Fireman William George Railey passed away on 9 February 1956 aged 71.


William was born in Newport in 1884. His father George was a bricklayer by trade and his mother Helen was from Cowes. The 1891 Census located the family living at No 2 Ivy Cottages, Freshwater Bay and they remained there until the next Census of 1901. By then William was an apprentice tinsmith.

In 1908 he married Frances Ivey of Eastbourne and by April 1911 they were resident at 82 Caesars Road, Newport with two-year old Ida and six month old Evelyn. William was working as a plumber.

When he joined Newport's fire brigade is uncertain. At some point his father George had also served in the brigade and during the period another Railey with the first initial 'H'. It is hard to define from the Press reports which Railey's were involved in the various functions of the brigade as the Press correspondents commonly stated Fireman Railey with no initials.

At the time of his death the County Press stated that; He was a prominent member of the fire brigade. This remains the only definitive reference to his service.

By the time of the 1939 Register they were located at an address in Colwell Road, Totland. Living with them was their daughter Ida, a dressmaker, carrying the surname Cilliers, and a granddaughter Helen. The Register makes no reference to William being involved in the fire service.

In 1953 Frances passed away and shortly after William departed the Island and moved to Birmingham. It was here that he died at 38 Lyttleton Road, Stechford, on 9 February 1956, leaving his estate in the name of younger daughter Evelyn.


Rest in peace Fireman Railey.