"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

September 23, 2016


: London Fire Brigade

London firefighters rescue Dennis Norman McGowan, 19 months old, on Feb. 25, 1956. The child's mother waits below.


Photos: Wikipedia, Manchester Fire & Rescue

On June, 15, 1996, the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a 3,000-pound bomb on Corporation Street in central Manchester, injuring more than 200 people during the Euro football championships.

Remarkably, there were no deaths.

The bomb was the largest denotation in Great Britain since World War II.

A telephoned warning preceded the blast by about 90 minutes allowing for the evacuation of 75,000 or more people.


Photo: PortCitiesLondon, Caters News Agency

The opening salvo on London's waterfront:

Fire at Surrey Commercial Docks, Rotherhithe on  Sept. 7, 1940, the first day of the Blitz.

Gerry Knight, a station officer, sent a message to the alarm office from the docks, saying: "Send all the bloody pumps you've got … The whole bloody world's on fire!" according to PortCitiesLondon.


Photo: London Fire Brigade
The canteen was one of the longest serving vehicles in London Fire Brigade history. It went in service in 1938 and continued into the 1960s, according to LFB website.  It was staffed by a crew of two firefighters. 

September 12, 2016

TAUNTON - 1978

Photos: BBC

On July 6, 1978, fire burned out a British Rail sleeping car at Fairwater Close, Taunton, killing 13 people and injuring others.

The train was travelling from Penzance to Paddington station in London when 
laundry stacked against an electric heater ignited, the BBC said.

All 31 of the dead or injured were in the front two carriages.

Car doors were locked, a violation of British Rail rules, preventing a means of escape.

A passenger said: "I remember being woken up and being carried out of the train. The place was full of smoke. All I could see was people smashing the windows and trying to get other people out."

Fireman Derek James said: "It was a really eerie scene. Then we had instructions to go in and remove the people from the carriage. It was horrendous in there."

Ray Stokes, a newspaper reporter, said people living near the tracks used wire cutters to break down a fence to render aid.