Fireman Walter Alfred Harry James passed away on 30 October 1970 aged 64.

 

Walter was born in Ryde on 21 September 1906, the son of Arthur a fishmonger and Maria Ann who assisted in her husbands business. He was the middle of seven children, four daughters and three sons.

In 1933 Walter married Lilian Eileen Dove at Newport Registry Office. The 1939 Register listed them living at 45 Prince Street, Ryde, they were to have two sons. By this stage Walter, employed as a lorry driver, had volunteered in the Auxiliary Fire Service and remained one of the town's firemen for the duration of the war. Given that at some stage of the notorious Cowes Blitz all Island fire services were deployed to the mouth of the Medina, it can be assumed that Walter experienced the horror of that night.

After the war he remained behind the wheel working for the Westridge Construction Company until poor health forced his early retirement.

 

Walter passed away at home, still at 45 Prince Street, on the Friday 30th October 1970.

 

Rest in peace Fireman James.

The first batch of Ryde Auxiliary Fire Service recruits, photographed at the rear of the London Hotel in October 1938.