased was brought in from the crater to the
  A.R.P. Mortuary at the Old Hospital on Sunday, June 7 th. Deceased was dead when taken from the crater. He had been
  under the engine for roughly six hours before the engine could be moved. Every endeavour was made to get the engine off
  him by means of ropes and voluntary helpers but, owing to the depth of the crater this could not be done. A large grab was
  sent to the spot and lifted the engine out.
  The Coroner recorded a verdict of “Death by misfortune” and expressed sympathy with the family. No blame could be
  attached to the driver. Sympathy was also expressed on behalf of the officers and men of the N.F.S.
  Mr. Ward interested himself in many village activities and was a member of the Broad Oak Bat and Trap Club and a past
  member of the Social Club. He leaves a widow and one child. His loss to the Fire Service will be greatly felt. He showed
  great promise and keenness”. (source; Coroner‟s report as printed in „The Canterbury Press‟, 13 th June 1942)
                                                      THE FUNERAL.
  “There was a large gathering at the funeral (Thursday) at the Parish Church, the Vicar, Rev. S. Risdon Brown officiating.
  Mrs. J. Morris at the organ played special music.
  The N.F.S. were well represented. The coffin draped with the Union Jack was borne to the church on the fire engine, the
  bearers were four members of the “C” Division, Faversham Headquarters. The Sturry Sub-section under Leading Fireman
  R. Collingwood formed a guard of honour at the entrance to the church.
  The Vicar said the fire services were part of the fighting forces of the Empire, and one of them had laid down his life for his
  country in their great cause. His sacrifice will not be in vain.
  The internment was at the cemetery where N.F.S. members paid tribute with a final salute.
  The chief mourners were the widow, Mr. and Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Woolnough (parents), Messrs. and A Ward (brothers),
  Miss R. Ward, Mrs. I Talbot (sisters), Mr. J. Talbot, Messrs A. and F. Woolnough (brothers-in-law).
     Among those present were; Chief Officer E. J. Port (Sturry N.F.S.), Divisional Officer W.S. Holmes, N.F.S. Company
    Officers, S. Sayer, H. Stapleton, (Canterbury). There was a profusion of floral tributes including those from; the Staff at
   Divisional Headquarters, officers and men London Road Company, N.F.S., Fellow members Sturry Section N.F.S., Golden
    Lion Sports Club, Fellow Workmates K.C.P., To Bill from Mr. A.M. Pennington, and others. The funeral arrangements
                                               were carried out by Mr. H.R. French”.



                                                            28
                                               Fireman A.L. TOMBLING.
                                                     Beckenham.
                                                    22nd July 1942.
        TOMBLING, Civilian, ARTHUR LESLIE, Civilian War Dead. 22nd July 1942. Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Mrs. A. E.
                                                   Tombling. Died at Beckenham.
       The Beckenham Journal of Saturday, 1st August reported the Coroner‟s investigation; (the account is heavily précised
                                                                here);
   “Arthur‟s stepfather gave evidence of identification and said that his nephew entered the A.F.S. in 1938 and had been in full
      time service for the past 12 months. He was stationed at the Lloyds Bank Sports Ground, Cope Road, Beckenham, and
                         about four months ago started a physical training course as a member of the N.F.S.
    Arthur had left for duty the previous Monday morning. The stepfather related how he and his wife had been summoned to
   Beckenham Hospital on Tuesday evening and arrived in time to see their nephew being taken to the operating theatre. They
   were told his condition was‟ very bad‟. Dr. John Moore said that when admitted to hospital Tumbling‟s leg were paralysed
   and his arms almost so. He recovered quite well from the operation and passed a good night in hospital but he died at 0725
                                                     hrs the following morning.
    Sidney Lea, a N.F.S. P.T. instructor at Beckenham Fire Station and previously, for five years, an Army P.T.I. said that on
     Tuesday afternoon he was instructing fourteen volunteers for a Bank Holiday display. They were undertaking an agility
    exercise known as the “fish dive”. The exercise used a rope about 12 feet long which was held taught, two feet above the
     ground, by two men. Two coconut mats were laid on the ground and the gap between the rope and the mats was about 1
                                  foot. The exercise involved a diving forward roll over the rope..
   The deceased had performed the exercise twice before and had landed clumsily but did not appear to have hurt himself. On
         the third attempt he took a longer run and seemed to land with the full weight of his body on the back of his head.
                                    The Coroner recorded a verdict of ”Death by Misadventure”.

                                       Leading Fireman W. STRAND. (30 yrs).
                                                    Canterbury.
                                                 31st October 1942.
STRAND, Civilian, WALTER, Civilian War Dead. 31st October 1942. Age 30. Leading Fireman, N.F.S. Husband of Mary
Alice Strand, of Goose Farm, Broad Oak, Sturry. Died at Sturry Road.
                          The East Kent Gazette and Canterbury Press of November 14th 1942 reported;
                                                        VICTIM OF AIR RAID.
                                                      Funeral of Mr. W. Strand.
   “A well known and respected Sturry family was bereaved by enemy action on October 31 st when Mr Walter (Wally) Strand,
      husband of Mrs M. Strand of Goose Farm, Broad Oak was killed in the bus [on which he was travelling] was attacked.
      Of a quiet disposition, Mr Strand was unable owing to business and later, war conditions, to keep actively involved in
    village affairs, but he was much admired and esteemed by a host of friends. He was married at the Parish Church in 1938
   and the couple were the recipients of over a hundred presents. He was employed at Ramsgate and London as a commercial
                                                          window display artist.
        On the outbreak of war he joined the A.F.S. and was stationed at Bexley Heath. Later he was appointed as a L.Fm.
        mobilising officer and, with his wife, resided at Bexley Heath. Mrs. Strand later returned to Sturry and worked as a
                     telephonist at the N.F.S. sub station. L.Fm. Strand was on leave when the tragedy occurred.
    Residents will remember that Mr. E.G. Port, Section Leader of the local brigade was seriously injured in an accident whilst
                                           proceeding to fire in the last blitz (of Canterbury).
     The N.F.S. was well represented. The coffin draped with the Union Jack and bearing deceased‟s helmet and hatchet was
                                                 borne to the church on a fire engine”.




                                                            29
                                       Fireman A.W.E. GRIFFITHS. (51 yrs).
                                                   Canterbury.
                                                31st October 1942.
GRIFFITHS, Civilian, ALFRED WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 31st October 1942. Age 51 Fireman, N.F.S.; of 42 Watling
Street. Son of Frederick William and Sarah Ann Griffiths, of Sturry; husband of Winifred Lavinia Griffiths. Died at Watling
Street.
                        The East Kent Gazette and Canterbury Press of November 14 th 1942 reported;
                                                   N.F.S. TRIBUTE.
                                                  Funeral of Colleague.
     “Mr. Griffiths, who had resided in Canterbury for 11 years, served with the Royal Artillery in Mesopotamia during the
      Great War. He was employed as a driver with Burniston, the coal merchants. He had served for three years with the
      N.F.S. and was very popular. Present with the family at the funeral were 40 members of the N.F.S. from Canterbury
                                          commanded by Company Officer Stapleton”.
     It appears Alfred was killed by enemy action whilst at home. Canterbury suffered three „Baedecker‟ raids in 1942, the
                 first on May 31st. and more on June 2nd and June 6th They also experienced many other raids.

           The following appeared in „The Kentish Gazette and Canterbury Press‟ dated Saturday, June 6 th 1942.
                                             City Surveyor Praises N.F.S.
   “Mr H.M. Enderby, the Canterbury City Surveyor, in an interview with a „Kent Herald‟ representative, paid the following
tribute to the National Fire Service for their activities during the Canterbury Blitz. “Many armchair observers he said, my self
                          included, have been severely critical of the formation and personnel of the N.F.S.
 As one who loves every brick of this city I cannot but pay a warm word of appreciation to the N.F.S. after seeing them in the
                 height of the „Blitz‟, with bombs dropping all around, doing their work so quickly and efficiently.
  One instance is typical; With a sheet of flame and unexploded bombs in the vicinity a fireman was rolling out his hose and
  singing „Roll out the Barrel‟. He stopped only when he was bowled over by a blast. But deliberately he picked himself up
                        and continued with his task and went on with his song „We‟ll have a jolly good time‟.
The organisation has evidently been planned with a long view when dealing with blitz conditions and the N.F.S. can deal with
      them. The system of reinforcement worked without a hitch of any kind and every man appeared to be fully informed
                                           beforehand of the job which he had to undertake.
    I feel too that the services of the Regional Officials deserve special recognition. One thing which particularly struck me;
   when they arrived immediately after the raid, was that they were anxious to take orders from the local officials not to give
                                   them though their advice and cooperation was freely available”.

                                     Company Officer I.E. HURLEY. (31 yrs).
                                                  Rochester.
                                               th
                                             19 December 1942.
HURLEY, Civilian, IAN EDWARD, Civilian War Dead. 19th December 1941. Age 31. Company Officer, N.F.S. Son of
Mary Hurley, of 32 Maidstone Road, and of the late W. T. Hurley. Injured at Huntsman's Corner, Chatham; died same day
at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
                       The Kent Messenger and Observer dated Friday, December 26 th 1942 reported;
                                              A.F.S. OFFICER KILLED.
                                                Sad Death of Mr. L.E. Hurley.
    “An A.F.S. officer, Ian Edward HURLEY of 32 Maidstone Road, Rochester died in St. Bartholomews‟s Hospital in the
                         early hours of Saturday morning from an injury sustained in a motor accident.
        Hurley was a passenger in an A.F.S. car driven by Minnie Grace Dean, an A.F.S. woman driver of 4 Upper Oast
       Cottages, Manor Lane, Borstal. Also in the car was another member of the A.F.S, Leslie Charles Woolcott of 252
        Chatham Hill, Chatham. Hurley was in the back of the vehicle. The car had preceded out of Pattens Lane in to
      Maidstone Road and after preceding a few yards crashed head on into a telegraph pole. Hurley sustained a fractured
                                  skull. The other two escaped with facial injuries and shock.
   Mr Hurley was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Hurley of 32 Maidstone Road, Rochester. Prior to joining the A.F.S. he was
     engaged with the firm I. and R. Morley, London. It is tragic that he was shortly to be married to Miss Brooks of Cecil
                                                         Road, Strood.
                      An inquest held at Rochester on Tuesday recorded a verdict of Accidental Death”.
       The Company Officer is also remembered on the Roll of Honour Board of the old boys of Sir Joseph Williamson‟s
                                Mathematical School, Rochester who died in both World Wars.


                                                           30
                                      Firewoman E.M. HAWTIN. (30 yrs).
                                                 Beckenham.
                                                rd
                                              23 March 1943.
  HAWTIN, Civilian, ELSIE AMY, Civilian War Dead. 23rd March 1943. Age 30. Firewoman, N.F.S. Daughter of P. A.
    and K. Merkel, of 12 Brettel Street, Walworth, London; wife of Alec Robert Hawtin, of 33 Dartmouth Road, Hayes,
                         Bromley. Injured at Southend Road; died same day at Beckenham Hospital.
                              The Beckenham Journal of Saturday March 20th 1943 reported;
                                                   FATAL ACCIDENT.
  “At 1240 pm on Tuesday in Southend road, Beckenham, Mrs. Elsie Hawtin, aged 30 of 33 Dartmouth road, Hayes was
    cycling near Brackley road when she was involved in a collision with a trailer drawn by a motor lorry. She received
   multiple injuries and was removed to Buckingham Hospital where she died later in the afternoon. An inquest is being
                                                held this (Friday) afternoon”.
 The Beckenham Journal of Saturday, April 3rd 1943 reported details of the inquest. This account of the inquest is heavily
                                                           précised,
 The Coroner returned a verdict of “accidental death”. Evidence of identification was given by Alexander Robin Hawtin,
  a N.F.S. fireman who said that on Monday the 22 nd his wife left home to go on a spell of 48 hours duty as a watchroom
  attendant at Beckenham Fire Station. On the following day he received information as a result of which he went to the
                       hospital where he saw his wife unconscious. She passed away at about 4 p.m.
    Miss Mary Francis, Dispatch Rider in the N.F.S. said that at about 1220 hrs. she and the deceased left the Training
   Centre at the Old Dunstonian‟s Club on their way back to Beckenham Fire Station. The accident occurred on a slight
    bend and the driver of the lorry said he was travelling at about 12 – 15 mph. He sounded his horn when he saw the
 cyclists. Miss Francis said she did not actually see Fw. Hawtin knocked on the shoulder by the lorry but she did hear her
                                          exclaim and then she was thrown heavily.
    The Medical Doctor on duty at the hospital at 1-10 pm when Mrs. Hawtin was admitted said she was suffering from
 severe shock and was bleeding from her head. The cause of death was a fracture of the skull and laceration of the brain.

