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)
Medal for Devotion To Duty - Air Raids, 1915 -1918. Circular with a blue ribbon. Helmet and axe (with axe head to the right) on a shield background, engraved R.H. Holliday on one side.
And Medal presented for Bravery, Circular with a red ribbon. Helmet and axe (with axe head to the left) on a shield background, engraved R.H. Holliday on one side.
Corporation of West Ham around the West Ham Shield on the other side of the Medals. (file attached)
From Newham Heritage & Archives collection
EAST HAM COUNCIL'S UNDERTAKINGS THE EAST HAM FIRE BRIGADE
THE MAYOR OPENS THE SILVERTOWN FIRE STATION, 29th OCTOBER 1914.
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
A silver and enamel key. On the reverse, presented to Councillor William Crow J.P. Mayor of West Ham on the occasion of the opening of Silvertown Fire Station 29th October 1914. It has an enamel image of the fire station on the front. The fire station was destroyed in the Silvertown explosion in 1917.
From Newham Heritage & Archives collection.
Brass plaque from the opening of East Ham Fire Station. By the Mayor, Alderman O.R. Anstead. J.P. May 28 1914.
Part of Heritage & Archives collection
My father has related the following to me, about Grandad Charles. Bearing in mind this was the 20's.
Firemen are always joking with each other and constantly trying to catch each other out.
One day, Official photographs were being taken of all the Fire Officers at West Ham station. It was Grandads turn, he presented himself to the photographer,and was positioned under the training tower. Standing there in his brass helmet and best uniform, at which point two of his mates who had been hiding above him , emptied buckets of water down on him.He was soaked.
They must have wetted themselves.Grandad turned around and looking up, said thats ok, its your uniform I'm wearing. Unbeknown to the jokers, someone tipped him off what was going to happen, so he went to thier lockers and put their uniform on instead of his.....
While a collegue was away on holiday,his brass helmet was located, the two screws holding the ridge on were undone, and a Mackeral placed inside it was screwed back in place and returned to his locker, ready for his return in two weeks time.....
Grandad was given some lenghts of scrap wood at the firestation to take home. It was quite long, and he couldnt seem to get it on his bicycle, and ride at the same time. One of his mates told him to get on and he would secure it in place. Off Grandad went, through the traffic, to his address in West Ham. Unfortunately when he stopped he couldn't get off, no matter how he tried, he was stuck.His mate had deliberatley tied him and the wood the the cycle.He could only get off when his wife Eve heard him shouting for her to help him.
Oh such a laugh...
This is a photograph of My Grandad, Charles Gedge, at the scene of a clear up , after a fire at the VictoriaDock July 16th 1926.On the reverse of the Photo someone has written, "Charly Gedge called out at 9pm on engine." He doesn't look to happy. Mind you if I had been there since 9pm the pevious day,my sense of humour would have been tested
West Ham This Photograph is of some of the Officers and men at West Ham Fire Station, Barking Road, Canning Town. My Grandad, Charles Ronal Gedge is standing 3rd from the left on the rear row.