Fireman Hector Holbrook passed away on 22 December 1935.


Hector was born in 1884, the son of Eli, a picture framer of Bembridge and Emily. The 1891 Census locates the family living at Sandown's Cross Street and Hector is listed as the eldest of three children. The family share their home with Emily's parents and a lodger.

At the time of the Census of ten years later, Eli is missing from the list and Emily is working as a laundress on her own account at the family home. Seventeen year old Hector was serving an apprenticeship at the time. Oddly his two younger siblings, Minnie and Bert, who would only have been 13 and 10 years old respectively, are also missing from the census whilst two younger siblings, Ellen (10) and George (8) have appeared.

In 1906 Hector joined Sandown Fire Brigade and his name began to appear in the Press for references to him in that capacity (his brother Bert was to later appear in the Sandown Fire Brigade history as fireman, senior fireman and Second Officer over the course of a distinguished career that incorporated service during the war). 

In 1909 he married Ada Elizabeth Mabel Gosden at St John's, Sandown and in the 1911 Census they were living together without child at Avon Cottage, 19 Cross Street, Sandown. By now Hector's trade is listed as cabinet maker and upholsterer. 

When the war came Hector was excused active service due to health concerns but he remained in the fire brigade until 1919. After the war he was employed at Ryde as a coach trimmer. This employment coincided with his resignation from the fire brigade. 

Hector was made a life governor of the County Hospital for his sustained commitment as fund collector. 

On the day of 22 December Hector was assisting with preparations for Christmas when he suddenly suffered a stroke from which he never recovered and was to pass away at home later that Sunday evening.

Hector left Ada and two sons. His funeral of two days later was attended by a number of representatives of the Southern Railway depot at Ryde, the Sandown stationmaster Mr A. Wheway, Dr H.B. Billups (former Chief Officer of Sandown Fire Brigade) and Chief Officer Wilfred Harry Brown


Rest in peace Fireman Holbrook.