Rather excited about meeting the Princess Royal in a few weeks time. I have been invited to represent the wartime National Fire Service on the guard of honour, and to provide a wartime Turntable Ladder as one of the three vintage fire engines at the event.
The Turntable Ladder was chosen because in 72 years ago that day, a Turntable Ladder saved the church where the memorial is to be, from burning to the ground.
A memorial to Firefighter’s and Civil Defence personnel from the city and county who have died whilst on duty will be unveiled on Thursday 9th May 2013 by HRH The Princess Royal.
The memorial will be situated in the Churchyard of St Mary’s Church in the Lace Market, Nottingham, close to the Kaye’s Walk entrance. This location balances the memorial to the military war dead by the entrance on High Pavement.
A group of retired and serving firefighters have raised money to pay for the Yorkstone monument which will have the names of 37 men and women who are being commemorated. The front face contains a quote from Winston Churchill and also an inscription to the memory of those who gave their lives in service. The rear face is dedicated to Civil Defence Personnel and the two side faces contain the names of firefighters from 1939 to 1999. The appeal was first launched in 2010 by Councillor Jeanie Packer whilst she was in the office of Lord Mayor.
The catalyst that started the Memorial Appeal was a book about the wartime fire service and civil defence in Nottinghamshire. ‘The Battle of the Flames’ was published in November 2009 and contains the names of all the civilian fatal casualties in the county.
A ‘Historic Guard of Honour’ will be provided for the Princess Royal made up of re-enactment enthusiasts who will be in authentic period uniforms representing each service and each era of those who are being commemorated. Three vintage fire appliances from members of the Fire Service Preservation Group will be parked on High Pavement as part of the event. Following the unveiling and a blessing of the memorial by The Bishop of Sherwood, The Princess Royal will attend a reception where she will meet relatives of those being commemorated and also fundraisers and the committee who have led the project for three years.