The Life Saving Awards Research Society

Society Publications

Fire Brigade Awards of the Second World War

Fire Brigade Awards of the Second World War.

Published by the Life Saving Awards Research Society, 2017. Size 168mm x 245mm, soft bound with colour cover, 284 pages, many black & white illustrations..

Another monumental effort by seven members of LSARS, this book will be of considerable value to all collectors and researchers of awards to fire officers. There is little or no text, save for the citations relating to the various awards made to the subjects of the book and inspiring reading they make, too. Just dealing with a fire in peacetime situations must be traumatic enough but these men and women had to contend with being under fire as well, in the shape of enemy bombing. The book is also a notable example of how awards within the Order of the British Empire reflect the recipients’ perceived place in society – a situation which persists to this day. Apart from the main body of the book, which is essentially a Roll of Honour, there are five interesting appendices, one of which discusses an award to Boy Messenger Neil Leitch of Glasgow in 1941. It mentions the possibility of 'reviving' the Albert Medal in his case, although the AM was still being awarded at that time, both in Gold and Bronze. Though recommended for the GC, he eventually received a posthumous King’s Commendation, the official honours system being as much of a dog’s breakfast then as it appears to be now! Appendix 3 lists a staggering 808 persons being killed in the course of their duties or dying as a result of them, although this is at variance with the official figures, which give only 693. There are photographic images of eighteen personnel and fifteen drawings or paintings, though it seems odd that only one of the three GCs was selected to be the subject of a painting. A most interesting read and full of useful information.

Allan Stanistreet

Free to members of LSARS; £9 plus postage costs to non-members. Contact the Journal Editor for details or to obtain your copy.