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Author Topic: Fireservice war heroes  (Read 47949 times)

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Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2010, 11:51:10 »
A few pics:

AFS crew on the Bedford pump at Foord St station


Rochester's first trailer pump, at the station in 'the Common' Christmas 1938 with Fireman Ashdown & Gregory celebrating!!


Inside the drill yard at Foord St (L to R - Fireman Blessard, Messenger Boy Hendricks, 3rd Officer Daniel, unknown, unknown, Daniel Jnr, Fireman Carless)


Pics courtesy of KFRS Museum and personal collection.



Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2010, 17:06:36 »
Here is the known list of Fire Service Casualties for the Medway Towns sustained in WW2.
 

       Name             Rank           Age    Date of Death                Incident Information

1. A C Smith        D/Rider           26      22.5.40               Killed in Road Accident in Strood

2. W A  Beer          L/Fireman       30     17.10.40             Killed in Action at Elaine Avenue ARP Post

3. F C Chater        Fireman         34       8.4.41                Killed in Action at Willis Avenue   AFS Post

4. C C Gibbons      Fireman          31       8.4.41               Killed in Action  at Willis Avenue   AFS Post

5. F F Ryder          Fireman         33       9.4.41               Died from Injuries following raid at Short Bros

6. I E Hurley      Company Officer  31     19.12.41    Died from Injuries following Road Accident in Chatham

7. A J B Sifleet       Fireman          ?       26.2.42               Killed in Road Accident in Maidstone

8. E  Lower            Fireman         38       16.4.45    Died from Injuries following a fall during a Ladder Drill  
                                                                              at Rochester Fire Station

* Fireman George Kennard age 37 died at his home 14.12.40 in Ordnance Street Chatham during an Air Raid

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2010, 17:12:23 »
Hi afs sorry it took so long  


grandad Beer is second from the left in both photos i am trying to get some more photos
 

From the scant records that exist, Trailer pump L1 would have served at the Jubilee Inn/ Elaine Avenue.

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2009, 15:49:55 »

Wonderful photographs Splashdown.  Thank you for sharing them with KHF. The two officers in the centre front row of the group photo would be Tommy Harrison Chief Officer (with the silver T pieces on his shoulders) and on his left Third Officer Cyril Daniel. The photograph in the workshops raises a question.

I would like some help here please. Trailer pump L1 has its cover up. Is the reg no KJ 3172 - I might be able to get some additional information from this number.

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2009, 17:26:40 »
Hi Peterchall.

I've been through the vehicle allocations for Rochester, and according to them,  Rochester never had a (TTL) Turntable Ladder.

However, Chatham had a TTL a Leyland TD7 Merryweather 100ft. Reg GLW 423  which covered the Medway Towns and would have been seen at various places. The only known photograph of it in Rochester, is in a private collection, which was taken down on the Esplande. It continued in service until the late 50's when it was replaced by a Bedford TL.

The design of the vehicle, indeed vehicles of the period we are talking about, are of a design that dates  back to
the Horse-Drawn era, and were known as Braidwood Bodied. In the late 30's, Leyland were the first manufacturers to build an enclosed bodied appliance (on a commercial scale) ie ;that enclosed the crew, but these were few and far between. Tradition then in the Fire Service ruled every aspect, and anything new was always frowned upon, regardless of how good or sensible it might be.

The driver operated the ladder and the no2 went up it.

Hope this helps.

Regards

AFS Rochester

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2009, 10:42:03 »
Hi afsrochester,

Another memory flash:
Foord Street had a turntable ladder (TTL), built on a Leyland bus chassis, with a half-cab like an old-fashioned bus, but open topped with no doors (why was it always the practice not to give firemen weather protection on fire engines?). It had a crew of 2, the driver (who presumably went up the ladder) and the operator sitting at the ladder controls.
Am I correct?

