"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

July 22, 2009

CATCHING A WINK

Catching a wink as flames rage above. Londoners take shelter in the Elephant and Castle district's tube station during a German air raid in 1940.

ST. PAUL'S

Photo: Museum of London
One of the fire brigade's greatest accomplishments during World War Two was saving St. Paul's Catherdral from the German air raids.

EARLY B.A.

Photo: Illustrated London News
Early breathing apparatus, 19th Century

July 17, 2009

CARTOONS

"Mind you, it's not really much of a blaze, but I thought perhaps it might be a nice little bit of practice for your Auxiliaries."
London Evening News - May 29, 1939
British Cartoon Archive
"Hi, mister. Lend me your escape."
London Evening News - Feb. 7, 1935
British Cartoon Archive

"He goes up there to water his garden down in Mitcham."
London Evening News - June 17, 1939
British Cartoon Archive

LONDON HOSPITAL

Photos: Hospital web site (top); Museum of London (bottom)
The German air raids of 1940 damaged London Hospital, Whitechapel. During World QWar Two, the hospital played a major role in providing emergency medical services to the north and east of London, according to the hospital's web site.

PRIVATE BRIGADE

The government authority that oversees the London Fire Brigade signed a contract with a private company to provide backup fire services. The five-year agreement with with AssetCo is worth 12 million pounds - and likely to provoke anger among unions, The Financial Times said.

July 16, 2009

HONEYPOT LANE

Photo: Stuart Appleby on This is Local London web site
Spectacular view of 15-pump fire at industrial estate on Honeypot Lane, Queensbury, on night of July 15-16, 2009.

July 15, 2009

LITTERS

In the 1890s, firefighters, police and even taxi drivers staffed a fleet of wheeled-stretchers called ``litters'' to take patients to hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service.

July 07, 2009

7/7 MEMORIAL

Photo: Architects Journal
Memorial in Hyde Park for victims of July 7, 2004, attack on London's transit system

FLIGHT 712


Photos: Wikipedia
On April 8, 1968, BOAC Flight 712 suffered an engine fire after takeoff from London Heathrow Airport and returned to the field for an emergency landing. Flames killed five people, including flight attendant Jane Harrison, who was trying to rescue a disabled passenger. Harrison, 22, was posthumously awarded the George Cross for heroism. The four-engine Boeing 707 had been bound for Australia and was laden with fuel.

July 06, 2009

CAMBERWELL - 2009

Photos: Paul Wood (top), on Daily Mirror web site. BBC web site (lower)

On July 3, 2009, fire killed six people in a high-rise apartment building in Camberwell, South London.

Firefighters rescued 40 others as flames engulfed the upper levels of the 12-story Lakanal House. The dead had taken refuge in a bathroom on the 11th floor.

``We worked as fast as we could and rescued many people from the block,'' London Fire Commissioner Rob Dobson said. ``Sadly, and to the huge regret of the crews involved we simply could not reach everyone in time.''

The worst of the disaster was above the reach of the fire brigade's tallest ladders, which extend for roughly 100 feet.

Dobson said the fire brigade arrived ``within minutes of being called'' and that ``crews worked under very difficult and hazardous circumstances to reach people trapped in the building as soon as they were able to.''

About 100 firefighters - staffing 18 pumps, as well as six rescue units and two aerial ladder platforms - were assigned to the fire. Members of the London Ambulance Service and the Metropolitan Police were also on the scene assisting. The incident occurred on the territory of the Peckham Fire Station, E37.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Collins, quoted by the Evening Standard, said: ``Some of the firefighters went back in three or four times. They were working at their very limits. We are extremely proud of them.''