Killed in the Line of Duty............... When I started this project, I knew it would be an emotional journey for both myself and the families that were so tragically affected by this story. Each and every one of the families of the 34 firefighters, would have felt the same pain, the same sadness and the … Continue reading AFS Leading Fireman Herbert Charles Wotton
Prior to this bombing raid in the early hours of 20th April 1941, London was in the middle of its biggest bombing campaign of the entire war. Known as the Blitz, for eight months, from 7th September 1940 to 11th May 1941, London suffered almost continual nightly bombing from the German Luftwafe. Over a period … Continue reading What Was Life Like During the Blitz?
Killed in the Line of Duty………. Here is Hilda's story........ Hilda Ellen Dupree was born on 12th August 1919 in Poplar, East London, the second oldest of five children born to Henry Albert Dupree and Ada Murray. Her siblings were Lillian Dupree, Joyce Dupree, Dorothy Dupree, and the youngest, Harry Dupree. Henry and Ada were … Continue reading AFS Firewoman Hilda Ellen Dupree
The Fireman’s Prayer When I am called to duty God, whenever flames may rage, Give me the strength to save some life, whatever be its age. Help me embrace a little child before it is too late, Or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert and hear … Continue reading The Fireman’s Prayer
Killed in the line of duty.......... Ernest Herbert Henly was born on 22nd January 1922 in the Mile End area of London, the eldest child of Albert Frederick William Henly and Elizabeth Irene Christie. Albert was born in Chippenham on 8th February 1900 and he married Elizabeth at St Michael and All Angels Church, Bromley, … Continue reading AFS Despatch Rider Ernest Herbert Henly
On the 25th April 1941, Nineteen of the Twenty-One Beckenham Firemen were buried in a mass grave at the Beckenham Cemetery, after a memorial service at the parish church of St. George by Canon Boyd and a solemn procession through the town. The grave was dug entirely by their comrades and was softened by masses … Continue reading The Aftermath and The Funeral Cortege
Prior to the start of WW2 the Government recognised the fact that the threat of War was imminent and that they were poorly prepared for a second World War. The Government acted swiftly with the Fire Brigade Act of July 1938 which demanded the recruitment of an auxiliary fire service as part of the country’s … Continue reading The History and The Tragic Events
Killed in the Line of Duty.......... "Beckenham was an extremely dangerous place to be during the Blitz, as it was “Bomb Alley” directly under the flight path of the German planes on their way to attack London. Surprisingly, though, the great majority of the men were not killed on home ground, but in London. This … Continue reading AFS Fireman George John Joseph Hall