Fireman David Cohen, on detachment from London with Shanklin Company of National Fire Service, Fire Force 14d, was killed by enemy aerial bombardment on 3 January 1943 aged 35.
Sadly very little is known of David's life and background. He was the son of Mr and Mrs M. Cohen of Strangs Farm, Finstock, Oxfordshire. He married Shirley Fay (nee Knight) and their home address was 7 Grove Road, Edgware, Middlesex.
How he came to be stationed at the temporary Shanklin NFS headquarters in the requisitioned Gloster Hotel on 3 January isn't known, what is known is that he was one of the dozen NFS members killed when the building took a direct hit from a 500kg high explosive bomb.
David wasn't the only London fireman at Shanklin that day. It's only a theory but it's known that some of the London firefighters who had withstood the hell of the London Blitz of 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941, were despatched to 'lower risk' areas in the aftermath to give them an opportunity to mentally recover. If that is the case it makes the random nature of his premature death all the more tragic in its ghastly irony.
Rest in peace Fireman Cohen.