Fire Brigade snippets

Liverpool Mercury, Nov 10th 1843

Incendiary fire

About 1.45 on Sunday morning last an alarm was conveyed to the Liverpool fire station that a large oat stack, the property of John GORE, a respectable farmer, at Roby, about 4 miles from Liverpool was on fire. The alarm was brought by a man on horseback who had been despatched, immediately the flames were discovered. In about 40 mins after he had reached the fire station, two of the Corporation engines, and one belonging to the West of England insurance-office, arrived at the spot and were brought into play. Lieut MAXWELL. R.N, Inspector of Salvage for the Liverpool insurance companies, proceeded to Roby in a coach, and, as usual rendered valuable assistance in extinguishing the flames.

Prior to the arrival of the engines several of the farmers and workmen of the neighbourhood were most actively engaged in throwing water upon a large haystack, which adjoined the oat stack, and in this manner succeeded in preventing the flames from extending beyond their original limits. In about an hour and a half after Mr MAXWELL reached the place the fire was completely subdued, but not before 200 bushels of very fine oats, part of the produce of a Cheshire acre and three-quarters of land were destroyed. The property was fortunately insured in the Atlas-office for £800.

There is but too much reason to believe that the stack was maliciously set on fire, for no fewer than five gates belonging to the adjoining fields, had been taken off their hinges and threw into the middle of the road, for the purpose, it is supposed, of impeding the progress of the engines to the place. The West of England engine came into contact with one of the gates, and was in danger of being overturned. Not far from the stack, about 40 yds a box of lucifer matches were found under a hedge.


Morning Chronicle Nov 19th, 1853

Destructive fire in Liverpool

On Thursday night a fire occurred in Bootle, which resulted in almost total destruction of the wind and steam-mill the property of Mr Thomas POLLARD, situated in Bootle Lane opposite the Industrial Schools. About 10-30 the fire was got under and all further danger was at an end. The windmill was completely destroyed and a great portion of the contents, the only part being saved was the engine-house and machinery, which is damaged to a considerable extent. The mill was one of the largest in the neighbourhood and worked eleven pair of stones. Nothing is known of the origin of the fire. The total loss is considerable and is only covered by insurance to the amount of five thousand pounds. The mill was burned down about 23 years ago.


Liverpool Mercury, Aug 14th 1878

About 4am yesterday, the alarm was given at the central fire station, Hatton Garden that a fire had broken out in the Angel Hotel, Dale St. A body of the fire brigade under Superintendent COPLAND and the salvage corps under Mr YELLAND, with the fire engines, reels, ladders etc, were soon on the spot and it was found that the fire had originated in the laundry and drying rooms of the hotel. The firemen and men of the salvage corps set to work, but, owing to the construction of the premises, considerable difficulty was experienced in getting to the seat of the fire, and at times there was danger of the flames reaching the adjoining offices and warehouses. The hotel at the time was full of visitors and the breaking out of the fire caused the greatest alarm among them. Fortunately by the energetic efforts of the brigade the fire was prevented from spreading, but considerable damage was done by fire and water to the hotel and some of the adjacent offices. The loss is said to be covered by insurance.


