Exactly one hundred years ago, Liverpool had experienced the first months of the Blitz. Air raids intensified as did the destruction – and the death count was growing.
Auxiliary Fire Service firemen around the country did the best they could with their relatively unsophisticated equipment like the Auxiliary Towing Vehicles, acquired following the outbreak of war. Simply fitted out, they had a ladder affixed to the roof, hoods fitted over headlights that were ineffective in the blackout and a white stripe painted on each wing so they could be seen in the darkness. And a bell to alert everyone to their urgency.
Relaxing after the previous night’s activity, the firemen at Abingdon Road Fire Station, gather around their fire tender for a photograph.
Despite the smiles, the words of a London AFS Commander, were undoubtedly on their collective minds. “Enthusiasm, courage and endurance are not enough, ” he said. “Knowledge and experience are needed because there is a science and an art to fire-fighting. The science can be taught at the fire station, the art can only be learnt at fires.”
They were learning fast!
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