Firefighters mark a very special birthday

BOLTON North White Watch celebrated a very special birthday last week.

Edith, who used to work for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) since the late 1930s as a volunteer at Bolton during the Second World War, turned 100 on Saturday 17 August.

To commemorate the event, firefighters from Bolton North Community Fire Station visited her to mark the occasion and presented Edith with a card and flowers.

Edith began her career with the Service as a volunteer but soon developed her skills to work on the switchboard at Bolton Fire Station.

Her family say she found the work ‘very exciting and was thrilled to get the opportunity to go to work every day’. During the black outs Edith often had to walk long distances to get to her place of work, but did it willingly as she enjoyed her job so much.

Edith met her husband Harry, a fire officer in Bolton at the time, who she married and had two children with. Sadly Harry passed away after suffering from Tuberculosis in his mid-30s.

Her strongest memories are of her fire service days, and to this day Edith still cherishes her fire hat. Unfortunately Edith lost her cap badge but firefighter John Greenhalgh kindly took it upon himself to buy a new one for her. 

Watch Manager Andrew Kopicki said: “It was our pleasure to meet Edith and her family during this special occasion.

“It was a humbling experience – firefighters who served during the war responded to incidents with little or no personal protective equipment using basic equipment. Not only was this an immense challenge in itself but this work was often carried out during blackouts with the ever present threat of bombs falling from the sky.

“All of the work was carried out was done for the love of the community the served, with no financial reward.”

Edith received a telegram from the Queen and also one from Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, to recognise her service.

23/08/2019 11:46 AM