Fireman Percy Charles Coombes passed away on 4 January 1966 aged 73.
Percy was born on 28 August 1892 in Arreton. His father Charles was a dairy farmer and his mother Ellen was listed as a dairywoman. At the time of the 1901 Census Percy, aged 8, was the youngest of six children.
It seems that the family were the proprietors of Fulford Dairy Farm, Horringford and the 1911 Census shows that whilst Percy's elder brothers had dispersed to other occupations, he remained working with his father as a cow-man. Percy would have been within the age appropriate for conscription for war service following the Act of March 1916 but no military records have been discovered. As his father died in 1913 and milk production would have been a vital wartime resource, it's highly likely that as Percy was following in his fathers footsteps he would have been granted an exemption by a Military Tribunal to continue the family business.
Ten years later he married Helen Beatrice Rochford. Records are sparse from there until the 1939 Register which evidences that Percy was the proprietor of Fulford farm and the couple have one son, Charles, born in 1924 and who at 15 years old is serving as an apprentice riveter.
At what point Percy volunteered for service with the Auxiliary Fire Service isn't clear but we know that he did and that he served in that role throughout the war with both the AFS and National Fire Service.
Percy passed away at home, Empress Cottage, Alverstone Road, Apse Heath, on 4 January.
Rest in peace Fireman Coombes.