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Messenger Boy

by Elizabeth Lister

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
Elizabeth Lister
People in story: 
Mr B D Hey
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

I joined the Auxiliary Fire Service at the age of 17 and after some initial training and measured for a uniform I found myself among others at the Headquarters of the group and Manor Heath, Skirkcoat Green, Halifax.

I was then stationed as a messenger at the General Hospital at Salterhebble, my task in the case of a break down of the telephone service was to cycle up to the Manor Heath and to report the situation if the hospital was on fire or received a hit. A fire crew and fire pump was stationed there. No matter where we were we rushed to join our station. I was about 15 minutes form home.

One Saturday evening, I heard the siren and I had to leave a dance at Stainland Mechanics Hall and, catch a bus home to cycle to the hospital. On my way there I hit some stones in the road, fell, on my cycle, badly damaged my wrist and had bleeding hands. I arrived at hospital, to be treated like an injury case, laid down on the bed, my arm in a sling and all my hands wrapped up in bandages. Absolutely, no good to help the Fire Service!

Later, the AFS was nationalised to the NFS our motto was ‘(AFS) Any flaming service to the (NFS) no flaming service’

Later I was called into the Royal Navy and served 3 years in the Fleet Air Am as an electrician.

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