Fireman Frederick Arthur Richards passed away on 20 August 1957 aged 63.


Frederick was born in Ventnor in 1894, his parents were Sarah and Frank who was a porter in a wine store. By the time of the census of 1911 his mother was remarried to William Taylor a mineral water carman and they lived together with William's three children and Frank's younger sister Ida at No. 1 Woolverton Cottages, South Street, Ventnor. At 17 years old Frederick was earning a living as a house painter and around the same time became a member of Ventnor Fire Brigade with whom he served for a period of 13 years.

During the First World War he served in India with the Royal Artillery and on his return was locally famed for establishing the Regal Orchestra which proved popular at entertainment venues throughout the East Wight. He also performed for many years with both the Ventnor and Shanklin Town Band's. In 1924 he married Norah Bound who's family association with the Palmerston Hotel stretched back 100 years and it is believed that this is where they established their home. At least two children followed, Jill Ann and John 'Jack' Frederick.

During the Second World War, despite holding down the responsibility as clerk of the works at Sandown Battery, he served first as a part-time Auxiliary Fireman and then as a member of the National Fire Service with the Shanklin Company of Fire Force 14d. 

He also managed the Palmerston Hotel with such reknown that he became a leading light in the Shanklin Hotel and Apartment House Association in addition to being Master of the Chine Lodge of Freemasons.

He died at home in the Palmerston on Tuesday 20 August 1957.

Rest in peace Fireman Richards.

Frederick and Norah emerge from their wedding ceremony at St Saviour's in Shanklin beneath the raised axes of a brigade guard of honour, 27 February 1924. Although married in Shanklin, the firemen and the appliance (pictured below) are that of Ventnor Fire Brigade.