Liverpool Mercury, June 30th 1891

Retirement of Superintendent M'WILLIAM

At the weekly meeting of the Watch Committee yesterday, a letter was received from Superintendent M'WILLIAM, who since May 1880, has been at the head of the Fire Brigade stating that he desired to retire from the force in October next, when he will have shown 31 years service. General regret was expressed at the retirement of so able an officer, and it was decided to accept the resignation. Superintendent M'WILLIAM who is receiving £350 per annum, will have a retiring allowance of two-thirds of his salary. The committee decided to advertise for a superintendent to fill the impending vacancy. Of his 30 years service Mr M'WILLIAM has served 28 yrs in connection with fire brigade duties. When he first took part in the work of extinguishing fires the only appliances available were reels and manuals, and now the city possesses 5 steam fire engines, capable of throwing 320 to 1400 gallons of water per minute. The "Clint" was the first purchased in 1865, the "Livingston" in 1873 and then in 1884 two of the latest pattern were purchased, the "John Hughes" which can throw 1400 gals per minute, and the "Rathbone" Of the able services rendered by Mr M'WILLIAM frequent mention has been made, courtesy to superiors and those under him has always been a distinguishing feature of his character. He holds two diplomas one given by the Fire Brigade Association for bravery at the fire at Messers Lewis's buildings, Ranelagh St, and the other by the Humane Society for service at the great fire at Messers King and Heywoods drapery premises in Scotland Rd, when 35 inmates were rescued.


Liverpool Mercury, June 17th, 1893

St Helens Fire Brigade condemned

At the meeting of the St Helens Water Committee on Wednesday, Alderman J. C. GAMBLE, presiding, Mr RUTHERFORD, formerly of the Bootle Fire Brigade who has recently been appointed superintendent of the St Helens brigade, submitted his report of the fire at Mr CORRIN'S shop. The superintendent said that the present brigade ought to be thoroughly re-organised. One half of the brigade were too old and infirm, the brigade was really in a terrible state. They had no proper appliances, and no proper harness for the horses. They had not even any spare lines, and at the fire that morning he was on the roof, and instead of being let down he had to fall down. The hose was in a sad state, two-thirds of it was out of repair, and there was nothing to repair it with and no one to repair it. One half of the brigade were totally unfit for work. There were only really four firemen, two working men and two policemen, and he had to rely solely on those. The brigade wanted some fresh blood in it, it was behind an ordinary local board brigade. For his own credit he wanted re-organisation. He came there with some reputation as a fireman, but he was losing it through no fault of his own. The Chairman asked him to make out a full list of his requirements and send them to the water engineer [Mr GASKIN] and in the meantime the committee would inspect the appliances. The committee subsequently visited the brigade yard adjoining the Town Hall and Superintendent RUTHERFORD explained the appliances to them



New head of the fire brigade

Mr Alexander Wall WEIR has been appointed by the Liverpool Watch Committee to succeed the late Supt THOMAS as head of the Fire Brigade. Mr WEIR first joined City Constabulary in August 1879 and resigned in August 1882 intending to return to sea. He however rejoined the force in January 1883, and has since given unbroken service, for which last week, there not being a report against him during the whole 25 years he received a silver conduct medal. He became a fireman in May 1883, w3hile in February 1894, he was transferred to the Landing-stage as police inspector of licensed porters. In May 1893, he was presented with a silver medal for having jumped into the Mersey and rescued a boy from drowning. In October 1895 he was promoted to rank of chief inspector. His retirement from the Landing-stage has been marked by the presentation of an illuminated address subscribed for on the part of the badge porters and others by whom he had been regarded with the highest respect and esteem. Since January 1899 Mr WEIR has held the office of deputy-superintendent of the Fire Brigade.

Liverpool Echo, 15 May 1914

Fireman's Heroism, pulled away burning planks with naked hands A fire attended by serious possibilities broke out last night in a timber yard in Grafton Street, Liverpool, owned by Messrs. J. and W. Halloway. It was due to the prompt measures taken by the Hatton-garden fire brigade, under Chief Superintendent Weir and Deputy Superintendent M'Gregor. that the outbreak was subdued before a great amount of damage was done. A number of stacks of pitchpine were well alight when the brigade arrived on the scene, and at the risk of injury the firemen with their naked hands pulled away scores of burning planks in order to prevent the spread of the flames. This heroic work had a deserved success, for the water poured upon the pile readily reached the seat of the mischief and the fire was extinguished in an incredibly short time.