                                      Section Leader J.W. BAILEY. (30 yrs).
                                                    Not known.
                                                 nd
                                               2 February 1942.
BAILEY, Civilian, JOHN WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 7th February 1943. Age 30. Section Leader, N.F.S.; of Olive
Lynn, Downs Valley Road, Willington, Hailsham. Husband of J. W. Bailey. Died at Fire Station, Grove Road.
      This name appears on the Roll of Honour boards at Kent Fire Brigade Headquarters. In the „station‟ column only
     „N.F.S‟. is recorded. Further research revealed John was one of five firemen and one firewoman killed when the fire
   station, part of a large building, in Grove Road, Eastbourne, was hit by a bomb. Eastbourne was officially declared the
                                              most heavily bombed. town in the S.E
   But, what is the connection between 30 F.F. (Kent) and 31 F.F. ( East Sussex and S.W. Kent)? Unfortunately all we can
    do is speculate. Did John move from 30 FF to 31 F.F. on promotion? Did he move to become an instructor? Was he
  there on a course? Did he want to be nearer to his Hailsham roots? Was the fire station building also a N.F.S. Training
                                                            Centre?
   Moves within a Region, (No. 12 region this case), were not unknown especially for specialists such as trainers or water
     officers. Sadly, we just don‟t know what he was doing there and so the link between a mans name on a board in Kent
             and a tragedy in Eastbourne a town in a different Fire Force 50 mile away remains, so far, a mystery.




                                                        31
                                    Leading Fireman P.D. FARMER. (36 yrs).
                                                     Deal.
                                                 1st May 1943.
FARMER, Civilian, PERCY DURRANT, Civilian War Dead. 1st May 1943. Age 36. Leading Fireman, N.F.S.; of 313
Dover Road, Walmer, Deal. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Farmer, of The Stores, Walmer; husband of Emily Ivy Farmer.
Died at Market Place, Sandwich.
               (The following appeared in the Deal, Walmer, Sandwich, and East Kent Mercury, May 15 th 1943).
  “The adjourned inquest touching the death of Fireman Percy Durrant Farmer, who was killed when the turntable ladder
  on which he was giving a display at the opening of Sandwich „Wings for Victory‟ week collapsed, was resumed by Mr.
  E.C. Allfree, Deputy Coroner, at Deal Town Hall on Monday, a verdict of death by misadventure being returned, the
  opinion being expressed that a sudden gust of wind caused the ladder to sway to the left, and then gradually collapse.
  Fred Dewhurst, a mechanical engineer employed at the London Fire Brigade Workshops said that he inspected the
  ladder on Sunday, May the 2nd.. The head of the main lower section of the ladder was badly mutilated and the strings of
  the ladder were fractured. At the top section, about five feet had been broken off at the head. The steel trussing was
  somewhat distorted. So far as the mechanism was concerned, that was in first class condition, and the timber was also
  sound. The wood was preserved by varnish, and was in very good condition. The cut-out mechanism prevented any
  over extension of the ladder and this cut-out mechanism was just about to come into operation when the accident
  occurred. The fracturing of the ladder was not due to any defect either in the mechanism or the timber. The only
  reason he could give for the accident was that the ladder was caught sideways by the wind. The ladder must be kept
  absolutely straight, otherwise the support of the steel trusses was minimised. The same type of ladder was broken in
  Glasgow last December. It happened in the drill yard and was apparently caused by the wind. There was a man at the
  head of the ladder, but he was not killed.
  In reply to Mr Griffin (organising Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union) witness said the ladder used at Sandwich was
  supplied to the London Fire Brigade in November 1925.
  Frederick Wyatt, Section Leader, London Fire Service, said he had been a turn-table ladder instructor since 1940, and
  he was satisfied that the drill as carried out at Sandwich at the time of the accident was correct. He could not think of
  any course that should have been adopted that was not adopted. The only possible cause of the accident was the effect
  of the wind on the trussing. Witness had never seen one of these ladders break before. There was a direction that the
  guy lines should be used in the event of a high wind and in this case the guy lines were used. Coy. Officer Charles
  Edward Matthews said there was a moderate wind blowing at ground level when the demonstration was being given.
  Mr Griffin asked the witness if whether he or his predecessors had been instructed that, owing to the swing of those
  ladders to the left, the ladder was not to be extended to over 50 feet, and the witness replied that he had never known of
  any such direction.
  Mr. Griffin wondered if it was possible to get hold of the people who were in charge of the ladder previous to
  Matthews, for it was an important point. He had been given to understand that the ladder had a tendency to swing to
  the left for some considerable time.
  Mr Dewhurst asked Mr Griffin under what conditions the ladder swayed to the left and why? Mr Griffin said the main
  reason for attending that inquest was to obtain that information. C/O Matthews said that no order that the ladder was
  not to be extended beyond 50 feet had been given since he had been a Company Officer. In reply to the Deputy
  Coroner, witness said that any such direction would come from the Divisional Officer. In reply to Mr Hardman, C/O
  Matthews said that if any such order had been given, he would certainly have known about it, for he would be the
  person principally concerned.
  In reply to further questions (about the ladders available to the station), C/O Matthews said that was an 85 foot
  (ladder). They (also) had a 50 foot escape. There would not be much object in retaining the ladder if its elevation were
  limited to 50 feet for its use would be reduced.
  Carefully reviewing the evidence, the Coroner said he was of the opinion that the ladder, which had been elevated to a
  length of 84 feet was caught by a sudden gust of wind, which deflected it laterally, thus minimising the support of the
  steel trusses. Mr. Wyatt thought that everything that could be done had been done. It seemed to him a most
  unfortunate accident, that a sudden gust of wind should have caught that ladder on that particular occasion. The
  occurrence, in his opinion, was entirely due to an accident and he returned a verdict of death by misadventure. He felt
  that everything that could be done was done and that no one was to blame”.
      At the preliminary hearing it was established that the deceased had died from a severe blow to the top of the skull
    causing laceration of the brain. L.Fm. Farmer had died almost instantaneously. He left a widow and one child. His
                                    brother was serving with the N.F.S. at Beckenham, Kent.




                                                         32
                                  Leading Fireman A.B. HANSON. (38 yrs).
                                 Maidstone. (Loose sub-station, Linton Road).
                                               3rd July 1943.
HANSON, Civilian, ARTHUR BERT, Civilian War Dead. 3rd July 1943. Age 38. Leading Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Mr.
and Mrs. G. B. Hanson, of Linton Petrol Station, Loose; husband of P. M. Hanson, of Chez Nous, Linton Road, Loose.
Died at Collier Street, Yalding.
    “At about 1100hrs, whilst en route to a fire resulting from enemy action in the Goods Yard, Yalding Railway Station,
     Collier Street, Arthur collapsed. He died before he reached hospital. He lived at „Chez Nous‟, Linton Road, Loose
    about 200 yards from the Fire Station. Arthur was a part time fireman pre-war and he worked as a plumber. He was
                                                  buried in Loose churchyard”.
                                        (sources; Arthur‟s family and Kent Messenger)
    In 2005 the site on Linton Rd. (A229) previously used a garage (Linton Petrol Service Station) and the pre war / war
        time Linton fire station was redeveloped as housing. The main road of the estate was named „Hanson Drive‟
      honouring Section Leader B. Hanson, garage owner, Chief Officer of the pre-nationalisation Rural District Fire
     Brigade and Arthur‟s brother. A plaque remembering the history of the site has been placed at the entrance. John
                 Meakins, curator of the K.F.B. Museum played a leading part in this very worthwhile project.

                                   Leading Fireman A.H. BOCUTT. (37 yrs).
                                                   Dover.
                                               th
                                             14 December 1943.
    BOCUTT, Civilian, ALEXANDER HERBERT, Civilian War Dead. 14th December 1943. Age 37. Leading Fireman,
    N.F.S. Son of Alfred Arthur Bocutt, of 30 Longfield Road, Dover, Kent, and of the late Jessie Bocutt; husband of Ivy
   Mary Bocutt, of the same address. Died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom, as the result of illness contracted while
                                           on duty during air raids at Dover, Kent.
                          The Dover Express and East Kent News, December 17th 1943 reported;
   “Mrs. A.H. Bocutt and Peter wish to thank their many friends for their kind expressions of sympathy and floral tributes.
     Mrs. Bocutt wishes to thank especially the members of the National Fire Service, the doctors and nurses of Dover
      Casualty Hospital and Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom for their kindness to her husband during his illness”.
    We don‟t know the nature of Alex‟s ill health but it required evacuation to Surrey. Buried in grave EJ.26, St. Mary‟s
     Cemetery, Dover. This was not the first wartime tragedy suffered by the Bocutt family. Alexander‟s Royal Marine
                           brother, Alfred was killed when H.M.S. Hood blew up, 24th May 1941.

                                        Fireman W.H. BENNETT. (52 yrs).
                                                    Dover.
                                                 th
                                               10 January 1944.
BENNETT, Civilian, WILLIAM HENRY, Civilian War Dead. 10th January 1944. Age 52. N.F.S. Husband of Maggie
Bennett, of Glenside, Green Lane, Temple Ewell. Injured 2 June 1943; died at Glenside, Green Lane.
    “William came to Kent in 1926 to work in Tilmanstone Colliery. He worked there for about ten years but his health
       was not good and he eventually had to give up. He was Secretary of the Dover Trades and Labour Council and
  contested the Dover Parliamentary seat in the 1935 General Election. Since the war, Mr. Bennett had been in the N.F.S
    but he was injured on the 2nd June 1943 and died at home, „Glenside‟, Green Lane, Temple Ewell, Dover almost six
                                                        months later.
                     (source; obituary in “The Dover Express and East Kent News” 14th January 1944).

                                         Fireman F.H. LEE. (41 yrs).
                                        Queenborough. (River Service).
                                             12th February 1944.
                                            (Not listed in the C.W.G.C register).
                The Deal, Walmer, Sandwich, and East Kent Mercury ,reported on the February 20th 1944,
   “The funeral of Fireman Frank Herbert Lee of Venson Park Road, East Walmer who died on the 12 th inst. at the age of
     41 took place at Deal Cemetery on Wednesday. The late Mr. Lee had served with the 2 nd Dragoon Guards for six
    years, and was invalided out. He joined the Queenborough, Medway River Service, N.F.S. two years ago. His death
                                    was quite unexpected following an attack of pleurisy.
  Before joining the N.F.S. he was an assistant at Messrs. Timothy White‟s (a national chain of chemist‟s shops) in the
            High Street and had also served with the same firm as manager of a branch shop at Sittingbourne”.


                                                         33
                        Senior Leading Firewoman I.E. POLDEN. (21 yrs).
                          30 Fire Force, “A” Division Control, Swanley.
                                       3rd. February 1944.
                                        (Not listed in the C.W.G.C register).
                (“The Reporter” of Saturday 12th February 1944 recorded in its DEATHS column,)
“On the 3rd February at Gravesend and West Kent Hospital Iris Emily dearly loved daughter of Mr. Mrs. Polden, 58
                       Raphael Road, Gravesend following a sudden illness, aged 21 years”.
                            (“The Reporter” of Saturday 19th February 1944 recorded,)
 “The funeral took place in Gravesend Cemetery on Wednesday of last week of Miss Irene Emily Polsden, a Senior
                   Leading Firewoman in the N.F.S. whose death was reported in our last issue”.

                                        Fireman W.W. WEST. (29 yrs).
                                                  Dover.
                                               th
                                             24 February 1944.
     WEST, Civilian, WALTER WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 24th February 1944. Age 29. Fireman, N.F.S.; of 3
  Rushams Cottages, Wingham. Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. West, of Pedding Cottage, Wingham; husband of M. J. West.
                                                Died at 3 Rushams Cottages.
                The Kentish Express dated March 24th 1944 reported in the local news, Wingham, column;
                                                 HELPING A WIDOW.
 “Local N.F.S personal raised about £14 for the widow of P./Time Fm. W.W. West, killed recently by an A.A. shell, by
    a dance on Monday. Fm. C. White (Ash) was M/C. S./L. Oddy, Fm. F. Horton, A. Goslett and P. Rose provided
                                             music for the nearly 200 present”.
     Accidents of this type were by no means rare. W.W.II. anti aircraft barrages on both sides of the channel were
 incredibly intense, involving large numbers of guns and high rates of fire. Shells were set to explode in the vicinity of
 the enemy, the many pieces of hot, high velocity shrapnel greatly increasing the possibility of destroying the enemy, a
          direct hit was a bonus. Inevitably, and often tragically, the shrapnel ended up speeding to the ground.
  The compiler remembers, as a young, newly promoted L.Fm. on Blue watch, Gravesend in 1966, being told about the
       horror of flying through „flak‟ by his SubO. Albert Bench., a superb man. He flew through it many times in
    Liberator(?) bombers whilst a radio operator in the R.A.F. and he emphatically described it as „murderous‟. He
    spoke of flying through a „curtain of red hot metal‟. Outwardly, Albert was a modest, placid, quiet man but when
   talking of these times it soon became clear that the fear he had experienced whilst on these raids lurked in the dark
     corners of his mind. The compiler has seen, many times, similar reactions by people of Albert‟s generation and
                                                    service background.
    On retirement Albert returned to his native Yorkshire where he was often visited by many of the men (including at
                  least two future C.F.O‟s) who had benefited from serving with him. He is now at peace.

