Fireman Richard Francis Newell of the Seaview section of the Auxiliary Fire Service and later the National Fire Service, passed away at St Mary's Hospital on 14 March 1969 aged 65.
Richard was the son of Richard Newell senior who came to the Island from Ireland as a boy and who started Newell's bus services in Seaview in the 1920's (the forerunner of Seaview Services Ltd.).
Richard Francis was born in the village and after school naturally took up a position in his father's firm, initially as conductor and later as driver until he broke away to work as a taxi proprietor on his own account.
When the call came for auxiliary firemen in 1938 he joined the AFS and continued to serve with them and then the NFS throughout the war. He was part of the Seaview detachment of NFS Fire Force 14d serving at The Old Boathouse, requisitioned to serve as a temporary wartime fire station (now a plush self-catering holiday let in Pier Road). Richard was among the Seaview men regularly called to Ryde in response to enemy high explosive or incendiary attacks and was in action during the Cowes blitz of May 1942.
Rest in peace Fireman Newell.