Liverpool Echo, 25 March 1915


Three lives were lost, a man and his two children, and a boy seriously injured in a lire which occupied the Liverpool brigade the early hours this morning. The name of the deceased are: John FREDERICK, labourer. Willie FREDERICK, aged 11 and Lizzie FREDERICK, aged 9. Melbourne Place, Roscoe Lane was the scene of the disaster, which had not been paralleled in Liverpool for a considerable time. The fire broke out suddenly before dawn, and a passer by called the attention of the police to the outbreak.

There is a long narrow court here and the houses occupied by labouring people mostly, were fairly well filled with tenants. The occupants of the house in Melbourne St were named FREDERICK and consisted so far as is known of the father a labourer at Cammell Laird's, his mother, a girl and two boys. The fire brigade under Chief Supt WEIR arrived on the spot with speed and found flames and smoke belching from the building. There was a plentiful supply of water and the brigade soon gained the mastery.

When it was possible to penetrate the building the fire fighters entered the premises and found two of the children a girl aged 8 and a girl aged about 11 in the upper room. They were dead both being suffocated and partially burnt. Other members of the brigade found the man in the middle room of the building, he also had been suffocated and scorched.

To add to the horror of the scene a boy was seen at an upper window, 30 ft high calling for help. He was in a highly nervous condition and would have been rescued by the firemen had the chance been given, but he jumped from the high building into the court below, 30 ft, sustaining terrible injuries and was removed to the Royal Infirmary. The mother was not in the house at the time having gone to have an operation at the Homeopathic Hospital.


Liverpool Echo, 15 November 1915


At the headquarters of the Liverpool Fire Brigade, on Saturday, ex-Police-sergeant (48) H. Warburton, on his retirement from the force after twenty-six years service, was presented with a gold Albert and pendant by his comrades, and Mrs WARBURTON with a handbag. Chief Supt WEIR, in handing over the gifts, spoke of the sergeant's abilities as a fire fighter. Mr WARBURTON is the holder of the Humane Society's fire medal for saving life at a fire and a police good-conduct medal


Liverpool Echo, 31 December 1915


The Liverpool Fire Brigade effected this morning a wonderful save. Just as day was dawning the alarm was given that a fire had broken out in premises of Messrs. Wright, Crossley and Co, rice and spice millers, Rainford Square, an are congested with towering warehouses and offices. Crossley's mills are themselves very extensive, stretching a long way back to Harrington St and one end being almost wedged between a narrow entry and the offices and warehouses of dried fruit merchants in Matthew St.

Across the narrow entry run bridges connecting the premises affected by the fire with those of other warehouses. The communication doors giving access to these bridges were open and right from the outbreak of the fire flames began to lick their way through these doors assisted by the draught from the passage.

This was the position when the brigade appeared on the scene and began its task of limiting the mischief to the narrowest possible extent.

A Six storey building

The first to be attacked where the flames which were roaring through the communication doors on the high-placed passage bridges leading to Matthew St. The building stands six storeys high and the outbreak took place on No 1 floor.

The progress of the fire was rapid and the heat and smoke difficult to cope with, but the flames were forced back through the communication doors and the most serious danger to the adjoining building was over. The chances of confining the fire to the building in which it originated was much greater though even yet there was no cessation of the battle with the flames which leapt to an enormous height and scorched the wood and brickwork of the building on the opposite side of the narrow street.

The speed with which the fire burned was evidenced by the collapse of the floors and the falling in of the roof in the section first affected. It was in the collapse of one of these floors that one of the firemen was injured. Fortunately the injuries are said not to be serious.

It was only after three hours fight that the fire was eventually got under such control that it no longer constituted a menace to the network of buildings with which it was surrounded, and it is estimated that in this time water at the rate of 160,000 gallons an hour was being poured onto the burning mass.

Saved the cat

One incident stands out which shows that even in great fire-fights like this the firemen are not disregardful of even the most insignificant life. While forcing their way into one of the first doors the mewing of a cat was heard. The room was thick with smoke and sulphur fumes, but this notwithstanding Sergeant KELLOPS fought his way forwards to where the cat was lying. Its back was covered with molten lead, which had pored from the roof in consequence of the great heat.

