Fireman Edward James Kingswell was killed by enemy aerial bombardment on 3 January 1943.


Edward was born in Shanklin on 28 April 1900, the son of James Edward, a gardener, and Mary Ann. The 1911 census records him living with his parents at The Shamrock, Landguard Road, Shanklin. By the time of the 1939 Register he is still living in Landguard Road, number 85, by now with his wife Dorothy and earning a living as an assistant to a fishmonger and poulterer. 

Edward was killed alongside eleven of his National Fire Service colleagues while inside the Gloster Hotel requisitioned as temporary NFS headquarters for the Shanklin Company, which took a direct hit from a 500kg bomb.

The tragedy of the Kingswell family wasn't to end there and shockingly the young German pilot who led the 3 January attack, Oberleutnant Leopold Wenger, returned on 17 February with a larger force and launched another attack on Shanklin. It's beyond comprehension that Edward's mother Mary Ann, widow Dorothy and three-year old daughter Audrey Frances were all killed in this second aerial assault. 

All four members of the family appear alongside each other in the ghastly record of United Kingdom Civilian War Deaths. 

Rest in peace Fireman Kingswell and family.