Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include Edward VII, who maintained a kit at a London fire station.

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

January 22, 2009



In 2008, the former Millwall Fire Station was converted into an apartment block named for Violet Pengelly and Joan Bartlett, members of the London Auxiliary Fire Service killed during World War II.

According to the web site ``The young pair were among those who lost their lives during a bomb attack at the height of the blitz.

``Violet, 19, and Joan, 18, were among the first women to sign up to the Auxiliary Fire Service in 1938, and were based at a sub-station in the Saunders Ness Road School on the Isle of Dogs when World War II broke out a year later.

``The two were killed – along with 24 other emergency workers – when the school suffered a direct hit from a high-explosive bomb on the night of September 18, 1940.''

The new residences are named Bartlett Mews and Pengelly Apartments.

January 21, 2009


Photo: National Archives
Children outside the ruins of a home in an eastern suburb of London after a German air raid in September 1940.

January 20, 2009


Photo: Life magazine

Auxiliary fire service heavy pumps in September 1940.


Photos: Life magazine, LFB web site

During World War II, the National Fire Service operated trailer pumps to augment its fleet of fire engines. In London, the fire service hired 2,000 Austin taxis to tow the pumps. Depending upon the model, these appliances could pump from 120-gallons per minute to 900-gallons per minute, according to Neil Wallington's book ``Firemen at War.''


Photo: LFB web site

In 1865, the London Fire Engine Establishment - predecessor to the municipal fire brigade - operated 17 stations. Today, more than 100 stations provide fire cover.