Published: 08:09, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 08:12, 08 June 2021
Each year the country observes National Firefighters Memorial Day.
The day is a chance to honour those firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty over the years, with today's Kent crews parading at their fire stations and observing a minute's silence.
Fortunately in Kent relatively few firefighters have been killed compared with other fire services, although of course even one is too many.
Fifteen have died in the execution of their duty since 1948 and the formation of the Kent Fire Brigade, forerunner to today's Kent Fire and Rescue Service. (For comparison, 34 firefighters from the Glasgow Fire Service have lost their lives.)
Some of those tragedies have featured on Kent Online before: the crashed tender in College Road in September 1970 that caught fire and claimed the life of Malcolm Farrow for example.
But other firemen died in less dramatic circumstances and their stories are sometime over looked.
In 1959, Retained Fireman Edward Bert Nissen lived in Upper Road on the Foster Clark Estate in Maidstone.
On May 10, he was called to what appeared to be a routine shout - a fire in Cuckoo Woods, Sandling.
But Mr Nissen suffered a heart attack, collapsed and died. He was 50.
In 1980, Leading Firefighter Roy Chapman was based at Tonbridge. His watch received a request from the RSPCA for help in rescuing a cat that had been stuck up a tree for three days.
Sadly, while Mr Chapman inched along a branch to reach the kitty, the branch broke and he fell to the ground striking his head. He received serious injuries, suffered irretrievable brain damage, and and died in hospital six days later on August 6.
Fortunately no Kent Firefighters have lost their lives since 1990.
September 5, 1949 Retained Fireman AC Young, St Margaret's Station
November 29, 1957 Assistant Divisional Officer LA Pearce from C Division HQ
November 29, 1957 Retained Fireman AE Farrow, Loose
November 29, 1957 Retained Fireman JA Hawkes, Loose
May 10, 1959 Leading Fireman EB Nissen, Maidstone C
May 11,1965 Retained Fireman R Deveson, Eastry
September 2, 1970 Fireman M Farrow, Maidstone
May 14, 1972 Retained Sub Officer CS Homewood, Maidstone
January 9, 1973 Firefighter N McCulloch, Medway
November 8, 1974 Firefighter RJ Bell, Medway
November 8, 1974 Firefighter DJ Holley, Medway
March 24, 1976 Retained Firefighter WHC Rayfield, Cliffe
March 27, 1977 Leading Firefighter J Sharp, Dover
August 6, 1980 Leading Firefighter R Chapman, Tonbridge
August 5, 1990 Firefighter NSN Stocker, Ashford