NFS Fireboat No.277 Hildegarde.

Fireman James George Wales passed away at the I.W. County Hospital on Saturday 7 October 1944 aged 39.


James was born in Portsmouth on 30 May 1905 and lived with his parents Albert (unemployed at the time of the 1911 Census) and Fanny in addition to four sisters and one brother. 

James found employment as a young man working as estate manager and gardener for Commander Mitchell R.N. at Westwood in Wootton. He married Dorothy Agnes Terry in 1929. When the 1939 Register was taken ten years later they were living at 1 Belmont, Lushington Hill, Wootton and had no children. 

At some stage during the war they moved to 60 New Street, Newport. Shortly before the formation of the National Fire Service in August 1941 he left his employment with Commander Mitchell and began life as a full-time fireman in Newport. This eventually took him to form part of the Hildergarde fireboat crew based at Yarmouth.

As his name doesn't appear on the Firefighters Memorial at St Paul's in London, or the associated Roll of Honour, it is not suspected that his death was due to an in-service occurrence. 

Canon W.B. Hogg officiated at the funeral in the Parish Church on the following Tuesday. The service was attended by 50 firemen of the NFS under Senior Company Officer G. Brunner and the coffin was borne by James's fireboat colleagues. Other fire service attendees included Divisional Officer D.A. Harris, Column Officer W.J. Millis and Company Officer A. Cross. 

In a floral tribute James's wife, who lived until 1998, left the card;

In loving memory of my devoted husband from his broken hearted wife, Doll. 


Rest in peace Fireman Wales.