About The Project

My name is Paul Chiddicks and I started researching my family tree around 20 years ago. Whilst I was carrying out my research, I discovered that my Great Aunt, Winifred Alexandra Peters, had died in an incident during the Blitz of WW2. Curious about what happened to my Great Aunt, I started to research how and where she died and this has resulted in a five year long piece of research, which has culminated in this project and website.

Initially I wrote an article for my own family history blog website and then to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Blitz, I wrote an article that appeared in Family Tree Magazine recounting the story. From here a reader of the Magazine got in touch to say that they had researched the story of one of the firefighters, namely Ernest Herbert Henly. It was that letter that provided the catalyst and idea of creating this website.

The website has been created solely by myself to remember and commemorate the lives of all the 34 firefighters who sadly lost their life at The Old Palace School. My hope is to reach out and find a family member for all 34 firefighters and tell their stories. I have been joined on this journey by a band of willing volunteers who have so kindly and generously given their time to help me to locate the families of the 34 firefighters.

If you are able to help in anyway with your own stories or photographs or anything else that will contribute to the project, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

I want this website to be a lasting tribute to the bravery and dedication to those that lost their life at The Old Palace School and somewhere that future grandchildren and great-grandchildren came come to pay their respects and learn about the sacrifice their ancestor gave when serving their country.

My Family History website can be found here:


All My Blogs For Family Tree Magazine in one Handy Place

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