Heroes of the A.F.S. – Five Young Men Killed on Service

On the 19th March 1941, five local firemen lost their lives whilst on duty during the London bombings.

The London Fire Brigade had been under intense pressure from the many fires caused by enemy bombs and had to frequently call in reinforcements from outlying areas.  It was on this fated night at West Ham that the Coney Hall Auxillary Fire Service was called to action.  On convey to a fire in Silvertown their truck was obliterated by a land-mine explosion, killing five of its crew.

(Charles) Wesley Drew, Dennis Gerald Fitzgerald, Frederick Walter Moore, Leslie John Parker and Stanley Short all lost their lives.  They were all from West Wickham.


They were buried in one grave at St John’s the Baptist churchyard in West Wickham.  A simple wooden cross on a brick plinth was erected the following year and unveiled by the then Mayor of Beckenham, Alderman W.J. Sampson J.P. on Easter Sunday (5th April 1942).

A new memorial was unveiled on 25th October 1953.


Sources:
Bromley & District Times, 28th March 1941
War Memorials in Bromley

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