Blog Post

Firefighters in War

Today we were lucky to see some pictures of a children’s Christmas party at Clerkenwell Fire Station in December 1940. They were brought in by Jean Chapman, daughter of William Chapman, who served at Clerkenwell Fire Station during World War II.


William Chapman was part of the Auxiliary Fire Service during the war, a vital service formed in January 1938. Fire Sub-Stations were set up across London in schools, garages and factories. Over 28,000 Auxiliary Firefighters were recruited to support the 2,500 Firefighters of the London Fire Brigade.


Chapman was injured during his work in the war and hospitalised for a long time –he was unable to go back to the fire service post-war. These pictures show Jean at a Christmas party just before the beginning of the Blitz in earnest and was probably the last big party that happened during the war.

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