On 11 May at a meeting of Sandown’s Urban District Council, the Works Committee, in possession of the knowledge regarding Brown’s stance at the tribunal, raised in forthright fashion their reactive proposition that he be sacked from the fire brigade as a coward. Chairman of the UDC, Sir Alexander Hosie M.A., LL.D., in the face of the spitting venomous co-reaction from other councillors around the table, asked if the dismissal of Fireman Brown had been made at the request of the Chief Officer of the brigade. The reply from Mr Attrill speaks for itself; All I can say is this. As an old fireman, I still have a few friends in the fire brigade and there is dissatisfaction. I am sure that if something is not done at once numbers of our very best firemen will cease to be members of the brigade. I have good authority – but perhaps I had better say no more.
Hosie remarked on Attrill’s avoidance of the question asked, and asked again, this time in respect of Captain Dore’s involvement in the process. Attrill answered bluntly; No, none whatever.
Amid what can be imagined a heated atmosphere, some members of the Council sided with the Chairman’s suggestion that the matter should be referred to Captain Dore as the appropriate chief of the brigade, but that didn’t bode well with the furious Mr Pitt; we are the bosses of the fire brigade! And of the town! And I shall stick to this resolution if all the fire brigade retire!
Pitt then claimed that Captain Dore had sent a letter to the Tribunal asking them to excuse Hedley Richard Brown, which Pitt considered to be; an abominable disgrace. I am not going to knuckle down to anybody! Attrill similarly postured; these men were allowed to go about, grinning, laughing and smiling at others. If I have slighted Captain Dore... I am very sorry, but at the same time this has been brought about and I do not think he could vary the resolution.
The proposition was taken to the vote, whilst the Chairman led the vote against the immediate dismissal of Brown, he had no option but to acquiesce to democracy and his amendment was defeated 6-4. Hedley Richard Brown was sacked by committee.
A week later the Isle of Wight Chronicle dedicated substantial copy under the headline; Chief Officer Dore tender’s his resignation. The report revealed that Dore received news of Brown’s dismissal by memorandum. He replied in writing to the UDC; I much regret this action and had not the slightest knowledge of its contemplation until Monday evening prior to the Tuesday’s meeting of the Council. I pointed out to the Chairman that such a proceeding would be unjust, and could only mean that I was incompetent to continue to discharge the various duties of Chief of the Fire Brigade.
Dore then elaborated with a number of points, summarised as; Fireman Hedley Richard Brown is the youngest and one of the smartest, most active and willing members of the brigade. He has always given satisfaction in the discharge of his duties. He holds the badge of the British Red Cross Society and volunteered for work abroad early in the War, but I would not agree to his going. This fireman has never received any support from me as a ‘conscientious objector’ and I have never written a letter ‘on his behalf’ to any Tribunal for this purpose. Realising some months since that no more able bodied firemen could be spared from the brigade, I, at a parade, gave notice that I should make an appeal to retain every one who was ‘called up’ by the Military Authorities. A letter was subsequently sent to the Local Tribunal to this effect, and it so happened that on account of age Fireman H.R. Brown was the first to be called. Apparently in the opinion of the Council this effort to keep the brigade together was an unpardonable offence. The Military Authority display much anxiety regarding the brigade, evidently considering it to be of national service and importance that efficiency should be maintained. I was always under the impression that fire brigade was work of National Service, and am still unconvinced that it is not. The Committee on Work of National Importance confirms this view, although to take men as suggested would be a great mistake. The Council, in summarily dismissing a most efficient fireman without a report or enquiry of any description evidently does not appreciate the seriousness of the situation from a fire brigade point of view. My only endeavour has been to carry out the duties of Chief Officer faithfully to all concerned, and I could have wished for a more fitting conclusion to my services than to find by the proceedings of the Council that I have failed in my effort. I have therefore no other course open and herewith accordingly tender my resignation as the Chief Officer of the Sandown Fire Brigade as from June 8th unless the Council decide on an earlier date.
The Council discussed the matter, reaffirming their position regarding Brown and accepting, with regret, that this would remain the case even in the event of Captain Dore’s resignation.
On 15 June the Council met for the second time since Dore’s resignation had been tendered. For the second time the meeting was thick with accusation and counter remarks and it was evidenced that an apology had been sent to Captain Dore, but not a reversal of the decision regarding Brown. On that date the UDC acknowledged receipt of Captain Dore’s fire station door key.