Captain Richard Benjamin Blake of East Cowes Fire Brigade passed away on 1 May 1951 aged 78.


Richard was born in East Cowes on 3 September 1872 to his parents Robert (a shipwright) and Johanna (nee Long). During his childhood and teenage years the family resided at 4 Falcon Terrace.

In 1893 Richard married Ada Matthews of West Cowes and before the turn of the century they were to bring up two children; Louisa Florence born 1893 and Albert Benjamin three years later, at their home 13 St David's Road.

The 1901 census shows that Richard was employed as a ship's painter; he later turned his brushes to house painting. Given that I have found not a single reference, other than his obituary in the County Press, relating to his service as brigade captain I assume him to have been one of East Cowes' earliest chief officers as the reports written by the CP correspondent for the town of that era were notably short of detail regarding the names of its brigade members.

Richard was a keen footballer and adept at first aid. Long after age forced him to give up the game he still attended matches armed with the 'magic sponge'.

Rest in peace Captain Blake.