Page 13 - August 2016
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                                1940 BLITZ REMEMBERED
Worshipful Company of Firefighters with a 1937 Leyland Metz 100 ft TTL in the background
On Tuesday 29th December, the Fire Service Preservation Group held an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the biggest Blitz raid on London. Two fire appliances were on show outside St. Paul’s. There were also events at Dowgate Fire Station on Lower Thames Street. At 18:15, the siren sounded and the appliances went on a circuit of the City “on the bell”.
December 29, 2015 was the 75th anniversary of an air raid on London that led to a fire later described as the Second Great Fire of London. Within the first hour of the raid 10,000 incendiary devices had been dropped by German bombers and at least a further 10,000 followed over the next few hours.
There was widespread destruction of property across the City. Strenuous efforts were made to protect St Paul’s Cathedral which, at one point, had an incendiary device lodged in the dome.
Members of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters, including PM Peter Cowland, were amongst a group who paid tribute to the firefighters who fought those fires, at a series of ceremonies around the City on the day of the anniversary.
The Fire Service Preservation Group, together with some private owners, brought together a number of pre-war fire appliances, several of which had served in London during the Second World War. They were displayed on the forecourt of Dowgate fire station and outside St Paul’s, arousing considerable interest amongst the tourists in the City that day.
At midday, members of the Preservation Group laid a wreath at the memorial to one of the firefighters killed on the night of 29/30 December, 1940, Auxiliary Fireman Sydney Alfred Holder, in Shoe Lane. Fireman Holder was killed when a wall collapsed on him. Later in the day there was a display by the fireboat Massey Shaw which was joined on the Thames by one of the current LFB fireboats, Fire Dart.
At 18:05 a hand-operated air-raid siren was sounded at Dowgate fire station and all the old appliances, together with Dowgate’s Pump Ladder, made a short circuit of the City before assembling for a service at the Firefighters Memorial, opposite St Paul’s.
Picture left to right: Graham Woodhouse, Peter Cowland, Bruce Hoad, Mike Cotton (LFB), Mike Hebard, Graham Maltby and David Holt
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