Fireman Cyril Franklin Hayward passed away on 14 April 1994 aged 88.
Cyril was born in Newport on 24 September 1905 and spent much of his younger years at 90 Pyle Street with his parents Frank, a baker from Fareham, and Minnie.
Cyril's young life is unrecorded but in 1932 he married Ivy May Bundy and seven years later the 1939 Register listed them living at 70 Pyle Street with Cyril earning a living as a confectioner and cake baker.
His fire service record hasn't been unearthed but his son Donald recalled him volunteering for the Auxiliary Fire Service in 1939 after the Army turned him down due to a leg injury sustained in a motorcycle accident. For an undetermined spell he was among a detachment sent to London to support the efforts during the Blitz of September 1940 to May 1941. On his return he remained a member of the Newport Company when the National Fire Service was formed in August 1941 and served at Cowes during the infamous blitz of May 4/5 1942.
More notably he was one of the few to have volunteered in early 1944 for the Overseas Contingent. Whether or not Cyril eventually travelled to Northern Europe in the final year of the war with No. 4 Column remains unproven.
Donald recalls that he remained a firefighter for many years after the war, how the whole house was shaken every time the house-bell summoned him to the station and that Cyril loved doing the job.
One particular memory is recalled; I have a memory of watching him work at a fire at the Newport gas works on the harbour and watching him take a break between 'entries' smoking a fag when he did not smoke! This may have been the five-hour battle with the flames that Newport firemen engaged in the coal elevator on 22 August 1950 (although the gas holder suddenly exploded with ferocity in October 1953 the incident was shocking but over within five minutes).
The last definitive reference located of Cyril was found in the watchroom log of Ryde Fire Station. It recorded that on 11 April 1954 he delivered a Dennis Ace appliance to the station from headquarters at Newport. Presumably, as the upper age limit of 55 was strictly observed at the time, he would have retired by no later than September 1960.
When he passed away his home address was Solent View, The Mall, Totland Bay, and his remains were cremated on 21 April.
Rest in peace Fireman Hayward.