Impromtu Surgery on the Barking Road deals with casualties of the Silvertown Explosion at the Brunner Mond factory January 19th 1917.
Medals awarded to Mr J.J. Betts. He was one of the Firemen who attended the Silvertown Explosion on 19th January 1917 and miraculously survived.
West Ham Corporation Medal Presented for Bravery. Engraved to Fireman James J Betts on a shield, with a Fireman's helmet and an axe with the head to the left. 19th January 1917 engraved on the edge. This was the day of the Silvertown Explosion at the Brunner Mond factory. On the reverse of the medal is the West Ham Corporation coat of arms.
West Ham Corporation Medal Devotion To Duty Air-Raids 1915-18. Engraved to Fireman J J Betts on a shield, with a Fireman's helmet and an axe with the head to the right. On the reverse of the medal is the West Ham Corporation coat of arms.
The Kings Medal for Police and Fire Services (1940s) King George V Head. James Joseph Betts engraved on the edge. On the reverse of the medal is is a figure with a large sword and a shield with the words 'To Guard My People'
L.C.C., M.F.B. Edward VII Coronation Medal 1902. King Edward VII head. James J Betts engraved on the edge. On the reverse of the medal are the words 'Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII' 1902, and the king's crown above a cluster of leaves.
(see file attachment for reverse of medals)
The Silvertown Explosion at the Munitions Plant of the Brunner Mond factory, on 19th January 1917.
Medal awarded to Mr J.J. Betts. He was one of the Firemen who attended the Silvertown Explosion on 19th January 1917 and miraculously survived. This long service Medal inscribed J.J. Betts 1919 on the edge, has the image of a fireman being crowned with a wreath by a draped figure and an old fire engine in the background on the front. On the reverse (attached file) a border of leaves around the words, Association of Professional Fire Brigade Officers For Long Service.
From the Newham Heritage & Archives collection
ROLL OF HONOUR: A list of names of those killed in the Silvertown Explosion, 19th January 1917.
Recollections of the Silvertown Explosion by Ex-Supernumerary Fireman T. R. Betts, Silvertown Fire Station.
The remains of number 2 Fort Street following the Brunner Mond explosion on 23rd January 1917.
(Image: Newham Arts & Heritage)
NOTES ON THE SILVERTOWN EXPLOSION, 19th JANUARY 1917
This souvenir paper hankie was give in memory of the Great Disaster and Lost of Lives (note the error should probably be Loss) in the Munitions Explosion near London, Friday January 19th 1917. It has a poem and was printed by Burgess York Lane The Strand, it goes:-
Tho' many tears for thee are shed,
Tho' hearts are rent with passing pain,
Yet who'd recall the happy dead,
Or bring the blessed soul back again.
Day by day we all shall miss thee,
Words would fail our loss to tell,
But in Heaven we hope to meet, thee,
Never more to part again
All tears are vain; we cannot now recall thee;
Gone is thy loving voice and kindly face-
Gone from the home we so dearly loved thee,
Where none can ever fill thy vacant place,
"There came a mist and a weeping rain
And life is never the same again."
The disaster was the explosion at the Silvertown Brunner Mond Chemical Works, which had been converted to Munitions.
Part of the Heritage and Archives collection.