                                                Fireman H. HOOD.
                                                    Not known.
                                                  13th June 1944.
     HOOD, Civilian, HAROLD TOM, Civilian War Dead. 13th June 1944. Husband of E. M. Hood, of Plaisance,
                          London Road, Hildenborough, Kent. Died at Dorchester.
                        Despite extensive searches, no further details have been found.

                                 Fireman F.A. PALLENT. (48 yrs).
                        Woolwich Arsenal Fire Brigade. (A works brigade, not N.F.S.).
                                          29th June 1944.
  PALLENT, Civilian, FREDERICK ARTHUR, Civilian War Dead. 29th June 1944. Age 48. Woolwich Arsenal Fire
  Brigade; of 61 Laurel Grove, Anerley. Husband of Elizabeth Alice Pallent. Injured at 61 Laurel Grove; died same day
                                                 at Beckenham Hospital.
  War time records* show that a V1 exploded in Laurel Grove, Penge at 0055 hrs. on the 29 th June 1944 and that three
    people were killed. Frederick lived in this road and although only circumstantial evidence links his death to this
                   incident the facts in the above C.W.G.C. entry, suggests, but not confirms, he was.
                                 (*Internet source; www.flyingbombsandrockets.com/V1).




                                                        34
                                   Fireman/Messenger F. COOPER. (17 yrs).
                                                  Ashford.
                                               7th July 1944.
    COOPER, Civilian, FREDERICK GEORGE, Civilian War Dead. 7th July 1944. Age 17. N.F.S. Son of Emily May
   Cooper, of 1 Bank Cottages, Charing Heath, and of the late George Thomas Cooper. Injured at Swan Street, Charing;
                                    died same day at Hothfield Emergency Hospital. July.
   The Civil Defence War Diary for the Ashford District lists nine V.1. „fly bombs‟ incidents on the 7th. July. One of these
      was at Charing Heath at 1850 hrs. when, it is recorded, a male was killed by bullets fired by three fighter planes
     attacking a V.1 ‟f.ly bomb‟. Swan St. is in Charing Heath. This is a highly reliable source of information and it is
   possible Frederick was the male referred to in the official report. Unfortunately, despite much searching, no evidence
   linking his name to the incident has been found because, for security reasons, the papers of the time heavily restricted
                                                their reports of these incidents.
                       (source; K.C.C. records; War Diary C/AV. 1/11. - July 1st - August 15th (1944).

                                      Firewoman E.H. MORGANS. (24 yrs).
                                                   Ashford.
                                                 th
                                                9 July 1944.
MORGANS, Civilian, ELVIRA HANNAH, Civilian War Dead. 9th July 1944. Age 24. Telephonist, N.F.S. Daughter of
John Morgans, of 46 Ashen Drive, Dartford, and of Flora Morgans. Died at junction of Crayford Road and Princes Road.
                   (Listed in the C.W.G.C. register under CRAYFORD, URBAN DISTRICT – Kent).
                                     The Kentish Times dated 21st July 1944 reported;
                                    SEVEN KILLED WHEN BOMB HIT ROAD.
   “When a flying bomb (V.1) fell in a road near a bus stopping place in southern England several small houses were
damaged. Seven people, all of whom were in the road at the time where killed and a number of others who were in their
                                            shelters or houses were injured.
 Those who received fatal injuries were, Mrs Morgan (sic) and her three daughters, Mrs. Peake and Mrs. Brown and her
 daughter. A bus driver who was approaching the stopping place caught sight of the bomb in its descent and accelerated
                                             in time to get clear of danger”.

                                       Fireman A.P. POWER. (38 yrs).
                                  National Fire Service, Overseas Contingent.
                                                11th July 1944.
    POWER, Civilian, ANDREW PATRICK, Civilian War Dead. 11th July 1944. Age 38. Fireman, N.F.S. (Overseas
                       Contingent); of 20 Clarence Road, Mottingham. Died at 20 Clarence Road.
             (Listed in the C..W.G.C. register under CHISLELHURST and SIDCUP Urban District, Kent).
                                    The Kentish Times dated 21st July 1944 reported;
                                                BOMB IN VILLAGE:
                                                    TWO KILLED.
     “Houses were wrecked in a village in southern England when a flying bomb exploded in the middle of a road.
      Mr. A. P. POWER, a member of the N.F.S. and Miss Dorothy Critchell were trapped under debris and killed.
                         Several other people were injured and some were detained in hospital”.

                                  „The Kentish Express‟ dated August 4th 1944 reported,
                                                          WINGHAM.
                                                  EX FIREMAN‟S DEATH.
The death occurred last Friday of Mr. Harry Thomas Bates aged 63 of High Street, who for 42 years was a member of the
Fire Brigade and latterly of the N.F.S. until ill health intervened about three months ago, and a bell ringer. Firemen acted
                          as bearers at the funeral on Wednesday and formed a guard of honour.
                        (note; Harry appears to have been serving with the N.F.S. in his 63rd year).




                                                          35
                                         Fireman H. DOWDELL. (30 yrs).
                         Dover. (A „Colour Scheme‟ or, perhaps, an Overseas Contingent man?).
                                            12th September 1944.
DOWDELL, Civilian, HERBERT, Civilian War Dead. 12th September 1944. Age 30. Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Dora
Phillipa Dowdell, of 53 Kenilworth Road, Cadoxton, Barry, Glamorgan, and of the late Robert Dowdell; husband of
Jessie Catherine Dowdell, of 8 Kenilworth Road. Died at Folkestone Road.
     Herbert died at Folkestone Road, Dover and two other people also died there at much the same time. This suggests
                                     they were all killed by enemy action, probably shelling.
   Herbert was the husband of Jessie Catherine Dowdell of 8, Kenilworth Road, Barry, Glamorgan. At its simplest, was
   he there as an off duty visitor to the town? Alternatively, was he a Welsh fireman drafted to the south coast as part of
      the Op. „Colour Scheme‟ reinforcement programme implemented because of fear of a post D-Day enemy counter
       offensive on the Home Counties. „Colour Scheme‟ personnel started returning home towards the end of October
                                                               1944.
    We know for certain that on Thursday, Sept. 14th 1944, D. Coy. of 12 (South Eastern Region) Column of the Overseas
    Contingent deployed to Dover and, the following day, E. Coy. went to Folkestone. They were drafted to the coast to
   repair houses damaged by cross-channel shelling. Was he a member of an Overseas Contingent reconnaissance team
                                              sent a few days before the main body?
     The Dover Express, 6th October lists those killed or injured by the cross channel shelling and included as seriously
       injured are; Fm. W. Perkins of Bromley and Fm. R. Probert of Barry Island, S. Wales. They are not listed in the
                   Register of Civilian War Dead so, thankfully, they probably recovered from their injuries.
       (sources; List of Killed and Injured by Enemy Shelling; published by the Dover Express and East Kent News, 6th
        October 1944. „Burstow‟s Diary‟, a day to day record of the activities of a Section Leader with ‟D‟ Coy of 12
                                                             Column).
            See also in this list; Fw. Blackford. A total of 41 people were killed in Dover by shelling that month.
                        The last shell from France landed in Dover at 1915 hrs on September 14th 1944.

                                           Fireman T.A. ILETT. (18 yrs).
                                                      Walmer.
                                               26th. September 1944.
   ILETT, Civilian, TERENCE ALBERT, Civilian War Dead. 26th September 1944. Age 19. (the coroner recorded his
     age as 18) Certificate for Gallantry; Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Albert William and Mary Matilda Ilett, of 8 Flamstead
                                    Road, Charlton, London. Died at Dover Road, Walmer.
                                The Deal, Walmer, Sandwich, and East Kent Mercury reported;.
        “An inquest was held at the War Memorial Hospital on Tuesday 28 th ult. by Mr. E. Allfree (Deputy Coroner)
   concerning the death of Terence Albert Ilett (18) an N.F.S. dispatch rider of Charlton, London attached to the Walmer
     Station who died from injuries received following a collision with an R.A.F. lorry and trailer on Tues. the 26 th. ult.
                                       The body was identified by the deceased‟s father.
   Evidence was given that the deceased was riding along the Dover Road from Deal on a solo motor-cycle belonging to
    the N.F.S. at a rather fast speed and he collided with an R.A.F. lorry and trailer as it was emerging from the junction
    of Granville Road and Dover Road. Deceased struck the rear off-side and his machine collided with the towing bar.
    The force of the impact was very severe and he sustained a ruptured and severely lacerated liver, death being due to
             this, and internal hemorrhage and shock. There was a skid mark in the roadway, 58 feet in length.
     Evidence was given by Maj. A.F. McDonald, R.A. Dr. Eric Brothers, R.E.M.E. and the driver of the lorry, L.A.C.
       Havelock Gibson. R.A.F. The Deputy Coroner said the cause of death was shock and he returned a verdict of
                                                      „Accidental Death‟.
   There is no mention of the part played in this accident by the driver of the R.A.F. lorry as he emerged from Granville
      Road. Terence lived at 8 Flamstead Road, Charlton, London. Previously he had been awarded a Certificate of
        Gallantry but the citation for this, or whether it was related to his Fire Service career, has not come to light.




                                                          36
                                          Fireman C.W. SIMMS. (30 yrs).
                                                    Folkestone.
                                                6th October 1944.
SIMMS, Civilian, CHARLES WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 6th October 1944. Age 30. Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Mr.
and Mrs. G. Simms, of 12 West View, Canterbury Road; husband of Caroline Lillian Simms, of 51 Ingoldsby Road. Died
at Royal Victoria Hospital.
       Died in the town‟s Royal Victoria Hospital. The Folkestone, Hythe and District Herald of Saturday, October 18 th
                           carried a report of the circumstances of his death. It is summarised here.
                                       FIREMAN‟S DEATH IN FALL FROM ROOF.
     “A fireman‟s fall from a roof on which he was working, causing fatal injuries, was described at an inquest held at the
          Town Hall, Folkestone on Monday afternoon. The Borough Coroner retuned a verdict of Accidental Death.
    The victim of the accident was Charles William Simms aged 30. He was a married man, father of two young children
                                and a carpenter before the war. He was a member of the N.F.S.
      Alfred Tolhurst, also a member of the N.F.S. said he knew Simms well. The previous Friday witness was working
     with Simms at the rear of Maltby‟s showrooms in Sandgate Road, which was an N.F.S. station. They were repairing
     damage at the rear of the building on the roof. This was made of a steel truss with a wooden purlin and covered with
      corrugated asbestos. Witness said he was standing inside the building against a ladder which was against the ridge.
     Fireman Swan was also working there, standing against a ladder erected against a purlin immediately below Simms.
      Damaged sheets were being removed. The Coroner asked, “Would the asbestos sheets be strong enough to support
                                       the weight of a man?” “No sir” replied the witness.
      Witness continued, that he was holding a sheet, five and a half to six feet long, whilst Simms took the nails out. A
        sheet was passed down to Simms who passed it on to Swan. When a second sheet was passed witness turned to
    remove it and then he heard the sound of breaking asbestos. He looked round quickly and saw Simms going feet first
    taking several sheets with him. Simms landed on the floor on his heels leaning slightly to the left. He seemed to land
                                                stiffly and topple over backwards.
           An ambulance was summoned and on the way to hospital Simms seemed to recover consciousness a little.
     The coroner asked, “How do you think this happened?” Witness said he could not quite say. Simms might have put
      his weight on something. Simms was used to this type of work. All three of them had previously done this type of
        work inside the building. They were all carpenters. The Coroner said, “I must ask this. Was there any fooling
                                          about?” Witness replied, “Definitely no sir”.
      Dr. Haddon an Assistant Surgeon at the Royal Victoria hospital, said the Simms was brought to hospital at 1220 on
   Friday. He was semi conscious and badly shocked. He became unconscious at 3.30 and died at 3.55pm. The cause of
                        death was haemorrhage to the base of the brain following a fracture of the spine.
    Simms became a part time fireman in June, 1939 and a full time member of the A.F.S. (later N.F.S.) in January of the
   following year. For two years he had been a constructional worker engaged in repairing and erecting fire stations. He
                           was a first class worker attached to a Sub Area Accommodation Station”.

