Firemen of Ventnor's AFS, drilling at Bonchurch Bay, 1940.

Fireman Charles Henry Langford of Ventnor section of the AFS and Ventnor Company of NFS Fire Force 14d, passed away on 27 May 1969.


Charles was born in Ventnor in 1898, the son of Charles senior, a builders labourer, and Caroline Courtney Langford. They lived at 1 Vectis Cottages, South Street in Ventnor, the 1911 census shows he was both at school (aged 13) and working as a milliners errand boy.

By 1914, aged 17 years and 1 month he'd attested to the 2nd Wessex Brigade giving the home address of 3 West Street, Ventnor. Two years later he was a Gunner of the Royal Field Artillery and his Active Service sheet shows he was extensively exposed to operations during the latter three years of the war.

His forces service ended on 10 October 1919. An 'urgent telegram' in his military file sent from Newport suggests that after his war service he may have joined the post-war Isle of Wight Rifles.

Back home he was a founder member of the 3rd Ventnor Scouts and a painter-decorator by trade.

When the Second World War began, by now in his forties, he stepped up again, this time as a member of both the AFS and then NFS. He passed away at St Mary's Hospital.

His home address at the time was 3 Clarendon Cottages, Dudley Road, Ventnor.

Rest in peace Fireman Langford.