Fireman Edward Francis Harris was killed by enemy aerial bombardment on 3 January 1943 aged 48.
Edward was born on 26th June 1894 in Shanklin. He lived with his parents and older brother and sister at 2 Seymour Villas, Hatherton Road, Shanklin, where his father worked as a blacksmith. The Harris family had worked as blacksmiths in Shanklin for several generations. Edward's great grandfather George Harris as well as being a blacksmith was the parish clerk for St Blasius, Shanklin, for thirty years until his death in 1887.
By 1911 Edward Francis was 16 and working in motor repairs. In the first world war he saw active service with the Army Service Corps, for which he was awarded the British War Medal, and the Allied Victory Medal.
Edward married Dorothy May Gibbs in 1925 at St Blasius church, Shanklin. They had three children, Edward, Derek, and Alan. At the outbreak of war in 1939 Edward was working as a bus driver. He was too old for military service so he volunteered to join the National Fire Service and happened to be in the requisitioned Gloster Hotel, the temporary headquarters of the Shanklin Company of the National Fire Service, when the building took a direct hit from a 500kg high explosive bomb.
Edward was one of twelve NFS members killed instantly by the blast.
Rest in peace Fireman Harris.