                                    Firewoman E.R. BLACKFORD. (26 yrs).
                                                   Dover.
                                               th
                                             11 October 1944.
BLACKFORD, Civilian, ELLEN RITA ST QUENTIN, Civilian War Dead. 11th September 1944. Age 26. Firewoman,
N.F.S. Daughter of Ellen Lydia Stirrup, of 36 Albany Place, Dover, Kent; wife of Leonard Blackford, Merchant Navy.
Injured September 1944, at Dover; died at Hurstwood Park War Emergency Hospital, Haywards Heath.
                  (recorded in the C.W.G.C. Register under CUCKFIELD, URBAN DISTRICT – Sussex).
                           The Dover Express and East Kent News ,6th October 1944 reported;.
     “Ellen lived at 36 Albany Place, Dover and in the afternoon of 1st September 1944, she was seriously injured by a
    shell fired from across the Channel. Several other people in the road were killed. She died as a result of her injuries
      at Hurstwood Park War Emergency Hospital, Haywards Heath, on the 11 th October 1944. She was buried at St.
                James‟s Cemetery Dover (grave 17QK). Her husband Leonard served in the Merchant Navy”.
                          (additional sources; C.W.G.C. Register, Dover War Memorial records).




                                                          37
                                      Fireman W.H.A. TRITTON. (44 yrs).
                                                  Folkestone.
                                             11th November 1944.
   TRITTON, Civilian, WILFRED HARRY AUBREY, Civilian War Dead. 13th November 1944. Age 44. N.F.S.; of
     51 Cherry Garden Lane, Folkestone. Son of Rose Tritton, of 50 St. Martin's Road, Folkestone. Died at County
   Hospital. (recorded in the C.W.G C.Register. under CHATHAM, MUNICIPAL BOROUGH – Kent). Despite many
                                     searches no further details have been found.

                                 Leading Fireman W.F. GARDINER. (33 yrs).
                                                 Not known.
                                            19th November 1944.
    GARDINER, Civilian, WILLIAM FRANCIS, Civilian War Dead. 19th November 1944. Age 33. Leading Fireman,
    N.F.S. of 68 Franks Wood Avenue, Petts Wood. Husband of Mildred Gardiner. Died at Crooked Billet, Petts Wood,
                                                               Kent.
   “The 219th V.2. to strike England exploded at 2120 hrs, Sunday 19th November 1944 on the forecourt of the „Crooked
     Billet‟ in Southborough Lane, Petts Wood with disastrous consequence. The entire four storey collapsed in a huge
             heap on the lip of a crater 30 ft wide and 15 ft deep. Some thirty people (later reported as 24) died”.
                                      (source; ‟Bromley in the Front line‟ by Lewis Blake).
      The crowded pub was hit by a V2 rocket. L.Fm. Gardiner must have been in the immediate area if not in the pub
    itself. There is no evidence that he was on duty. 100 N.F.S. men and 4 Heavy Rescue teams toiled through the night
                                                and all next day to recover victims.
                                 In 1956, on the 19th October, the West Kent Mercury reported;
                                          The Crooked Billet is rising from its ashes.
     “By next summer Bromley will have a new, yet old, public house. Work on the Crooked Billet, Bickley which was
        destroyed in the war is expected to be finished in July. The new building will resemble the old in every way”.

                                                Fireman H. COLLOP.
                                                    Swanscombe ?
                                                 19th December 1944.
   COLLOP, Civilian, HAROLD, Civilian War Dead. 19th December 1944. Fireman, N.F.S. Son of Mrs. E. Collop, of
                  63 Myddleton Road, Bowes Park, Wood Green, Middlesex. Died at Swanscombe. .
    Local newspapers of the time have been searched but unfortunately no mention of this man has been found. There
                                  were no V.1. or V.2 incidents in the area on this day.

                                        Fireman D.J. LEGGETT. (33 yrs).
                                                    Welling.
                                                 th
                                               10 March 1945.
LEGGETT, Civilian, DENNIS JOHN, Civilian War Dead. 10th March 1945. Age 33. Fireman, N.F.S; of 26 Cowper
Close, Welling. Son of Herbert and Kathleen Leggett; husband of Iris Elsie Leggett. Died at 26 Cowper Close.
                                  The Kentish Times dated March 16th 1945 reported;
                                             FAMILY WIPED OUT.
                                            Dogs help in rescue operations.
     “A baby was one of a number of fatal casualties when a V(2) bomb fell in Southern England recently. (1001hrs)
    A family of four, Mr and Mrs Leggett, and Valerie and Bertram Leggett was wiped out and Mrs Rees and her son
                     were killed. Other were cut by flying glass and Valerie Spades had a leg broken.
   Soldiers helped in the rescue and A.T.S. girls assisted in carrying blankets and tea. “I take my hat off to the Army for
                         their work today,” was the tribute paid by one A.R.P. rescue squad leader.
    Dogs took part in locating casualties and nurses and a woman doctor clambered over wreckage to attend to trapped
              casualties. Another baby, slightly hurt, was released from the debris after over an hours work.
   Rescue work was carried on remarkably quickly and the last casualties to be released alive, a mother and child, were
                                           sent to hospital after only two hours”.




                                                          38
                                        Fireman E.W. LOWER. (38 yrs).
                                                  Rochester.
                                               16th April 1945.
LOWER, Civilian, ERWIN, Civilian War Dead. 16th April 1945. Age 38. Fireman, N.F.S. Husband of Margaret Anne
Lower, of 9 St. Bartholomew's Terrace. Injured at Rochester Fire Station; died same day at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
                        The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News reported on April 20th 1945;
  “An N.F.S. fireman, Edwin Lower of 9 St. Bart‟s – terrace, Rochester over balanced and fell 16 feet whilst descending
     a ladder during fire practice at Central Fire Station, Foord Street, Rochester on Monday morning. He landed on
    concrete and died from his injuries in St Bart‟s Hospital. Lower sustained a fractured skull and other injuries. At
  yesterday‟s inquest the City Coroner returned a verdict of Death by Mis-Adventure. A married man, the deceased had
                                                been in the N.F.S. five years”.
    One unsubstantiated report talks of a wheeled escape drill and a B.A. set becoming caught up in the escape. This
     tipped him off the ladder. The fire station was only a short distance from the hospital. It was announced in the
       obituary column of the paper that he left a widow, Margaret and a five year old son. Edwin was buried in St.
                     Margaret‟s Cemetery, Rochester on Saturday. Full N.F.S. honours were accorded.

                                      Fireman W.C. HASTINGS. (35 yrs).
                                                 Not known.
                                              9th August 1945.
                                             (Not listed in the C.W.G.C register).
                     The „Kentish Express‟ dated Friday 17th August 1945 carried the following report;
                                        DEATH FOLLOWS ROAD COLLISION.
                                              Further Evidence To Be Called.
    The Folkestone Coroner on Friday adjourned the inquest of William Charles HASTINGS, 35 yrs, a member of the
  N.F.S. in order that he could obtain medical evidence. Hastings died in hospital several days after receiving injuries in
             a collision between his motor cycle and a taxi shortly before midnight on the Sunday before last.
   P.C. Sedar said that the only serious injury Hastings appeared to be suffering from was a broken leg. The machine
                      had collided at the junction of Bouverie Rd. West and Manor Road, Folkestone..
                   Unfortunately, the outcome of the inquest was not subsequently reported by the paper.

                                     Section Leader H. BRIDGER. (43 yrs).
                                                  Tonbridge.
                                                  th
                                                17 April 1946.
    BRIDGER, Civilian, HARRY, Civilian War Dead. 17th April 1946. Age 43. Section Leader, N.F.S. Husband of G.
    M. Bridger, of 5 Meadow Road, Southborough. Died at Southborough, as the result of an illness contracted while on
                                                      duty in the N.F.S.
                                     „The Courier‟ dated April 26th April 1946 reported;
   BRIDGER, Suddenly, at 5 Meadow Road Southborough, on April 17 th. Harry Bridger. Beloved husband of Gertrude
                                      Bridger. Later in the paper this report is carried;
    “A GUARD OF HONOUR was formed by members of the N.F.S. on Tuesday at the funeral of Mr. H. Bridger of 5
   Meadow Road. Aged 43, Mr. Bridger had lived at Southborough all his life. He became a pert-time fireman in 1938
     and went into the regular service on the outbreak of war. As a Section Leader in the N.F.S. he assisted in directing
   rescue work when the East Grinstead cinema* was bombed and did duty in some of the most heavily bombed areas in
                        England. He leaves a widow and one son”. *09-07-43, 1717 hrs. 108 fatal.

                                          Fireman H.W. WEST. (38 yrs).
                                                   Not known.
                                                nd
                                              22 November 1947.
  WEST, Civilian, HAROLD WILLIAM, Civilian War Dead. 22nd October 1947. Age 38. Fireman, N.F.S. Husband of
  Alice West, of 29 Brantwood Avenue. Died at Erith & District Hospital, as the result of an illness contracted while on
                                                   duty with the N.F.S.
   There is a Brantwood Avenue in Erith and it is possible Harold served at either Erith or Bexley Fire Station. He is
  not mentioned in the war time Incident Book of the Erith Fire Station. Unfortunately, despite extensive searching, no
                                      further details of this death have been found.


                                                         39
                                     (Fire Services Act 1947).
                                     KENT FIRE BRIGADE.
                                 Retained Fireman A.C. YOUNG. (44 yrs).
                                        St. Margaret‟s nr. Dover.
                                           5th September 1949.
                                The Kent Messenger, dated September 9th 1949 reported;
“Shortly after 8am. on Monday St Margaret‟s firemen were called out when someone saw smoke rising from the
direction of Swingate camp. One of those who answered the call was Mr. Albert C. Young a part time „retained‟
fireman whose every day job was head baker for Mr. Goldfinch, the village baker.
Mr. Young and his colleagues bundled into the fire tender, changing into their fireman‟s clothes as the van (a wartime
Auxiliary Towing Vehicle – A.T.V.) sped through the village streets. As the tender rounded the corner on the Dover
Road just beyond the village the cab door flew open and Mr. Young was thrown out.
It is believed he was drawing on one of his fireman‟s boots when he lurched against the door and his elbow caught the
door handle.
 The fire tender stopped, turned round and took the injured man to Dr. Melhuish‟s house. From there he was taken to
  hospital, but died almost as soon as he got there. Mr. Young, who was 44, lived at Reach Road, St. Margaret‟s. He
 was married with three children. When the firemen eventually got to Swingate they found the alarm had been caused
                               by smoke rising from controlled burning of wheat stubble”.

                                       Fireman F.J. SOLLEY. (53 yrs).
                                                   Margate.
                                               nd.
                                            22 October 1955.
                                   The East Kent Times and Mail reported on 26-10-55;
                                             FIREMAN‟S DEATH AFTER
                                             CLIFF CLEARANCE WORK.
   “Only a few hours after he helped search the rubble of Ramsgate‟s cliff fall on Saturday, a 53 year old Margate
   fireman collapsed and died. Last month Mr. Solley was presented with the newly instituted Fire Brigade Long
  Service and Good Conduct Medal. Mr. Solley began his service with the fire brigade at Ramsgate 21 years ago”.
3.75 inches of rain fell in 12 hrs and tons of the cliff face fell on to the seafront esplanade. It was feared people were
buried and 100 firemen, assisted by American troops from the nearby Manston air base, removed hundreds of tons of
                                                 chalk. Nobody was found.
               The Brigade‟s house magazine, „Kentish Fire‟ of December 1955 contained this tribute;
“Fred Solley was a good fireman, not only on a branch but in the station and off duty. His standards of workmanship
were high. Nothing was allowed to pass him needing help if by some effort he could assist. A job of work to him was
                            a challenge, not to be handicapped by the clock, be it fast or slow.
 His passing is a great loss for we can ill afford to lose the honesty, sincerity and helping hand of good Fred Solley”.

