Sub Officer Hector Percy Scott of Newport Fire Brigade, National Fire Service and Isle of Wight County Fire Brigade passed away 16 February 1965 aged 53.
Hector, born on 22 August 1911, of 31 Chapel Street, was one of three sons of former Newport Chief Officer S.P. Scott. Hector joined the brigade in 1930 and served under his father until the latter's retirement in 1939 after more than 30 years service.
Hector was a volunteer within the borough brigade from 1930 rising to the position of Senior Station Officer by early 1941. When, in August 1941, the National Fire Service was launched, Hector who was only 29 at the time, perfectly fitted the N.F.S. preference for younger officers and he was appointed as Newport Company Officer, an N.F.S. equivalent rank to that of his father when he was Chief Officer.
Before the end of the year the appointed Column Officer of N.F.S. Division 14d, Thomas Upward, had made such a poor job that Regional Headquarters removed him from the Island, reduced his rank and placed him in Portsmouth. Hector was hurriedly appointed as Acting Column Officer, at 30 years of age this made him one of the youngest Col. Off. in the entire nationalised service.
He remained in that position, achieving results that satisfied Regional HQ for several months. As fate would have it he was the Island's senior fireman in charge on the night of 4/5 May 1942, the infamous Cowes Blitz, when by the middle of the night, directing operations from Divisional Headquarters at The Grange, Staplers Road, he had the Island's entire fire force in operation on either side of the Medina. The scale of the operation is unimaginable and the stress he must have been under incalculable particularly as he had no reserves to call upon and assistance from the mainland didn't arrive until many hours after the attack ended.
In the aftermath Regional HQ decided that the Island required the closer attention of a higher authority and a Divisional Officer was posted here, but Hector retained his Column Officer status and served throughout the war.
By 1944, with the threat to the home front receding, many part-time and full-time firemen were laid off, but there was little fear of Hector losing the position he had fulfilled with such aplomb.
However when the N.F.S. was disbanded and the Isle of Wight County Fire Brigade formed, he featured in the plans of newly appointed Chief Fire Officer Sullivan as a Newport Fire Station Sub Officer. This must have been a disappointment to the man who had commanded the Island's largest fire force during its darkest days and it was a position from which Hector was never to be promoted again. With his wife he was also proprietor of a Chapel Street general store and licensed premises known as The Magnet.
Hector passed away at the County Hospital, Ryde for reasons unreported at the far too young age of 53.
Rest in peace Sub Officer Scott.