Auxiliary Fire Service Messenger Donald Rossi passed away on 6 January 1941 aged 16.

 

Teenaged Donald of 8 Town Lane, Newport, was keen to serve with the AFS as soon as he was able following declaration of war. Donald was serving an apprenticeship with the Vectis Stone Company in addition to the fire service duties in which he was noted for his keen interest and capable physicality. 

Donald was taken ill on the Friday before his death but wasn't admitted to the County Hospital until Monday 6th. He passed away shortly after an operation had been completed to remove his appendix. 

The shocking loss of one so young was met with substantial respect from the veterans of the Island's fire services. Firemen P. Guy, C. Burton, E. Edwards and B. Upward of Newport Fire Brigade bore his Union Jack draped coffin topped with the youths steel helmet, to the grave at Newport Cemetery following the service at the Parish Church from where he had been conveyed on the Borough's primary fire engine. More than sixty members of the combined AFS and regular brigades of the Island attended and formed a guard of honour. Great sympathy was expressed to his parents Mr and Mrs A. Rossi and two elder brothers. 

 

Rest in peace Messenger Rossi.