                          Assistant Divisional Officer L.A. PEARCE. (49 yrs).
                                              “C” Div. H.Q.
                                            th
                                          29 November 1957.
At 0640 hrs. two pumps and a turntable ladder from Maidstone Fire Station were sent to a report of a fire at Oakwood
   Mental Hospital, Maidstone.. They arrived promptly and at 0648 hrs a „make up message‟ requesting four more
pumps was sent from the fireground. A fire in the workshop wing was tackled with six jets of water and by 0731 hrs it
   was under control. Turning over and damping down was in progress when, at 1001 hrs and without warning the
 tower collapsed. Many firemen and hospital staff were buried beneath the rubble or trapped in the building. Rescue
  work started immediately and Civil Defence rescue teams were summoned from neighbouring towns. The bodies of
three firemen and three hospital staff were recovered. Retained Stn.O. S.E. Pearce recovered the body of his brother,
                                A.D.O. L. Pearce. Six firemen were seriously injured.
The funeral service was held at All Saints Church, Maidstone on the 5 th December and nearly 800 mourners attended.
    ADO Les. Pearce had served for almost thirty years and his son, Peter, joined K.F.B. as a retained firemen at
     Maidstone in the early 60‟s. In 1963 he joined the wholetime service, rising through the ranks to become a
                                                  Divisional Officer.
                2008: Peter‟s son and Les‟ grandson is a serving firefighter at Maidstone Fire Station.


                                                        40
                               Retained Fireman A.E. FARROW. (44 yrs).
                                                Loose.
                                            th
                                          29 November 1957.
      At 0640 hrs. two pumps and a turntable ladder were sent to a report of a fire at Oakwood Mental Hospital,
Maidstone.. They arrived promptly and at 0648 hrs a „make up message‟ requesting four more pumps was sent from
the fireground. The fire in the workshops wing was tackled with six jets of water and was under control by 0731 hrs.
  Turning over and damping down was in progress when, at 1001 hrs, without warning the tower collapsed. Many
      firemen and hospital staff were buried beneath the rubble or trapped in the building. Rescue work started
 immediately and Civil Defence rescue teams were summoned from neighbouring towns. The bodies of three firemen
                      and three hospital staff were recovered. Six firemen were seriously injured.
The funeral service was held at All Saints Church, Maidstone on the 5 th December and nearly 800 mourners attended.
 Thirteen years later Mrs Farrow, Albert‟s widow, was to experience another family tragedy when her son was killed
    when the retained water tender from Maidstone crashed in College Road, Maidstone whilst en route to a call.
                                         See also the entry for Fm. M. Farrow.

                               Retained Fireman J.A. HAWKES. (33 yrs).
                                                Loose.
                                         29th November 1957.
  John was a member of Loose retained fire station based at the Brigade‟s Training Centre, Heath Road, Linton. He
                                         lived in near-by Boughton Monchelsea.
He was killed at Oakwood Hospital, Maidstone when a chimney collapsed following a fire in the workshops. The fire
  started in a Tailor‟s Shop and spread through the Print Shop, Library and into the roof. Adjacent to the workshops
              was a ventilation tower, 115 ft. high. At 1001 hrs, completely without warning, it collapsed.
  The cause of the fire was recorded as overheating of an iron left switched on overnight. Considerable research was
                     undertaken into the behaviour of the stone used in the construction of the tower.
 Loose retained station operated from Linton Training Centre, built during the war, which apart from its obvious role
      also served as a Reception Centre during Ops. „Harlequin‟ and „Colour Scheme‟ and a base for „D‟ and „E‟
                                      Companies, 12 Column, Overseas Contingent.
  Post war, it provided Recruit, Breathing Apparatus, Junior Officer and Continuation courses. Brigade Stores also
 occupied several huts on the heavily wooded site. A bay at the end of the main garage block acted as Loose retained
fire station. It closed in 1972 on the opening of a new, purpose built, Training Centre next to Maidstone Fire Station..
                       In 2008 the abandoned site was redeveloped by a religious sect as a school.

                                 Retained Fireman E.B. NISSEN. (50 yrs).
                                               Maidstone.
                                             10th May 1959.
                                 The „Kent Messenger, dated May 15th !959 reported;
                                                Died on duty call.
“Leading Fireman Edward Bert Nissen 50, of 31, Upper Road, Foster Clarke Estate, Maidstone died while on his way
to put out an undergrowth fire in Cuckoo Woods, near Maidstone on Sunday. The time of call was 1700hrs. and Mr.
  Nissen showed no signs of illness when he answered the fire alarm or when he arrived at the station having cycled
from home. He died at about 1730hrs. and his sudden death came as a great shock to his widow and son. A native of
Maidstone he was apprenticed to Messrs. Vivish and Baker Ltd. Printers of King Street, Maidstone on leaving school
    and later worked there as a compositor. Just before the outbreak of war he joined the Maidstone Fire Brigade,
 transferring to the wholetime N.F.S. later. In 1946 he joined a London evening paper at their Maidstone office as a
    compositor –machinist where he remained until his death. In his spare time he continued to serve as a retained
                                                        fireman”.
                      The funeral service takes place tomorrow at St. Phillips Church, Maidstone.
   Mick, Edward‟s son, joined Kent Fire Brigade 1972 and served at many stations including Training Centre as a
  driving instructor. As a Staff Sub Officer Mick played a leading role in the introduction to the K.F.B. of hydraulic
               rescue gear, a great step forward. He retired in 1994, having served for almost 23 years.




                                                       41
                           Retained Leading Fireman R. DEVESON. (56 yrs).
                                               Eastry.
                                           11th May 1965.
   “Leading Fireman Reginald Deveson, a retained member of Kent Fire Brigade, serving a Eastry, died aboard the
burning 6,000 ton Pakistan freighter M.V. „Yousef Baksh‟ beached off Deal just before midnight on Tuesday. He was
 doing his first period of duty fighting the fire and was helping with pumps on one of the tugs when he complained of
 feeling unwell. Later it was found he had collapsed. Earlier, he had climbed a rope ladder onto the ship‟s deck. He
                                 was dead when a doctor arrived on the Walmer lifeboat.
 He was 56 years of age, lived at 1, Walton Cottages, Sandwich, and had worked at the Hammill brickworks for many
 years. He was a member of the old Eastry Volunteer Fire Brigade from 1937, was a full timer with the National Fire
Service at Wingham during the war and then became a retained member of Kent Fire Brigade. He leaves a widow and
                                                      married daughter.
   Firemen were withdrawn from the freighter on Wednesday after they had successfully fought the fire which had
threatened the ship since Saturday night. The fire first started in the ship‟s hold laden with jute and oil-cake. Salvage
                                      tugs „Hermes‟ and „Eros‟ are still standing by”.

                                             Fireman M. FARROW.
                                                   Maidstone.
                                              2nd September 1970.
    The retained Water Tender from Maidstone Fire Station crashed into a tree in College Road, Maidstone whilst
  proceeding to an incident. Fireman Malcolm Farrow, a whole time fireman who additionally undertook retained
duty, died four days later from severe burns. Another wholetime/retained fireman received severe burns and had a leg
                                                     amputated.
 (Malcolm was the son of Albert Farrow, previously entered in this list. Mrs Farrow, Albert‟s widow and mother of
Malcolm bore her double grief with stoically. Several times in the 1980‟s recruits from the Brigade‟s Training Centre
                                  undertook decorating and tiling work at her house).

                                  Retained Sub Officer J. HOLMWOOD.
                                               Maidstone.
                                             14th May 1972.
Brigade Control received a call at about 0700hrs on the 28 th April to smoke issuing the row of shops opposite the
„White Horse P.H‟ .Bearsted. Two pumps from Maidstone Fire Station were sent. On arrival, SubO. G.Cooper (i/c
White Watch) “made pumps four” and committed two B.A. wearers, (Fm. Robin Giles and Fm. Bob Elliott) to a store
room on the ground floor at the rear of the shop. Very quickly conditions within the building deteriorated. Dense
black smoke rolled across the ceiling and the SubO. immediately sounded his evacuation whistle ordering the B.A.
wearers to withdraw from the building. The B.A. team left the building immediately and shortly after conditions
inside the entire building became untenable. Within an hour or so, the fire was extinguished but damping down and
cutting away continued into the afternoon. The rear of the shop was badly damaged but the remainder of the
businesses in the row escaped serious structural damage.
During „damping down‟ it was discovered that, originally, the building had had a first floor but many decades
previously this had been badly damaged by fire and on reconstruction the first floor was not replaced. The void
between the ground floor ceiling and the „new‟ roof was covered with corrugated sheeting and this was heavily coated
with bitumen. It was almost certainly this coating which produced the dense black smoke.
Jim, the SubO. i/c of the retained section at Maidstone Fire Station, collapsed later that day whilst cutting away and
removing the sheeting.
He died in hospital on the 14th May, almost certainly of heart problems. Jim had worked with the Brigade for 24
years as a full-time Service Van mechanic and had undertaken retained duty for 14 years.
                            (source; the compiler‟s recollections of the job, 36 years later).




                                                       42
                                          Fireman N. McCULLOCH.
                                                   Medway.
                                              9th January 1973.
At 0957 hrs. the two pumps from Medway Fire Station responded to a report of fire in a science classroom of Upbury
   Manor School, Gillingham. On arrival the crews found that the school had been evacuated but a serious fire was
  developing in the first floor classroom. Two firemen wearing breathing apparatus entered the laboratory but were
  soon engulfed in a „flashover‟. It appears that Neil was struck by a falling, flaming, diffuser cover of a fluorescent
light fitting and this resulted in him receiving severe burns to the face and his inhalation of large quantities of carbon
monoxide. His B.A. partner , Fm. (Ray) Plumley received burns to the face and hands but he managed to crawl to the
  door where his colleagues were able to drag him to safety. Firemen (Fred) Jackson and (Bennie) Murray searched
 the laboratory and found Neil. Together, and despite burns of their own, they dragged Neil to fresh air. Tragically,
                                                   he was already dead.
  Neil‟s funeral was held at St Augustine‟s Church, Gillingham, just a few hundred yards from Medway Fire Station
           and which, less than two years later, was to hold the funeral service for two more Medway Firemen.


                                         Fireman R.J. BELL. (29 yrs).
                                                  Medway.
                                              th
                                             8 November 1974.
 “Two Kent firefighters were killed and four others injured while fighting a blaze in a mattress store in the Royal Navy
shore establishment HMS Pembroke at Chatham Dockyard. The two men killed were; Fireman Robert Bell, 29, who
had been in the brigade for two years eight months and Fireman David Holley; aged 34 years. Dave was single and
had served for over 14 years.
The four men injured were, Leading Fireman (Jimmy) Austin, detained in hospital, and Firemen, (Les) Clayton,
(Nick) Thistle, and (Mick) Bridel, who were allowed home after treatment.
According to early reports, the two dead men – both wearing breathing apparatus (Proto) had gone into the heavily
smoke-logged store to try to discover the seat of fire. The other four men were waiting outside the store which formed
the ground floor of a four storey, very large, accommodation block, building. One theory is that while the two men in
BA. were searching the building there was a flashover. Full rescue measures were implemented but the two men had
been fatally injured.
It is understood that the force of the blast had blown over the four men waiting outside the store. The fire was
discovered by a Naval routine patrol. The call to the brigade was timed 0251 hrs. and appliances from the Medway
unit responded.”
                                    (source; „Fire‟ magazine, dated December 1974).




                                                        43
                                      Fireman D.J. HOLLEY. (34 yrs).
                                                Medway.
                                           8th November 1974.
                                  (‟Fire‟ magazine, dated December 1974 reported;)

“Two Kent firefighters were killed and four others injured while fighting a blaze in a mattress store in the Royal Navy
 shore establishment HMS Pembroke at Chatham Dockyard. The two men killed were; Fireman Robert Bell, 29, who
 had been in the brigade for two years eight months and Fireman David Holley; aged 34 years single who had over 14
                                                       years service.
The four men injured were Leading Fireman (Jimmy) Austin, detained in hospital, and Firemen, (Les) Clayton, (Nick)
                           Thistle, and (Mick) Bridel, who were allowed home after treatment.
  According to early reports, the two dead men – both wearing breathing apparatus (Proto) had gone into the heavily
smoke-logged store to try to discover the seat of fire. The other four men were waiting outside the store which formed
the ground floor of a four storey, very large, accommodation block, building. One theory is that while the two men in
 BA were searching the building there was a flashover. Full rescue measures were implemented but the two men had
                                                    been fatally injured.
    It is understood that the force of the blast had blown over the four men waiting outside the store. The fire was
  discovered by a Naval routine patrol. The call to the brigade was timed 0251hrs. and appliances from the Medway
                                                      unit responded.”

Subsequent research, led largely by Dr. Wooley of the Fire Research Station, revealed that latex, from which the
mattresses were made, decomposes at relatively low temperatures to form potentially explosive vapours. The ground
floor store in the Barracks contained a stack of 178 latex rubber mattresses. Before the explosion the BA men had
reported via a window that no fire was evident in the store and they were conducting a further search. Fm. Holley, an
experienced, thorough and excellent fireman, may well have started, with Fm. Bell (almost certainly on his first BA
job after qualifying as a BA wearer at the Brigade‟s Training School, Linton), to open up the stack. It possible that in
so doing they exposed the decomposing latex to the correct amount of air and a violent explosion ensued.
The exact source of the ignition of the mattresses was never established although in his evidence to the Coroner, Dr.
Wooley said, “something, possibly a cigarette, had caused the mattresses to smoulder and produce vapours and gases
which were cool and stayed as a thick carpet, about 20 inches deep over the floor.”
The Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental deaths and described Holley and Bell as “gallant and courageous.”
                                    (source; ‟Fire‟ magazine, dated March, 1975).

