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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Time as a "Fire Watcher"

by CSV Action Desk Leicester

Contributed by 
CSV Action Desk Leicester
People in story: 
Teddy Briggs
Location of story: 
East London
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
05 July 2005

In 1940, at the age of 16, I was allowed to serve with the men as a "Fire Watcher." This entailed spells of duty on the roof of buildings to smother any incendiary bomb in our section with sandbags or, if a fire had already started, to drench it with water using a stirrup pump and a bucket of water until the fire brigade took over. The Luftwaffe followed this fire raising exercise by dropping HE bombs that caused the fires to spread even more. There were many fatalities and casualties amongst the ordinary civilians as well as the Police, Fire and Ambulance services who were taking the injured to over-worked hospitals. We took pride in the fact that with our limited resources we had seved all the buildings in our section.

'This story was submitted to the People's War site by Gareth Watts of the CSV action desk, Leicester, on behalf of Teddy Briggs and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions'

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Air Raids and Other Bombing Category
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