Peterchall
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splashdown

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2009, 19:30:22 »

splashdown

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2009, 19:28:45 »
Hi afs sorry it took so long
   


grandad Beer is second from the left in both photos i am trying to get some more photos
 

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2009, 12:57:14 »
Afsrochester,

Many thanks for the reply, which has restored my faith in my own sanity. Re the steel pipes, it seems that they were installed permanently. So I did see them being laid, but probably not on City Way, and I probably thought it was some kind of exercise.

Funny how the more I write the more I remember, and the more answers I get the more questions they raise, and not just on the subject of this discussion. I've just remembered something else: Yes, I did see canvass fire hoses run along the street for a long time (more than a day?), but for what reason and exactly where, I don't know. What I particularly remember is wooden hose-ramps laid over the hoses so that traffic could pass without damaging the hoses.

Regards,
peterchall
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Offline afsrochester

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2009, 10:35:23 »
Hi afsrochester, I think this might be in your province.

I remember hearing that Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham all had separate brigades with different hose fittings and equipment that was not compatible with the others. This could cause problems if they had to help each other, and it was this sort of thing throughout the country that eventually led to the formation of the National Fire Service (NFS).

I have recollections of the NFS having hose-laying lorries with lengths of hose already connected together on reels on the back. These could be run out quickly as the lorry drove along and were used when water had to be conveyed over a long distance. Fire pumps would be spaced at intervals along the line to boost the pressure. I think I'm only repeating what I heard; I don?t remember actually seeing them.

This one I have got some notions of seeing, although it's very vague: It is of metal pipes about 6m long x 150mm diameter (20 ft x 6 in) with some sort of quick-fit connector, being laid in the gutter on City Way as a lorry drove along, presumably as a more permanent emergency supply. Did I really see it? Before anyone comments - I was too young to have been on the booze!

I know this isn't a fire service thing, but there was an Army- v-Home Guard exercise one Sunday morning, after which the Army gave some of us local kids a ride on a Churchill tank up Star Hill. That?s something I definitely remember. WW2 wasn?t entirely nasty events.


Hello Peter.

Yes, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham all had separate brigades, although there had  been a mutual assistance agreement in place between them for a good many years. I'm not sure what hose couplings Chatham and Gillingham had but Rochester had the snap together type or Instantaneous to give it its correct term. These are the standard couplings used today.

As you say, mis-matching equipment, particularly hose couplings was a major headache during the Blitz. Apart from Instantaneous, there were several other types of hose couplings before the War, Round Thread, V Thread, Ball and Cup, Hermaphorodite and Storz to name but a few. There were adaptors available, but clearly that was only going to be a stop-gap measure, until the formation of the NFS on 18th August 1941.

Hose-layers are used as a "rapid deployment" of hose where water sources are some distance from the fire. It is laid flat, or "flaked" on top of itself. They can deploy the hose at 30mph. Your description of pumps being regularly spaced for water relay is spot on!

Yes, you did see those steel pipes. I've seen a photograph of them on Rochester Bridge. Cyril Daniel was heavily involved in their installation.

Thank goodness there were some light-hearted moments amongst the horrors of WW2.

Rochester NFS took delivery of an ECU or Escape-Carrying (Ladder)-Unit soon after their introduction, and the driver delivering the appliance had stopped to ask where the Fire Station was. Instead of sending him to Foord Street, he was sent to Star Hill where upon swinging it round to enter the Fire Station, the head of the ladder struck the wall above the doors and was knocked clean off the appliance. It proceeded to roll down Star Hill, finally coming to rest at the junction with Victoria Street. Bearing in mind that a wheeled escape ladder weighed 3/4 of a ton and was over 50 feet long, it could have been a lot more than the driver's pride that got hurt!

Hopes this helps,


Regards AFS Rochester.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2009, 11:43:09 »
Hi afsrochester, I think this might be in your province.

I remember hearing that Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham all had separate brigades with different hose fittings and equipment that was not compatible with the others. This could cause problems if they had to help each other, and it was this sort of thing throughout the country that eventually led to the formation of the National Fire Service (NFS).