                                     Retained Fireman W. RAYFIELD.
                                                  Cliffe.
                                             24th March 1976.
               The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News, dated Friday 26 th March 1976 reported;
                                                     Fireman
                                                      Dies In
                                                    Ambulance.
 “Cliffe fireman, William Rayfield died on his way to hospital shortly after complaining to his workmates that he was
feeling unwell. Mr. Rayfield of Rookery Crescent was married with 2 children. He was in one of two engines sent to
 fight a small grass fire in Broomhill Woods behind Brompton Farm on Wednesday afternoon. He was left in the fire
  engine after complaining of stomach pains while his ten colleagues went to put out the fires. They returned to find
him breathing heavily. An ambulance took him to Medway Hospital but he died on the way. It is believed he died of
                           natural causes. He had been a part time fireman for fourteen years”.




                                                       44
                                         Leading Fireman J. SHARP.
                                                   Dover.
                                              27th March 1977.
  A man walking his dog in the early hours of the morning spotted smoke pouring from the Crypt Restaurant, Bench
   Street, Dover. He called the brigade at 0249hrs and the first appliance was at the scene within five minutes. An
 „assistance message‟ was sent immediately and many people were led to safety. Ladders were pitched to the upper
   floors of the complicated, rambling building and at least nine people were carried down or aided to safety. The
 building was used for residential accommodation as well as a restaurant and it was difficult to ascertain how many
                                                 people were involved.
Searching was going ahead when, without warning, part of the building collapsed. Three firemen were buried. After
 about twenty minutes, two were released alive but it was to be another twenty minutes before the third, L.Fm. John
     Sharp was located. Tragically, he was dead. Six fireman had been injured and were taken to hospital. The
dangerous condition of the building slowed the search but eventually it was ascertained that three adult females and
                                 three children had perished in the flames and collapse.
              The following was announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette, 6 th December 1977,
                                     Queen‟s Commendation for Brave Conduct.
                   Fm. David Dadd, - Fm. Kenneth James Hogben, - L.Fm. John Sharp (deceased) –
         “For services leading to the rescue of members of the public from a fire which engulfed a restaurant”.

                                      Leading Fireman R. CHAPMAN.
                                                  Tonbridge.
                                               th
                                             8 August 1980.
The Brigade were asked by the R.S.P.C.A. to rescue a cat which had been up a tree in Elm Lane, Tonbridge for three
days. Roy climbed the tree and had rescued the cat when the branch on which he was standing broke. He fell about
                 thirty feet and received serious head injuries from which he died six days later.

                                      Fireman N. STOCKER. (55 yrs).
                                                 Ashford.
                                             5th August 1990.
                             A precis of the Coroner‟s summary of the evidence he had heard.
    “At 1530 hrs. Sunday 5th August 1990 Fm. Stocker with other fire officers was called to a fire in growing crops at
  Tiffenden Manor Farm, High Holden. The cause of the fire is not known. Some twenty minutes later, on arrival at
    the scene of the fire Fm. Stocker, with three other members of the appliance 111 (Water Tender Ladder, Ashford)
     went into the field where the fire was and assisted in directing the water jet upon the flames. Suddenly, the fire
 became much more intense and moved rapidly towards the appliance and its crew. All members of the crew rapidly
went to the appliance, which the driver then reversed with the appliance closely pursued by the flames. Although two
      members of the crew succeeded in climbing onto the appliance, Fm. Stocker was seen to fall at the rear of the
   appliance, probably, quickly being overcome by smoke and fumes. At the same time, or immediately after, he was
  run over by the appliance, suffering fractured ribs, pelvis and forearm. Efforts were made to recover him before the
fire reached him but such was the intensity and speed of the flames that this was not possible. It was necessary for the
 appliance to travel some hundred metres before it reached a place of relative safety. Previously, Dr. Rouse, a Home
                            Office pathologist had told the Coroner that the cause of death was;
                                             (1) Inhalation of fumes and burns;
                                                      (2) Heart disease.
      He added that there was 17% carbon monoxide in the blood. The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death”.
   Neville was 55 years old when he died and he was due to retire later in the year. He had become a widower a few
              years previously. His daughter served in Brigade Control and her husband was a firefighter.
     Before he joined the Fire Service Nev. had served in the Royal Navy on HMS Defender and saw active service in
 Korean waters during the war. He was a sportsman until he was well into his forties and was a member of the KFB
                                     volley ball that won the National Championships.




                                                       45
                   OBITUARIES and APPRECIATIONS.
                                (None of these people died whilst on duty).

                                   SUB OFFICER MICK BROOKER.
                                             1946 – 1997.
                                     The homily given at his funeral.

“Mick Brooker joined the Brigade as a retained firefighter in 1966 and he was based at Loose Fire Station less than a mile
   from this church. In September 1969 he transferred to the whole-time service and it was as his recruit course instructor
 that I first met him. It is perhaps not surprising that with three years retained experience behind him I remember him as a
                            competent, practical recruit blessed with a high degree of common sense.
  In the following years his reputation grew and I was able to see why on the many occasions our careers crossed. He set
  himself high standards and achieved these in all he undertook. When promoted to Sub Officer he continued to strive for
                    the best and for most people it was a source of pride to say, „I‟m on Big Mick‟s watch‟.
  Rightly, honours and awards are not easily earned in the Kent Fire Brigade but Mick has been awarded not only a Chief
     Fire Officer‟s Commendation but also two Chief Fire Officer‟s Letters of Congratulations for his actions at incidents.
   I watched a video of one of these incidents, a trench collapse, and he, with members of his watch can be seen deep in a
    trench shovelling mud and snow away from the spot where a workman had last be seen. Other members of the watch
  provide life lines and shore up the sides of the trench. Eventually, a mud-caked shock of hair is exposed and after much
  digging, often with bare hands, the casualty is released, miraculously without serious injury. Mick was in the thick of it,
                                               calm, caring and an example to all there.
 These high standards were again tested when he, with a small K.F.B. contingent, went to Armenia in the former U.S.S.R.
The British Fire Service had been asked to assist after an earthquake had devastated a huge area and left tens of thousands
     dead. A senior officer who was with Mick in the freezing temperatures and total devastation said that, even in these
                                           surroundings, “Mick was an example to us all”.
  One final story was told to me by his watch. They were called to a fire in a large town centre furniture store. On arrival
 Mick committed Breathing Apparatus teams and requested further assistance. Sensing a changing situation Mick ordered
   his B.A. crews to withdraw and within minutes the entire store was engulfed in flame. Photos taken at the time show a
  scene reminiscent of the Blitz. The B.A. wearers are all convinced that it was Mick‟s experience and sound firemanship
                                            that brought them out in time to avoid injury.
  As if this is not enough, there is one further reason why we honour Mick today. It was seven months ago that Mick and
 Sandra were told of Mick‟s terminal condition. It is the type of news we all dread and can only dream about in our worst
  nightmares. The way Mick, supported by Sandra‟s love coped with the news and the events of the last few months have
    been a humbling experience for us all. Mick was genuinely overwhelmed and mystified by the concern and affection
    shown him by so many people in the Brigade and he told me it was this, and the love and support he received from his
very close family, that helped him to cope with his enormous burden. On many occasions he said to me with characteristic
        modesty, “I just don‟t understand it”. Amazingly, many people have said that it was us, the visitors, who were
                                       strengthened when they went to see Mick and Sandra.
     Mick‟s last test has run its tragic course but even in despair we must thank God that our lives have been so indelibly
                                                 marked by such an exemplary man.
    To all of you privileged to wear the uniform of Kent Fire Brigade I commend the example shown you by the career of
                                                        Sub O. Mick Brooker.
    To all of you here, whether in uniform or not, I commend the example shown us by Mick and Sandra as together they
                                             approached the end of his life on this earth.”




                                                       46
                                      FIREMAN “JIMMY” LONG.
                                                1918 – 1996.
                                     A friend’s appreciation of his life.

 “Jimmy Long, who died at home on Christmas Eve, typified many of his generation. Having fought and won a war they
         moved on to play their part in the creation of a Fire Service that is unique and respected throughout the world.
    Jim moved to Maidstone early in life and on leaving school was apprenticed to a music shop as a piano repairer. Also
 working at the shop was a fourteen year old accounts clerk called Kath and she soon learnt of his ability to play practical
jokes. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Jim joined the 4 th Battalion of his local regiment, “The Queen‟s Own
                                                      Royal West Kent Regiment”.
The fortunes of war were not kind the Jim or his Battalion. He was wounded at Dunkirk and evacuated to a hospital in the
 UK. When fit he rejoined his unit and worked in freezing water off Dymchurch erecting anti invasion defences. In 1941
   the Battalion joined the Eighth Army in North Africa and whilst there Jim wrote to the friends he had left behind at the
 music shop, asking for pen-pals. One reply came from Kath, now serving in the Woman‟s Royal Air Force. El Alamein
      was a turning point in the campaign and Jim, now qualified as a signaller, played his part as the advance continued
                                                         through Egypt and Iraq.
  In 1943, the Battalion embarked for a passage to India, from where they travelled north-east to Burma. It was here, at a
    hill station named Kohima, that the Battalion (with a little help from some friends) stopped what had seemed to be the
relentless advance of a Division of the Japanese army. The fighting lasted fifteen days and nights and twenty five attacks,
many involving hand to hand combat were repulsed. Water was restricted to half a mug a day, a V.C. was won and years
                 later Jim could still recall a level of fear “that caused my teeth to chatter all through the battle”.
     Like so many people who have seen the reality of war Jim spoke little of his war service. Those few of us who were
      privileged to hear first hand his experiences could not fail to be moved by his recollections or by the emotions they
 continued to evoke in him. It was clear that the passing of time had done little to soften Jim‟s memories. Without doubt,
                 not far behind his quiet smile and sense of fun, lurked horrors of a type unknown to most of us.
    In 1946, newly demobbed, he with many other ex-serviceman joined the National Fire Service. He stopped writing to
   Kath but only because they were now married! After recruit training at Tandridge, Surrey he was posted to Maidstone
       and on the advent of the fifty six hour week was transferred from Red Watch to the newly created White Watch.
 His Army background stayed with him and he was always in the thick of the action, be it on the fireground or day to day
watch activities. He enjoyed watch life and his sense of fun was never far away. He was always much happier doing than
           talking, and this, with his ability to tackle most things practical, made him the stalwart every watch needs.
In 1973 his unbroken service on White Watch came to an end when he retired from operational duty. Not long afterwards
                  he started work at the Brigade Training Centre as a Handyman and he finally retired in 1984.
                 Jim died in 1996 having had, for much of his final years, the retirement he so rightly deserved.
     The book recording the history of the 4th Battalion, The Queen‟s Royal West Kent regiment is entitled, “No Ordinary
                                 Men”. Jim was loved by his family and respected by his friends.
                                                   To us, he was, no ordinary man”.




                   Fm. Jimmy Long in 1973, the year of his retirement from uniformed service.