After much difficulty the cat was carried out down the fire escape into Rainford Square, more dead than alive. It was then taken by a fireman to one of the fire-engines and warm water from one of the boilers was turned upon it. After this wash and a little general attention, pussy began to recover.

At noon the fire was still smouldering and it is likely to do so for the rest of the day, but Crossley's must certainly go down to the credit of Superintendent WEIR and the Liverpool fire brigades as one of the finest saves they ever effected. Firemen still at the building

The Hatton Garden men continued at their post throughout the afternoon under Chief Superintendent WEIR in case the smouldering material was not quite beyond a new outburst. Here and there wreaths of smoke issued from the building. Owing to a quantity of sulphur being in a cellar in Rainford Square, work was carried out with difficulty because of the fumes. It was impossible to say whether the ignited sulphur was floating on the top of the water in the cellar or burning in small masses.

It was arranged to pump out the flooded cellars when the firemen could get at any burning matter in nooks or corners of the building.

To estimate how much damage is done by the fire is as yet impossible, but the warehouse, which is practically gutted, contained much valuable stock, including spices now reigning at high prices. A rough estimate of the loss is about £60,000.

Liverpool Echo, 28 December 1915


May I express through the medium of your paper, my great admiration for the noble and humane action of Sergeant S. Killops in saving the, poor cat from the fire which took place it, Rainford-square. It is splendid object-lesson for the cause of animal protection, and such an example of heroism for one of God's defenceless creatures will doubtless bear good fruit, E.Y.W.J


Evening Telegraph Oct 11th, 1921

Cap Comfort

Chief Superintendent A. W. WEIR of the Liverpool Fire Brigade retired today after 42 years service.

A boy on one occasion fell into the Mersey from the Landing Stage and was rescued by Mr WEIR, but he cried so much over the loss of his cap that Mr WEIR dived into the water again and brought out the cap in order to comfort the distressed youngster.

Mr WEIR calculates he has attended 2999 fires.


Evening Telegraph, Aug 28th, 1930

Fire-fighting in the past

Liverpool Veteran's narrow escapes

Fall through roof.

Liverpool is to lose one of its most popular and experienced fire-fighters, he is Inspector John SANDHAM who retires after 35 years with the Fire Brigade. During this period he has attended more than 3000 fires. He has had countless escapes from death, taken part in innumerable rescues, and on one occasion was rescued in the nick of time by a colleague, when he was suspended on the roof of a burning building.

Mr SANDHAM joined the Lancashire Constabulary in 1892 and when Old Swan was incorporated with the city in 1895, he became a fireman of the Old Swan Brigade. In 1897 he was transferred to the Liverpool City Fire Brigade and attended one of the first fire calls received at the Hatton Garden Fire Station, which was opened in October 1899.

His popularity and skill in combating fires soon earned him promotion and in 1919 he was made Inspector. On the retirement of Inspector George WALL of Kildoman Road sub-station. Mr SANDHAM was appointed to succeed him, in charge of the Aigburth and Garston areas.

When Mr SANDHAM joined the Liverpool Fire Brigade, fire fighting was a slow process. "When I joined the Brigade," he said in an interview, " It often took us 20 minutes to half an hour to get all the pumps and branches working when we arrived at the scene of an outbreak. To-day the efficiency of the Liverpool Brigade has reached such a pitch that within five minutes of a call being received from any part of the city, a machine, with full equipment, will not only be in attendance, but will be working."

Mr SANDHAM was reluctant to disclose details of his fire-fighting experiences. He said, however, that he had attended the great Toxteth Dock Fire 23 or 28 ? years ago, the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse fire in 1915, when the brigade were in attendance for 39 hours, and the munition explosion at White Lund, near, Morecambe. "At the munition factory explosion," he said, "in addition to fire fighting under the worst possible conditions we were continually dodging the great shells and high explosives which screeched through the air and exploded in all directions. We were in attendance there for 60 hours and had only one slight rest during the whole of the period."

