Fireman Arthur Edward Cogger of Ryde Fire Station, IW County Fire Brigade, passed away on 23 November 1964 aged 40.


Researching Arthur's life hasn't been easy, little has come to light but we know his parents were John Simeon Cogger and Miriam Elizabeth (nee Tucker) and that he was born in 1924.

During the Second World War he served in the army. At the time of his death the IW County Press stated that he had served in India. The sole army record located for an A.E. Cogger suggests he was a Sapper (service number 1893933) of the 517th Field Survey Company, Royal Engineers and was made a prisoner of war in August 1941. The record suggests he remained as POW No. 1269 until the end of the war at Stalag 18a Wolfsberg (Karnten). The record cites his service having been in Greece and the Middle East. If this is our man, and I reiterate that this is not definitive, he was finally repatriated on 24 August 1945. I suspect that a military record I discovered for an Alfred Ernest Cogger isn't the same man and may have been Arthur's slightly elder brother. In the case of this A.E. Cogger he served with the Royal Navy and therefore cannot be confused with the Sapper's records.

In any event after the war Arthur joined the Isle of Wight County Fire Brigade to serve as a retained fireman at Ryde Fire Station. He couldn't have been more conveniently placed for those quick dashes to the station as his home address was 17 Station Street.

Unfortunately his activities within the fire service are equally difficult to define as at the same time the station also possessed a Fireman Harry Cogger and the station's documents refer to several events involving Fireman Cogger but don't define which one. In addition to Arthur and Harry I have located birth registers for another seven children named Cogger whose mothers maiden name was Tucker. 

In 1960 Arthur married Dorothy Irene (nee Jenvey). Their two children were young when he passed away having suffered with throat cancer.

He passed away at the Royal IW County Hospital, Ryde, on the Monday 23 November. The funeral service was held at the Salvation Army Citadel four days later. His coffin was borne by six of his collegues of Ryde Fire Station and attendees included Ryde Sports Club and the Supporters Club, various officers and men of the IW County Fire Brigade, Ryde Borough Band (of which Arthur was a member) and the local branch of the Fire Brigades Union. 


Rest in peace Fireman Cogger.

Fireman A.E. Cogger looking from an upper floor window during the infamous Theatre Royal fire in Ryde, 19 May 1961.

Fireman Cogger while in service with the Army in India (front, holding a cup)