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Author Topic: New Brompton/Gillingham Fire Brigade Accident  (Read 2575 times)

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Offline afsrochester

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New Brompton/Gillingham Fire Brigade Accident
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 20:10:56 »
I found this report amongst several of my research papers. It is a photocopy, (not very distinct) taken from what must have been a local press report, possibly from The Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham News. It is undated but it must be pre First World War.


The Gillingham and District Fire Brigade had their first engagement on Wednesday evening, when they went to the neighbouring town of Sittingbourne to help in extinguishing the disastrous fire at the "Daily Chronicle" Paper Mills. Immediately on Captain Hammond receiving the intelligence and request, he summonded his men and secured a brake to convey them to Sittingbourne. Those present were Lient. J Plewis, and Firemen G. richardson, R.P. Bines, F. White, W.R.Trotter, F.W. Fryman and W.A. Baker.

The drive was started at eleven o'clock and in turningthe corner of Canterbury Street by St. Mark's Church, a rather serious mishap occurred to the brigade. Bending round, the weight of the vehicle was thrown on the off hind wheel, the whole of the spokes which flew out. All the occupants of the brake, including the driver were thrown violently into the road in a heap, and were all more or less bruised or shaken. Fortunately, not one sustained serious injury.  Mr F. W. Fryman, the foreman of the brigade, sustained a nasty gash in the side of his nose, and was muched bruised about the head, but he continued his journey. Mr E.P. Bines was cut and bruised about the shoulders and other parts of the body, but he also decided to keep with the party. Mr G. Richardson was condiderably bruised and he sustained such a nasty blow to the eye that he was compelled to return to his home. Captain Hammond was also bruised about the back. Another sufferer was a local pressman, who with that love of adventure and thirst for information, had decided to accompany the brigade. He had to retire with a slight wound in his forehead. The accident is much to be regretted, but it is very fortunate that the damage and injury was not much greater. The brigade was really in official existence at the time, for the the following day (Thursday) the members had to parade in full uniform prior to being formally handed over to the town. Most of the men had their clothing injured; one had his brass helmet smashed, and the Captain's lamp was bent in all directions. Thanks to a pleasure party that were returning a fresh brake was in readiness after the spill, and the brigade hastened on to Sittingbourne.


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