"Coming to recent times, the fire on the Oklahoma in the Liverpool Docks was one of our most difficult jobs, and I think every member of the Fire Brigade expected that the vessel would blow up at any minute."

Mr SANDHAM said that he had attended so many fires and like all other fire fighters, had, had, so many narrow squeaks that he had forgotten most of them. On one occasion, however, at a warehouse fire in 1915, he was working on the roof, when he fell through, and found himself hanging with one hand on to a steel bar. His plight was seen by a colleague, who crawled along the roof and rescued Mr SANDHAM in the nick of time.

The inspector has vivid recollections of the series of fires in Liverpool during the Sinn Fein disturbances, when for some considerable period, they were on duty almost night and day.

Mr SANDHAM in addition to holding Long Service and Good Conduct Medals, is an Associate of the Institute of Fire Engineers.


Sergeant J. WILSON of the Liverpool Fire Brigade, who has been district sergeant at the Old Swan sub-station for 7 years, is also retiring. He joined the Liverpool Police Force in 1902 and was transferred to the Fire Brigade in 1912. 8 years later he was promoted to sergeant. Mr WILSON holds the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society's medal for stopping a runaway horse at the Prince's Landing Stage and some time ago he received a bar to this medal for rescuing an elderly woman from a house which was on fire in Scotland Rd. Mr WILSON also holds the Good Conduct Medal.


Evening Express June 26th, 1939

Liverpool Police Inspector New Post

Inspector James MACKENZIE, who for the last 7 years has been in charge of the South Liverpool, Essex St, fire district, has been appointed Chief Officer of the Carshalton Surrey, Fire Brigade, he will take up hid duties on July 1st.

Mr MACKENZIE, who is 39, is the son of an ex member of the Liverpool Fire Brigade. In 1917 he joined the Navy and was attached to Rear Admiral Sir Harry H. STILEMAN. On leaving in 1919 he became a member of the Liverpool Constabulary and served in A. Division for 4 years.

He then joined the Fire Brigade and after becoming sergeant was promoted to the rank of inspector and given charge of Essex St fire contingent in 1932. He is an associate member of the Institute of Fire Engineers and has been awarded the medal and certificate of the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society, with other honours


Liverpool Daily Post, June 28th 1939

Fire Chief New Post

Mr George A. OAKES, who since October 1921 has been Chief Officer of the Liverpool Fire Brigade, has received a Home Office appointment, and the Liverpool Watch Committee yesterday decided to release him as soon as required.

His new duties will be to advise and assist local fire brigades in the North Western Area in the development of their emergency fire dealing measures and his headquarters will be in Manchester.

Apart from his high qualifications, Mr OAKES has always been popular both with his men and the public generally. A native of Liverpool Mr OAKES is 55 years old and joined the Fire Brigade in 1914, having previously been on the staff of a firm of consulting engineers in London.

He gained his engineering certificate when he was 23, and holds the Board Of Trade 1st class marine engineers certificate, a certificate for machine construction and various diplomas. For 7 years he was with the Harrison Line and has had varied experience in India, Africa, America and Canada, as a marine engineer.

He holds the Kings Police Medal for services rendered at the fire at Morecambe Shell Factory in October 1917 in respect of which Mr CHURCHILL sent a wire expressing his admiration of the work done by Mr OAKES and the men under him. He also received the Royal Humane Society testimonial for rescuing a fireman from a burning ship in the Brunswick Dock during the same month, and his bravery in saving a woman from the Mersey 7 years afterwards was likewise recognised.

Mr OAKES was president of the Institution of Fire Engineers when it met in Liverpool in 1927, and 5 years later received the Professional Fire Brigades Association silver medal for 15 years service.


