My Grandfather was Henry (Harry) Ackland who joined the AFS full time
on the 24/08/1939, Class 'B' AFS number 18393.
He was stationed at Bethnal Green Fire Station (East London E2) where
he served until the end of the war.
He covered most of the East/ West End especially the Docks, after
narrowly escaping death on several occasions
tackling fires he had to contend with UXB's (Unexploded Bombs). He
used to drive the fire engine to the blazes and
he was the one fighting the fires whilst up the long ladders.
My Grandfather wasn't the one to talk about his experiences apart
from the fact that he was buried alive for several
hours before being rescued and after losing several of his fellow
fireman to falling buildings.
BETHNAL GREEN TUBE DISASTER.
Due to the fact that he was stationed so close to the disaster and
living in Mendip houses (Globe Rd) which are situated at the rear
of Bethnal Green Fire Station, his station was virtually the first on
the scene of the disaster so he was one of many fireman
to help carry out the injured and those who died as they we're being
taken to the waiting ambulances.
He said it was absolute chaos as so many people we're trying to get
out of the station at the sametime that people we're
trampalling on one another while he was trying to help the injured.
He said he would never forgot that night.
If anyone recognises my Grandfather or those who we're stationed at
Bethnal Green Fire Station during the war, I would be interested in
hearing from you.
For and on behalf of his Grandson Perry and his Daughter Margaret.