Second Officer Alfred William Mew of Shanklin Fire Brigade passed away on 12 November 1945 aged 65.
Alfred was born in Shanklin in 1880 but the Census of the following year shows that he was living at the Honest Heart Inn, Kentisbeare, Devon, with his mother Jane and his great grandfather Edmund Ayres, the publican, and a range of other family members including his slightly elder sister Isabella.
Ten years later the family were recorded reunited with Alfred's father William, a painter/decorator, and living in Hatherton Road, Shanklin. By the time of the 1901 Census they had moved to Dudley Villas, Albert Road, and Alfred, now 21, was working as a stonemason. Aged 31 in 1911 Alfred was still living with his parents and four younger siblings at the same address. Whilst Alfred maintained a living from stonemasonry he was by now a fireman of Shanklin Fire Brigade having joined in 1908.
Just prior to the Census being taken for 1911 he was first mentioned in the Press when Mr C.E. Moorman, Chairman of the Fire Brigade Committee, and Mr A.H. Guy, Chairman of the District Council, decided to test the response times of the town's firemen at midnight on a Saturday.
Even Chief Officer Rayner was oblivious to their plan and responded along with his firemen when the recently installed electric fire alarms were activated. Alfred managed to attend the station in a recorded time of 3 minutes and 55 seconds, by no means the quickest but considered an acceptable turnout given the distance and time of day. On 27 September 1913 he married May Ethel (nee Langdon) in Ryde. Shortly after his marriage and brigade service was placed on hold by the war during which he served with the Hampshire Regiment.
Alfred's record strikes one of a steady rather than dynamic membership of the brigade. Throughout the period when Shanklin's drill teams were knocking spots off other brigades both on the Island and mainland, Alfred was always in support and regularly attended IWFBF planning meetings once he'd been appointed the brigade's Second Officer, but does not appear in any of the recorded drill teams.