Liverpool Daily Post July 19th, 1939

Police Force Promotions

New Chiefs of C.I.D, and Fire Brigade


Several promotions in the Liverpool Police Force and Fire Brigade were approved by the Watch Committee of the City Council yesterday.

Chief Inspector H. R. OWEN was appointed superintendent and acting chief officer of the City Fire Brigade in succession to Chief Officer OAKES, who has been engaged by the Home Office to do special work in connection with the Auxiliary Fire Service and Inspector T. R. KELLY has been promoted to the position of chief inspector and acting deputy chief officer. In the police force Chief Inspector A. E. FOTHERGILL is to succeed Superintendent Hubert MOORE as chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, while Inspector J. TILLEY, of the special branch, will fill the post vacated by Mr FOTHERGILL.

All of the promoted men have about twenty years service to their credit. Mr OWEN, who was born in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, began his career as an engineer at the locomotive works in his native place. He was on the engineering staff of the Rolls Royce Company at Cricklewood, London, when war broke out, and, enlisting in the Mechanical Transport, he served in France and in Germany for the next four years. On demobilisation he joined the Liverpool Fire Brigade as an engineer fireman. He became Inspector in 1930 and Chief Inspector two years later. In the past few years he has acted as deputy to Mr OAKES.

Mr KELLY who leaves his port as Inspector at the Longmoor Lane Fire Station to return to headquarters at Hatton Garden is a Manxman. He served with the Royal Engineers in France during the war and joined the Liverpool police force in 1919. The following year he was transferred to the Fire Brigade. Promoted sergeant in 1927, he rose to the rank of Inspector after four years, and before going to his present station was at Westminster Road for some time, and also back in service at headquarters.

Mr FOTHERGILL, who becomes Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department has served at that branch of the police force for almost twenty years, during which period he has gained experience of all phases of work and figured prominently in many important cases. A Liverpool man, he joined the force as a constable in the yea\r of the police strike in 1919, having spent the previous four years with the Liverpool Scottish and Machine Gun Corps in France and Mesopotamia. He left the Army with the rank of sergeant. In 1920 Mr FOTHERGILL was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department and four years afterwards was made Sergeant. Further promotion did not come his was for nine years, but then he became Inspector, and two years later his work earned further recognition when he was raised to the rank of Chief Inspector. In addition to headquarters he has served in the E and B. Divisions, [Westminster Road and Prescot Street]. He holds several police awards, outstanding among them being the Merit Badge, which he received in commemoration of the courage and coolness which he displayed in the arrest of an armed, bank raider.

Mt TILLEY who succeeds Mr FOTHERGILL, has been in the Force for about twenty years. He has give notable service as a detective officer and was particularly prominent in connection with the investigations into the Sinn Fein troubles and also into the celebrated and extremely complicated palm kernels case. For several years he was a police prosecutor in the courts at Dale Street, a position which he filled with admirable efficiency and courtesy and in which he earned the frequent compliments of the magistrates for his handling of difficult cases.


Evening Express, July 24th, 1941

New Type Fire Engine now in use by Liverpool Fire Brigade


Evening Express March 4h, 1942

Fire Chief returns

Mr S. H. CHARTERS, who has been Fire Force Commander, No 26, Liverpool area, since August last, is shortly leaving to take up a position on the fire staff in London.

Mr CHARTERS will be succeeded in No 26, area, by Mr A. P. L. SULLIVAN, M.B.E, M.M, Deputy Chief of Fire Staff, who has been released from his headquarters appointment to return to Liverpool area. Mr SULLIVAN acted as chief officer to the Liverpool Fire Brigade from May last year until the formation of the National Fire Service.


Liverpool Daily Post, Feb 2nd 1943

Fire changes

New Liverpool Commander

New National Fire Service appointments announced by the Ministry of Home Security last night involve changes in the command of the fire forces of Liverpool, Preston, Sheffield and Leicester and two London forces.

