Fireman Albert Edwin Hutchings of Cowes section of the Auxiliary and National Fire Service, passed away on 8 October 1952 aged 42.

 

Albert was born in Gurnard on 2 September 1910, the first child of Albert senior, a ship-building carpenter and Annie. When the 1911 Census was recorded Albert junior was just seven months old and the family were living at 7 Ingatestone Terrace, Granville Road, Cowes. 

When Albert left school he served as an apprentice sailmaker at Ratsey and Lapthorne and emerged years later as the shop foreman. Sailmaking was to remain his trade throughout his life. In 1937 he married Gwendolen Florence Brinton at the Methodist Church in Birmingham Road. The 1939 Register shows that they lived at house (that appears as) Florannie, 28 Moor Green Road.

When the call came for volunteers to the expanding Civil Defence network in the years and months preceding the war, Albert joined the Cowes section of the Auxiliary Fire Service and for some time was also attached an A.R.P. Rescue Party before the National Fire Service was formed in August 1941 with whom he continued his service. He was also a member of the St John Ambulance Brigade and trainer for the Cowes football team.

A short while before his death he was elected to the committee of the Ward Avenue School Parents-Teachers Association which his daughter had just begun attending.

On Monday 6 October he was feeling unwell but persevered and attended work but soon felt too unwell and returned home where he remained in bed for two days attended by Gwendolen and the family doctor.

Finally on the Wednesday the doctor allowed him to get up and move about the house but in the evening he suffered a catastrophic heart attack, collapsed and died. His internment three days later at Northwood Cemetery was officiated by Rev. A.J. Dent and attended by members of Cowes Fire Station, Cowes Football Club and many others who placed a total of 37 floral tributes at his graveside. 

 

Rest in peace Fireman Hutchings.