Fireman Edward John Cassford of Sandown Fire Brigade was killed in action on 6 August 1915 while serving as Private Cassford 10839 with the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, at Gallipoli aged 22 years.

 

Edward was one of seven children of Albert and Fanny, their home address being the Working Men's Club in Lake. He joined the Brigade in 1912 and in the following year was one of the firemen who demonstrated use of the Pompier ladder and rope rescue during Sandown Fire Brigade's annual display on the Esplanade.

On 1 June 1914 he was one a team of five Sandown firemen who travelled to the National Fire Brigades Union drill competition at Salisbury and scooped an astonishing three of the five winners cups on offer against the best of the other brigades in the south.

Three months later on 4 September he enlisted and he landed with his unit at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The IWCP of 29 May, just over a month later, reported that he'd been wounded. He wrote home from his hospital bed in Alexandria stating; "I've had the best bit of luck possible in the shape of a nice 'nickel pill'. I got a very nice little wound in my right thigh, The bullet went in one side and out the other... I can get about all right but my leg is a bit stiff, as you can guess. I left Jim quite safe, and he reckoned I was a lucky chap".

Unfortunately Edward's luck didn't last, the plucky trooper recovered and rejoined his unit on the front line. The exact nature of his death just a few weeks later isn't known, sadly neither is his last resting place.

Rest in peace Fireman Cassford.