Mr A. P. L. SULLIVAN, M.B.E, Deputy Chief of the Fire Staff, who has been in charge at Liverpool, will return to the headquarters to take up the post of Deputy Chief of Fire Staff and Deputy Inspector in Chief, Mr J. CLITHEROW, M.B.E, commander at Preston, will succeed him at Liverpool. Mr G. V. BLACKSTONE, G.M, will be transferred from London to take command of Preston.

Mr A. P. L. SULLIVAN first came to Liverpool in May 1941, when he accompanied Commander FIREBRACE, now head of the N.F.S, on fire brigade work during the heavy blitz. Three weeks later he was appointed Acting Chief Officer of the Liverpool Fire Brigade, but on formation of the National Fire Service in July returned to London to become Deputy Chief of Fire Staff. The following March, however, on the appointment of Mr S. H. CHARTERS, who had succeeded him, to a position on the fire staff in London, Mr SULLIVAN was released from headquarters duty to return to Liverpool as Commander of No 26 Area, remaining Deputy Chief of Fire Staff. When the Deputy Chief Inspector of the Fire Service in London was appointed Chief Regional Fire Officer there, Commander FIREBRACE, who is Chief Inspector, was left without his deputies, a position which at once suggested the recall of Mr SULLIVAN. Mr SULLIVAN is highly valued in the Liverpool area and his going will be greatly regretted.

Mr J. CLITHEROW, who thus succeeds to what is the second most important Fire Force command in the country, is well qualified for the job. He gained his early fire brigade experience in Liverpool from 1927 to 1935, becoming Engine Station Officer. He then became Superintendent of the St Helens Brigade in 1938, was appointed chief of the Stretford and Urmston Brigade, a new organization which he had to form and which had responsibility for one of the greatest industrial risks in the country, the Trafford Park Estate, on the Manchester Docks. Under the N.F.S, regime he became Fire Force Commander for the No 29 Area, centred at Preston and during the Liverpool blitz ordeals he and his men did great work.

Mr CLITHEROW is the second son of Mrs John CLITHEROW of 6 Barmouth Rd, Wallasey, and like his parents was born in Liverpool. He is a member of the governing council of the Institute of Fire Engineers. One of his brothers is Councillor CLITHEROW, a member of the City Council.

Other Appointments

Mr F. BITTEN, M.B.E, another London Commander, has been appointed Vice Deputy Chief of Fire Staff, and Mr A. WOODER, a Grade 1 Inspector, Vice Deputy Inspector in Chief. Mr E. McKINNELL. O.B.E, commander of the Sheffield Fire Force, and Mr A. NETHERWOOD, commander at Leicester, will be transferred to London, to take charge of No 37 and No 38 Fire Forces, respectively.


Evening Express Nov 17th, 1944

Fire Chief in Blitz

Mr OWEN Retires

The man who commanded Liverpool Fire Brigade during the great Merseyside blitz period, Chief Officer H. R. OWEN has retired on Pension . He has 25 years service with the Liverpool Fire Brigade, and he was appointed superintendent and chief officer of the brigade in 1939, being promoted from chief inspector.

For meritorious service during enemy raids he was awarded the M.B.E in 1941. During the continuous attack for eight nights, three and a half years ago, more than 1000 firemen from other parts of the region had to be drafted to help to combat huge fires raging in the city.

On the formation of the N.F.S, Chief Officer OWEN was transferred to Cardiff as a Divisional Officer. Later he was among 15 N.F.S, members who were officially commended by Sir Gerald BRUCE, Senior Regional Commissioner for Wales, for displaying great gallantry during a ship fire.


Evening Express Aug 31st, 1945

Fire Engine hits bus, many hurt

Escapes in Liverpool

Several people were injured when a fire engine from Hatton Garden going along St Johns Lane, Liverpool in answer to a call swerved to avoid a pedestrian and crashed into the rear of a double decker bus, stationary at the terminus.