                                                       47
                         DIVISIONAL OFFICER JOHN LIPSCOMBE.
                                          1917–2000.
                               A friend’s appreciation of his life.
The anti-submarine trawler sank very quickly and those members of the crew who had escaped struggled for survival in
the deep waters of the Atlantic. John could not recall exactly how he had ended up in the water, minutes before he had
been asleep in his bunk, but now, clinging to a piece of wood, he was only too aware of his plight. He recalled a
shipmate crying out, “Help, I can‟t swim” and years later John admitted, with a brutal but typical honesty, that his only
thought when he heard this was, “Wild horses won‟t get me off my piece of wood”. John and only about six or so of his
forty shipmates survived what is officially recorded as a collision with a tanker.
He spent a few weeks in the United States of America awaiting repatriation and this included a week with other survivors
in a palatial home run by a philanthropic lady Anglophile. Then, in line with the counselling methods of the time, he was
given a dry uniform and sent back to sea.
About twelve months later, in April 1943, he was drafted to the “Herring”, a brand new trawler. On the 22 nd May she left
for her maiden voyage but whilst still in the Humber estuary collided with a French ship and once again John had to
leave a sinking vessel. He ended up adrift on a “Carley” float but refused to be rescued by the whaler sent from the
French vessel. He said, the whaler was in such bad condition there was a serious risk it would sink and he would be
shipwrecked for a second time in a day and a third time in a career, a record he wanted to avoid! Luckily, a sea worthy
whaler from a nearby British destroyer came for him. He described “Herring‟s” contribution to the war effort as, “about
five miles!”
After the war he completed two trips on a trawler but, this time, one doing the job for which trawlers were designed.
Working twenty hours a day on a heaving, frozen deck with all the job satisfaction of gutting cod didn‟t appeal to him
and, in 1947, he decided to join the newly formed, soon to be denationalised, Bootle Fire Brigade.
He remembered being totally unimpressed by the sectarian nature of his job interview. At that time, if you supported the
wrong football club and hence the wrong religion your career prospects lay outside the local Fire Brigade. John, a life
long Liverpool F.C. supporter was accepted by the Brigade but the injustice of recruitment stayed with him and perhaps
it was this experience that explains why, in later years, he always described himself as a member of the “Church of
Turkey”.
Bootle Fire Brigade was a very independent neighbour of Liverpool F.B. and when a job required more the five pumps
Bootle could muster it was only with the greatest reluctance that Liverpool were invited in.
One such occasion was in 1952 when the liner “Empress of Canada”, which even by today‟s standards would be
considered a large ship, caught fire. The brigade arrived to find hundreds of dockyard workers swarming off the ship,
completely blocking the only gang plank onto the ship. Eventually fire crews did get aboard but they found the ship was
already well alight. As part of the refit, its interior had been gutted and many watertight divisions had been breached.
Reluctantly, the assistance of Liverpool F.B. was requested but it was already too late and the ship eventually capsized.
The picture of the horizontal vessel featured in Manuals of Firemanship for many years, clearly as an example of “How
not to do it”, and naturally Liverpool F.B. was always blamed for this. John dined out on this story for many years and
every time the fire got bigger and smokier. During his service with Bootle F.B. he was twice commended by the Chief
Fire Officer for his action at fires, once in 1962 and again in 1964.
Opportunities for promotion in his small brigade were limited and John decided to apply to Kent F.B. He was successful
and in 1965 he transferred to Kent F.B. Two years later, in 1967 he took part in what must be one of the most difficult
rescues ever attempted by a Fire Brigade. For this he was commended by the Chief Fire Officer.
Promotions followed and in 1968 he took charge of Maidstone Fire Station. He abounded with common sense and
couldn‟t be fooled by big words no matter how cunningly presented. This, and his approach to firefighting, was summed
up one day when, shown the latest “must have” piece of technology, he responded, “very impressive, but does it find the
water”. To John there was no substitute for a good jet.
In 1977 he was one of only ten people in the Brigade to be awarded the Queen‟s Silver Jubilee Medal+.
No truthful appreciation of John can ignore his twin loves, Liverpool Football Club and a well known brand of Irish
stout. Of the former; he once set out for Wembley to support his team in a Cup Final. Of the latter; four days later he
returned home completely unable to remember his journey, the match, and even worse, because his team won, the score.
It must be admitted that the effects of John‟s drinking did not always work for the best interests of the Brigade or for his
relations with Hilda, his long suffering wife.
John retired from the Brigade as Divisional Officer, (Training) in 1981. For much of the next nineteen years he led a full
life, seemingly almost non stop decorating his house. He was surprisingly good at this, in complete contrast to his other
DIY abilities which seemed to rely entirely on the use of a few wooden clothes pegs, a mole grip and a handful of pop
rivets. He spent some time in one or another of his „locals‟ but this decreased as his medical condition worsened.
John died in November 2000 having stoically coped with the last few weeks of life in exactly the way those of us who
                                                       48
knew him would have expected. His wife Hilda had died some years before and he left a son, daughter in law and two
grandchildren in Australia.
He had not had the best start in life. He grew up in a depressed times in a depressed area and his war years were hard.
He hid no secrets. He was a good boss, appreciative, full of common sense and happy to accept new ideas but scornful of
anything which did not further the practical aspects of the Service.
                                                   G.F.C. January 2001.

^ (John always doubted the official cause of the sinking of the St. Cathan. He believed she was hit by a torpedo or, in the
 parlance of the time, “tin fish” as he called it. He spoke of calm waters and a clear night at the time of the sinking. His
     trawler was equipped with radar and he considered this would definitely have warned of other ships in the area).

    (+ John considered this medal to be a consolation prize for what he, and many others, considered to be, at worst,
                           injustice, or at best, a great oversight, following the Strood well rescue.
     Myers and Boulstridge both received what most people would consider an appropriate national award but John
received a C.F.O.‟s Commendation, a local, lesser award, despite having performed a task which was virtually identical
   to theirs. He volunteered to continue the search for Mrs Thompson in full knowledge of the injuries that Myers and
Boulstridge had sustained and additionally, when at the bottom of the shaft, he had the T.L. operator lower him into the
 water so that he could „swim‟ and carry out the best possible search. He was not bitter about this apparent „oversight‟
                                  and I believe he told very few about this „disappointment‟.
He put it down to his refusal, when he joined Kent F.B in 1965, to cancel his membership of the Fire Brigades Union and
   join the National Association of Fire Officers. At that time, the vast majority of Kent‟s officers belonged to the non
 political, N.A.F.O. John was not a militant unionist, in fact he worked, as did the majority of Brigade‟s officers, during
                        the F.B.U‟s national strike of 1977, but John was very much “his own man”.
  Equally, Babington, the C.F.O. of the time was “his own man”. Old school, Imperial, hierarchical, authoritarian, he
                           undoubtedly he wanted to maintain a clearly identifiable Officer Corps.
    Injustice, over sight, or consolation prize? We will never know but fortunately the facts of the incident cannot be
 disputed. This rescue was a fine example of low tec - high courage firemanship. It reflected great credit on values and
           ethos of the Brigade and in particular, those who took part in this and the similar rescues of the time.




                                                    OBITUARY.
                                                     E. G. May.
  It is with the greatest regret that we have to report the death on Sunday, 14 th January (1951) of E.G. May, at the age of
42. He had served as an Auxiliary and later as a regular fireman at Maidstone and during the lifetime of the National Fire
  Service was raised to the rank of the Section Leader. On the inception of the Kent Fire Brigade, he was appointed Sub
         Officer at Maidstone, and was later transferred to Divisional Headquarters Staff in the latter part of 1949.
A long a serious illness then overtook him, but largely because of his own indomitable courage, he recovered sufficiently
 to be able to undertake Control Room duties at Brigade Headquarters. After a further spell in hospital, he had resumed
                                          light duties, when a sudden relapse ensued.
 The Brigade has lost a loyal and conscientious member, and a representative contingent of all ranks from Maidstone and
                     Brigade Headquarters, paid their last respects at his funeral on Friday, 19 th January.
               The sympathies of all are extended to Mrs. May and her two children in their sad bereavement.




                                                       49
This obituary appeared in “The Times” on the 3rd of October 1967. It is certainly unusual for a fireman‟s
                     obituary to appear in any newspaper, let alone “The Times”.
                                           OBITUARY.
                                  LT. – CMDR. J. H. FORDHAM.
                                   Fearless leader of firefighters

                       Lieutenant – Commander John Hamden Fordham, C.B.E., formerly
                       Principal Officer of the London Fire Brigade, Chief Regional Fire
                       Officer of the National Fire Service and Chief Fire Officer of Kent died
                       in Ibiza on September 29. He was due to attend the Chief Fire Officers
                       Conference in Eastbourne.
                       Educated at Dartmouth and entering the Navy in 1920 he was appointed
                       as principal officer in the London Fire Brigade in 1933 and commanded
                       the Southern Division of the brigade on the outbreak of war. He had a
                       great reputation as an energetic and fearless leader during the air raids
                       on London and took London Fire Brigade mobile columns to Thames
                       Haven, Portsmouth, Southampton and other raided towns. These
                       experiences convinced him of the necessity of a national service instead
                       of the 1,200 brigades that comprised the British Fire Service at that time
                       and he pressed this proposal against opposition from the Home Office
                       and local authorities until it was accepted in 1941, when he was
                       appointed Chief Regional Fire Officer of No. 10 (North Western)
                       Region. He was appointed Chief Fire Officer of Kent Fire Brigade at
                       the end of nationalization in 1948 and retired at the age of 61 last year.
                           A former president of the Chief Fire Officers Association and the
                          driving force behind the International Fire Conference in London in
                         1965, John Fordham will be sadly missed by the British Fire Service,
                         the European fire brigades with whom he maintained many contacts
                                            and by his wide circle of friends.




                                                       50
                                          OBITUARY.
                              Mr. W. BABINGTON, C.B.E. Q.F.S.M.
                              23rd February 1916 – 26th October 1998.
It is with great sadness that the Brigade has learnt of the tragic and untimely death of the former Chief Fire Officer, Mr.
                                                W. Babington C.B.E., Q.F.S.M.
Mr. Babington, who was Chief Fire Officer of Kent Fire Brigade from October 1966 to December 1976, died following
                            a road traffic accident on the Isle of Jersey at midday on 26 th October.
    His career with the Fire Service began nearly sixty years ago when he joined Birmingham Fire Brigade after first
                                           having qualified as a mechanical engineer.
  During the war he went to India to organise the fire services in the larger cities in order to meet the threat of Japanese
   air attacks. In some cities this involved the modernisation and enlargement of existing brigades but in other areas it
                              meant starting from scratch with new recruits and new equipment.
    He returned to the U.K. in 1944 and served in Warwickshire, the Fire Service Staff College, Dorking, Hampshire,
    Suffolk and Ipswich and Lancashire Fire Brigades before coming to Kent as Chief Officer on 1 st September 1966.
It was while he served in Suffolk that he organised the liaison system between the Brigade, the R.A.F. the R.N.L.I. and
      the local tug services for the transportation of men and equipment to ships on fire at sea. A similar system was
                                                subsequently employed in Kent.
     In the ten years Mr Babington was Chief Fire Officer of Kent Fire Brigade he introduced purpose built pumping
appliances, hydraulic platforms, emergency tenders, pocket alerters, compressed air breathing apparatus and training of
 retained personnel in C.A.B.A. Between 1966 and 1976 a new Brigade Training Centre, nine whole-time stations and
                                   eleven retained stations to an improved design were built.
     Mr. Babington was Director of the panel of officers dealing with extended interviews concerning the selection of
                       candidates for Senior Command Courses and Accelerated Promotion Courses.
 In 1969 Mr. Babington was awarded the Queen‟s Fire Service Medal and in the 1973 New Years Honours List he was
                                                       awarded the C.B.E.
  Mr. Babington will be remembered as a Chief Officer who steered the Brigade through the difficult years of the late
1960‟s and early 70‟s when the Fire Service was not immune to the troubles that beset the nation‟s industry. Above all,
        he will be remembered for setting the Brigade on the path of modernisation, a process that continues today.




                                                         51
                   MARCHANT’S MEMORIES of the night of the 16th. April 1941.
This night‟s raid is considered to have been the heaviest raid on London to that date. 450 Luftwaffe bombers
         killed nearly 1,108 people including dozens of firemen. (sources vary; these are Dixon‟s figures).
Jack Marchant joined the fire brigade in 1938 at Tonbridge and later in the war he was conscripted into the
                                 Army. His military service took him to Africa.
              In 2002 I asked him if he remembered that dreadful night. His written reply reads,

                                                       Was I involved in the event?
       There was only one other “Mobilising Officer” in “K” Zone, Auxiliary Bish Abbott. His occupation was a “jobber” on
      the Stock Exchange a charming fellow but a bit of a “Berty Wooster”. His rota was 48 hrs on and 24 hrs off while mine
         were 24 hrs off every eighth day so we were together at times but by then sending pumps and appliances from “K”
      (Kent) Zone across the border (or the reverse) had become so frequent that it was a routine job. He, like me, was aware
        of the Rolls* aspect of the job and might well have begun to draw pumps into Beckenham Stn or some other suitable
                          rendezvous in anticipation if we knew some particular area was getting a „pasting‟.
        In the early hours we learnt of the seriousness of the incident and Mr Netherwood (Assistant Chief Regional Officer)
           was, of course, kept informed. By daylight A.C.O. Jameson was on his way to the incident whilst we discreetly
        obtained the names of the riders of the pumps from the Auxiliary Stations, related names to the training record cards
                (which included next of kin) plus personal knowledge and began to build a picture of the men involved.
           In time, Jimmy Jameson arrived on site to liaise in respect of Beckenham personnel as bodies were recovered (I
        understand there were 17 LFB bodies at the same job). Of course some wore identity bracelets, some helmets, axes,
                    belts may have been marked with personnel numbers, no doubt some were beyond recognition.
          Jimmy Jameson and I liaised by phone if there was anything in records to assist him. Eventually, when there was
           positive identity Mr. Netherwood and Reggie Leeks+, our highly respected Commandant of Auxiliaries had the
                                                 difficult task of informing the relatives.
                                                         So, Yes, I was involved.

