Fireman William John Clark of Sandown Fire Station was tragically killed in an accident on 17 December 1985 aged 31.
William was a married father of two young children and had been a retained firefighter at Sandown for approximately two years at the time of his death. His primary occupation was that of manager of the Tower House Residential Home.
Sadly he was responding to his alerter, travelling to the fire station in response to an emergency call when his car was involving in an accident. His colleagues, on their way in the fire engine to the incident, discovered his vehicle and with the help of a crew from Newport Fire Station were able to free him from the vehicle. He was taken to the Royal IW County Hospital but sadly nothing could be done to save his life.
Deputy Chief Officer E. Wall stated to the County Press; He was popular and highly respected by his colleagues. He was assured of promotion within the retained service. He is the first Island fireman to be killed on duty since the war.
Over 160 firemen from the Island and mainland were among the several hundred mourners that filled the Christ Church for the funeral service. Fireman Clark was brought there in a Union Jack clad casket aboard the brigade's turntable ladder and carried into the church by his Sandown colleagues led by Station Officer C. Holbrook.
Following the service a fire brigade guard of honour, in red and white check-banded caps and white gloves, led the funeral procession of fire services, cars and parading firemen to Lake Cemetery. As the procession made its way down Lake Hill and along the main roads to the cemetery, people stood with heads bowed as a token of respect.
Rest in peace Fireman Clark.