I have recollections of the NFS having hose-laying lorries with lengths of hose already connected together on reels on the back. These could be run out quickly as the lorry drove along and were used when water had to be conveyed over a long distance. Fire pumps would be spaced at intervals along the line to boost the pressure. I think I'm only repeating what I heard; I don't remember actually seeing them.

This one I have got some notions of seeing, although it's very vague: It is of metal pipes about 6m long x 150mm diameter (20 ft x 6 in) with some sort of quick-fit connector, being laid in the gutter on City Way as a lorry drove along, presumably as a more permanent emergency supply. Did I really see it? Before anyone comments - I was too young to have been on the booze!

I know this isn't a fire service thing, but there was an Army- v-Home Guard exercise one Sunday morning, after which the Army gave some of us local kids a ride on a Churchill tank up Star Hill. That's something I definitely remember. WW2 wasn't entirely nasty events.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2009, 14:46:08 »
Actually I was thinking that the parachute would let the mine down too gently to trigger a normally sensitive impact fuse.

The mini-prop on RAF bombs gave an arming delay so that the bomb would not explode under the aircraft if dropped too low. Each size of bomb had a specified minimum safety height for dropping. There were bombs with a few seconds delay that could be dropped from a low height, but gave the aircraft time to get clear. Two problems with those were (a) hard-luck for another aircraft which might be following, (b) hitting the ground at a shallow angle could allow the bomb to bounce and explode in the air just behind the dropping aircraft!
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seafordpete

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2009, 12:51:47 »
I'm sure a wet impact would not be distinguishable from a dry one  .
Remember that Brit bombs apart from the method you mention were in fact armed by the rotation of the mini propeller at one end or the other which wound the firing pin in to allow activation by trembler  on  impact or to break a vial of acid or solvent (depending on type) on chemical time fuzes.
By 1940 the Germans were using ECR fuzes (Electric capacitor resistance )  that were charged as the bomb left the aircraft ( hence the flange and 2 pins on the fuzes). The charger was on an extending arm that only completed the circuit once it was sliding out as the bomb released. The electric current was then held back by a series of resistors and capacitors until it reached the firing capacitor which was attached to a trembler switch to the detonator for impact fuzes, or to start a clock on the long delays or another chain of resistors and capacitors  for short delays such as anti shipping where you need to penetrate before detonation. Long delay fuzes (No 7 series ) were protected by a mechanical anti handling device zus40  which held into the fuze pocket by a couple cams and the gaine (explosive bit of the fuze) sitting into a recess holding back a sprung firing pin,  if the time fuze was pulled out  the zus stayed behind and fired.
Initially it was found that the ECR fuzes could be discharged by placing a penny coin in the charging pins, this worked well until the Daily Sketch or Mirror printed the story and within 24 hrs the next BD crew that tried were killed.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2009, 11:10:32 »
Re Reply#28: I wonder if an impact fuse would have been sensitive enough to detect the landing of the mine. If it was that sensitive it must have also been sensitive to bumps from whatever cause while in the aircraft, which is why I conjectured about the 'weight on the parachute' method.

British bombs (except for 4000lb, 8000lb, and 12000lb blockbusters) had a safety pin attached to the aircraft by a wire 'arming link'; when the bomb was released the pin was pulled out by the link and the bomb was armed - this meant a bomb could be dropped 'safe' by electrically releasing the link from the aircraft so that the bomb fell with the safety pin and link still in place.

I presume the Germans had some sort of safety system but it must have been different to the RAF method. Any ideas?
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Offline numanfan

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Re: Fireservice war heroes
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2009, 22:48:02 »
No apologies required Peter.

Reading tales from people like yourselves, who lived through those terrible times, is what makes this forum so interesting. And whilst reading different stories, if I have a picture in a book that is related to the story I'll upload it to help jog memories, support the story etc.

www.move2medway.co.uk - take the journey

 

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