The radiator of the fire engine was buried in the back of the bus covering the whole of the platform. Flying glass spread in all directions and many people received cuts. Four firemen, three passengers and the driver of the bus were taken to hospital.

A conductress said that she saw a woman crossing the road and she did not seem to know which way to go when the fire engine came along. The fire engine swerved to avoid her, but nothing could prevent the collision. Crowds of people, some standing in the shelter waiting for buses, rushed to assist the injured.

One fireman was thrown from the engine and received injuries to his right leg and a splint was applied by a policeman. Three ambulances were rushed to the scene and the injured were taken to hospital.

So great was the force of the impact that the bus was moved across the foot walk and entirely demolished the queue shelter.

The Ribble bus involved was waiting for passengers on the 50 route Old Roan. The bus was not crowded, and there was no one on the platform , or just about to board the bus, otherwise the consequences might have been tragic.

When the impact took place the ladders on the fire engine crashed through the upper windows of the bus. First aid was rendered by bus men and police before the arrival of the ambulances.

Immediately the collision occurred a second fire engine was rushed from Hatton Garden to answer the alarm. Officials of the N.F.S, also arrived on the scene to take charge of fire service equipment.

The driver of the fire engine escaped injury but was badly shaken.

The fire engine was on its way to Oxford St, and had reached the bottom of St Johns Lane when the driver swerved to the right to avoid the woman. Two other pedestrians were crossing the road and the driver again had to swerve, this time violently to the left, and was unable to pull back in time to avoid the bus.

The engine had a crew of 6 in addition to the driver and Company Officer Eric MOSS, who was sitting in front. All were thrown off the engine by the crash, and Company Officer MOSS and a colleague found themselves on top of the bus shelter which was pushed over by the bus.

The uninjured firemen, police and passers by helped to assist the passengers in the bus who numbered about a dozen, to get out through the broken windows.

Company Officer MOSS emphasized that the driver of the fire engine did everything to avoid the accident. The conductress of the bus Mrs M. PRESCOT of Hastings Rd, Liverpool, had a miraculous escape. She said that when the bus pulled up at the stop she left the rear platform, a few seconds later the fire engine had telescoped into the spot where she had been standing. She saw two firemen hurled into the roadway.

The injured N.F.S, men taken to hospital are Section Leader N. QUILLIAM, Leading Fireman C. CRAWLEY, Fireman J. HENRY, Fireman G. GOODALL and Fireman J. BAMBER.

The fire engine was towed away by a mobile crane at 2.30pm.

Of the injured people taken to the Royal Infirmary, only fireman GOODALL, who is believed to have fracture of the leg, is likely to be kept in. The others received superficial injuries.


Liverpool Daily Post Dec 23rd 1940. Fire Engine in crater caused by a bomb


Evening Express May 23rd 1944

Mr Hartley SHAWCROSS, K.C, North West Regional Commissioner, inspecting the Members of the N.F.S, [who built the station themselves] at the opening of the new Fire Station, Arnot St, Walton, Mickey a stray dog who after the Blitz made his home with the firemen, now one of the staff, he has his own number and station he belongs to and goes out on all calls


The Press and Journal, Jan 11th, 1950

4 Children saved from blazing room

Heroic action by the wife of a fireman

Mrs Winifred PALING, the 28 year old wife of a Fireman, and caretaker of a house in Upper Canning St, Liverpool, crawled into a blazing room in the top flat on the third storey last night and rescued four children. They were trapped by a blazing mattress in a camp bed which set the room on fire.

She brought out Sheila BELL, aged 3, her sister Carol aged 4, and a nephew Robert ELLIS aged 2, at the first attempt.

Re entering the blazing room she found 14 month old Lyn BELL elsewhere in the flat and brought her to safety. All the children recovered after treatment.

Mrs Rose BELL, aged 25, the wife of a seaman, fainted when she returned home and learned of the escape of her children.

The room was badly damaged before Liverpool Fire Brigade got the outbreak under control.

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