                                                          *The Rolls effect.
      At this time, Beckenham were using four Rolls Royce cars and a Daimler as towing vehicles. These used a lot of fuel
      but were very reliable and because of this they were usually sent on the longer reinforcement and make up runs.
      (Austin Towing Vehicles were still about a year away). Jack intimated that the crews liked to arrive at London fire
      stations in these “status enhancing vehicles” which contrasted greatly with the utilitarian „Black cabs‟ whose
      reliability was being stretched by the high loads they carried in their new war-time role. All five Beckenham vehicles
      were lost at the incident. Jack retired from Kent Fire Brigade as a Divisional Officer in May, 1970. +A.F.S.
      Commandant Leeks was honoured with the award of an M.B.E. in the New Years Honours List of 1942. The citation
      for this award has not been found but it was almost certainly for his work following the „Beckenham Tragedies‟ of
      Spring 1941.

                                                 From “Fire” magazine, May 1941.
The Kent town of Beckenham, headquarters of “K” district of the London fire region has accorded a public funeral to five of its
auxiliary firemen who were killed by a bomb while fighting a fire during a night raid on the capital. They were; Auxiliary-firemen
Charles W.M. Drew, Dennis G. Fitzgerald, Frederick G. Moore, Leslie J. Palmer, and Stanley Short. All except Aux. Fm. Moore
have left widows. Fire Service honours were accorded by the Beckenham Fire Brigade, commanded by Chief-officer Netherwood
MIFireE and Commandant R.F. Leeks of the Beckenham AFS,
                                                 From “Fire” magazine, June 1941
Following the loss of five auxiliary firemen by a bomb explosion during a night raid on the capital, Beckenham lost 21 more when a
London fire station was demolished by a direct hit on April 19 th. With them died the Station-officer and several London fire-
fighters. The Beckenham heroes were stationed at West Wickham, Stanhope-grove and Elmers-end.



          Sadly, Jack died aged 89 in February 2009. He was cremated on Wednesday,
          February 11th 2009 at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium. Kent Fire and Rescue
                                    Service was represented.



                                                              52
                          The Names listed alphabetically.
                    Blue entries are Fire Services Act: 1947, Kent Fire Brigade, names.


       NAME.                            STATION.                          DATE.           PAGE.
Fm. P.C. AITCHISON.           West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        17.
S/L. J.W. BAILEY.             Eastbourne.                               02-02-1943.        31.
Fm. R.M. BAILEY.              West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        18.
Fm. A.C. BARBER.              West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        19
C.F.O. A. BATES.              Broadstairs.                              16-08-1941.        24.
ex C.F.O. H.T. BATES.         Wingham.                                  04-08 1941.        35.
Fm. R. BEACON.                Beckenham.                                16-04-1941.        16.
Fm. E.R. BEADLE.              West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        19.
SubO. A. BEAUMONT.            Faversham                                 21-10-1940.        12.
L.Fm. W.A. BEER.              A.F.S. Rochester.                         17-10-1940.         9.
Fm. R. BELL.                  Medway.                                   08-11-1974.        43.
Fm. W.H. BENNETT.             Dover.                                    10-01-1944.        33.
Fm. A. BOCUTT.                Dover.                                    14-12-1943.        33.
Fm. K.J. BOWLES.              West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        19.
Fw. E. BLACKFORD.             Dover.                                    11-10-1944.        37.
S/L/ H. BRIDGER.              Tonbridge.                                17-04-1946.        39.
Fm. E. BURCH.                 Orpington.                                12-07-1909.         3.
Fm. E. CARBERRY.              Dover.                                    23-12-1941.        27.
Fm. F.B. COKAYNE.             Gillingham.                               11-07-1929.         6.
Fm. H.J.C. CARDEN.            West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        19.
L.Fm. D. CHALMERS.            Beckenham.                                16-04-1941.        16.
L.Fm. R. CHAPMAN.             Tonbridge.                                05-08-1990.        45.
Fm. F. CHATER.                Rochester.                                08-04-1941.        15.
Fm. H. COLLOP.                Dover                                     19-12-1944.        38.
Fm. F. COOPER.                Ashford.                                  07-07-1944.        35.
L.Fm. DAVY.                   Faversham.                                21-10-1940.        12.
Fm. R.J. DEANS.               West Wickham.                             19-04-1941.        20.
L.Fm. DEVESON.                Eastry.                                   11-05-1965.        42.
Fm. H. DOWDELL                Dover.                                    12-10-1944.        36.
Fm. C.W. DREW.                Coney Hall.                               19-03-1941.        13.
Fm. C.C. EADES.               Horton Kirby.                             30-08-1907.         4.
Fm. F.J. ENDEAN.              West Wickham.                             19-04-1941         21.
Fm. S. EPPS.                  Cotton Powder Mills Fire Brigade.         02-04-1916          5.
Fm. C. FARLEY.                West Wickham.                             19-04-1941         20.
L.Fm. P.D. FARMER.            Deal.                                     01-05-1943.        32.
Fm. C.W. FARR.                Bexley.                                   02-11-1940.        10.
Fm. A.E. FARROW.              Maidstone.                                29-11-1957.        41.
Fm. M. FARROW.                Maidstone.                                02-09-1970.        42.
2nd. Engineer FENN.           Bridge.                                   31-03-1910.         4.
Fm. D. FITZGERALD.            Coney Hall.                               19-03-1941.        13.
Fm. H. FOLEY.                 Cotton Powder Mills Fire Brigade.         02-04-1916.         5.
L.Fm. W. GARDINER.            n/known.                                  19-02-1944.        38.
Fm. C. GIBBONS.               Rochester.                                08-04-1941.        15.
Fm. A.W. GRIFFITHS.           Canterbury.                               31-10-1942.        30.
Pol. Fm. W.I. GRIGGS.         Dover.                                    07-07-1926.         5.
Fm. G.J.J. HALL.              West Wickham.                             19-04-1941.        20.
Fm. W. HAMMOND.               Broadstairs.                              16-08-1941.        25.
L.Fm. A.B. HANSON.            Maidstone                                 03-07-1943.        33.
Fm. W. HASTINGS.              n/known.                                  09-02-1945.        39.
Fm. J. HAWKES.                Loose.                                    29-11-1957.        41.
Fwm. E.M. HAWTIN.             n/known.                                  23-03-1943.        31.
Fm. L.T. HEALY.               West Wickham.                             19-05-1941.        21.
Fm. D. HOLLEY.                Medway.                                   08-11-1974.        44.
                                                  53
SubO. J. HOLMWOOD.         Maidstone.                          14-05-1972.   42.
Fm. H. HOOD.               Not known.                          13-06-1944.   34.
Fm. H.T. HOOKER.           West Malling.                       22-01-1935     6.
Fm. HUTCHINGS.             Orpington.                          12-07-1909.    3.
Fm. S. HUDDERS.            Beckenham.                          16-04-1941.   16.
Fm. A. HUMPREYS.           Erith.                              29-11-1940.   12
Fm. L. HURLEY.             Rochester.                          19-12-1942.   30.
Fm. T. ILETT.              Walmer.                             26-09-1944.   36.
Fm. H. JEROME.             Bromley.                            02-11-1940.   10.
L.Fm. G. KENNARD.          Chatham.                            15-12-1940.   12.
Fm. S. KIRBY.              Dover.                              25-10-1940.    9.
Fm. A. KITE.               West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   21.
Fm. E. LAMBERT.            Bromley.                            20-03-1941    14.
Fm. C. LAYTON.             Bromley.                            11-05-1941.   24.
Fm. F. LEE.                Queenborough.                       12-02-1944.   33.
Fm. D.J. LEGGETT.          Welling.                            10-03-1945.   38.
Fm. LLOYD.                 Bexleyheath.                        28-07-1899.    3.
Fm. E. LOWER.              Rochester.                          16-04-1945.   39.
Fm. J. MAYNARD.            Beckenham.                          16-04-1941.   17.
Fm. N. McCULLOCH           Medway.                             09-01-1973.   43.
Fm. A. MINTER.             West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   21.
Fm. F. MOORE.              Coney Hall.                         19-03-1941.   14.
Fm. N. MOUNTJOY.           West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   22.
Fw .E. MORGANS.            Ashford.                            09-07-1944.   35.
Fm. A. NICHOLLS.           Gillingham.                         11-07 1929.    6.
Fm. E. NISSEN.             Maidstone.                          10-05-1959.   41.
Fm. PACKMAN..              Orpington.                          12-07-1909.    3.
Fm. F. PALLENT.            Woolwich Arsenal. Fire Brigade.     29-06-1944.   34.
Fm. L. PALMER              Coney Hall.                         19-03-1941.   14.
Fm. F. PARCELL.            West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   22.
Fm. M. PARFETT             West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   22.
A.D.O. L. PEARCE.          Maidstone.                          29-11-1957.   40.
Fm. R. PEMBLE.             Broadstairs.                        16-08-1941.   25.
Fm. J. PENNELL.            Northfleet.                         16-08-1940.    7.
Fm. W. PLANT.              West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   22.
Fwm. L. POLDEN.            Swanley.                            03-02 1944.   34.
Fm. A. POWER.              N.F.S. Overseas Contingent.         11-07-1944.   35.
Fm H. PRIME                Erith.                              29-09-1941.   26
Fm. C. RANSLEY.            Folkestone.                         06-11-1941.   26.
Fm. W. RAWLINGS.           Erith.                              08-11-1940.   11.
Fm. W. RAYFIELD.           Cliffe.                             24-03-1976.   44.
Fm. W.J. RICHES.           Thames Ammunition Works.            28-09-1940     8.
P.C. ROLFE.                Margate.                            23-01-1905.    3.
Fm. L. ROOTS.              West Wickham.                       19-05-1941.   23.
Fm. F. RYDER.              Rochester.                          09-04-1941.   16.
Fm. S. SAYEWELL.           Cotton Powder Mills Fire Brigade.   02-04-1916.    5.
L.Fm. J. SHARP.            Dover.                              27-03-1977.   45.
L.Fm. S. SHORT.            Coney Hall.                         19-03-1941.   14.
Fm. A. SIFLEET.            Maidstone.                          26-02-1942.   27.
Fm. C. SIMMS.              Folkestone.                         06-10-1944.   37.
Fm. A. SMITH.              Strood.                             22-05-1940.    7.
Fm. F. SOLLEY.             Margate.                            22-10-1955.   40.
Fm. A. STEVENS.            Swanscombe.                         10-11-1940.   11.
Fm. W. STRAND.             Canterbury.                         31-10-1942.   29.
Patrol Officer P. SPICE.   Broadstairs.                        16-08-1941.   25.
Fm. N. STOCKER.            Ashford.                            05-08-1990.   45.
Fm. A. TABRETT.            Gillingham.                         11-07 1929.    6.
L.Fm. TAYLOR.              Bromley.                            02-11-1940.   10.
                                              54
Fm. A. TOMBLING.          Beckenham?                        22-07-1942.        29.
Fm. W. TRITTON.           Folkestone ?                      13-11-1944.        38.
Fm. E. VICK.              West Wickham.                     19-05-1941.        23.
Fm. W. WARD.              Sturry.                           07-06-1942.        28.
Fm. H. WELLS.             Ramsgate.                         25-08-1940.         8.
Fm. H.W. WEST.            Erith.                            22-11-1947.        39.
Fm. W.W WEST.             Dover.                            24-02-1944.        34.
Fm. F. WHITE.             Broadstairs.                      16-08-1941.        25.
Fm.W. WOODLAND.           West Wickham.                     19-05-1941.        23.
Fm. H. WOTTON.            West Wickham.                     19-05-1941.        23.
Fm. A. YOUNG.             St. Margaret‟s.                   05-09-1957.        40.




                  Started; Autumn 2008. Completed; 20th. March 2009.
                     Named entries: 122. Pages 55. Words. 33,170.
                This book was compiled: by Geoffrey Cooper, M.I.Fire E.
                          Other titles by the compiler include;
                „Loosely Connected‟, The story of the Auxiliary Towing
                        Vehicle and its Trailer Pumps. (70 pages).
             „Floating Fire Engines‟, British fire boats, 1833 – 2005. (151
                                          pages).
               „Honours and Rewards‟ Medals and awards won by Kent
                                         Firemen,
                                1920 – 2007. (650 entries).
            „Burstow‟s Diary‟, The day to day diary of a Section Leader of
                 the Overseas Contingent whilst based in Kent, August –
                              September 1944. (118 pages).
             „Bastion of Britain‟. The official account of the war time role
                      of 30 Fire Force. (most of Kent) (104 pages).


                                            55

				
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