Deputy Captain Richard Henry Matthews

Deputy Captain Richard Henry Matthews of Cowes Fire Brigade passed away on 16 June 1948 aged 81.

 

Richard was born and lived in Cowes all of his life, he married Jane and for many years they lived at 3 Madeira Vale, Victoria Road. The 1911 census evidences three children, William Henry (13), Olive Louise (10) and Henry George (6) in addition to four lodgers.

He served the fire brigade for an incredible 48 years in the pre-WW2 period, at least 37 of which was in the deputy role under the captaincy of Ernest Willstead (twice), Joseph James Billows (a former Newport fireman) and Thomas Richardson.

He gave great service as number two to his chief officers but was never given the chance to head the brigade although he was often in command at fires in the town of which there were some major ones during his service.

In 1924 he was an active element of the drive to resurrect the Isle of Wight Fire Brigades Federation that had gone dormant for many years.

For work he was a fitter and engineer at J.S. White's, retiring in 1935. He was a long-time member of the Liberal Club. In his younger days he proved a popular Cowes footballer and Northwood cricketer.

His funeral was held at Northwood Cemetery on the Saturday following his death.

Rest in peace Deputy Captain Matthews.