Fireman Ronald George Groundsell passed away on 28 January 1962 aged 61.
Ronald was born on 15 March 1901 in Newport. His father Hubert was an accountant from Wootton and his mother Gertrude Amy was a Newport girl. At the time of 1911 Census the family resided at Alexandra Terrace, The Mall, and Ronald was the second eldest of a total five sons and two daughters. It can be estimated that Hubert's accountancy business was thriving as the family were served by a 21 year old general domestic servant Bertha Mary Ann Budden.
Ronald worked the majority of his life on the railways as a driver, and remained in less strenuous duties with British Rail in later years. The impression cast by the County Press that reported his death suggests a quiet solitary man who never married and was for over 25 years a keen member of the IW Model Engineering Society; He was reputed to have one of the best equipped private workshops in the south of England, and at the time of his death had under construction five models of steam locomotives.
When the call came for Auxiliary firemen Ronald must have been one of the first to volunteer as this role is specified against his name in the 1939 Register. The Register states that at the time his primary occupation was that of locomotive fireman and he was single and residing at South View, Station Road, Wootton, with 72 year old widow Annie Mould.
During the blitz on Cowes of May 1942 he was injured when involved in the firefighting and left temporarily blinded. His actions on the night of 4/5 May were commended by the National Fire Service. His sight returned but not fully.
In later life it appears that Ronald lived alone at 16 Prospect Road, Newport and he passed away at St Mary's Hospital on Sunday 28 January 1962. His estate and effects were left to his elder brother Hubert Young Groundsell and his youngest sister, the spinster Amy Madge Groundsell.
Rest in peace Fireman Groundsell.