Eric George Arthur Carpenter was born at Anglesea Cottage, Landguard Road, Shanklin on 26 April 1915 as snow fell from the sky.
Eric was a bright pupil of Shanklin Parochial School and Sandown Grammar School and aged 18 was preparing to embark on his ambition to study mathematics at St John's College, Cambridge, when his father Arthur George Carpenter, a Shanklin fireman, died suddenly in his 40's in 1933.
His sense of responsibility to family compelled him to abandon his plans and take control of his late fathers share of the well established and respected family building firm. He also, following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, joined Shanklin Fire Brigade.
Eric served with the pre-war brigade. He was one of few firemen that, despite their profession being a reserved occupation, left the fire service to serve with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Donnington during the Second World War, where he met his wife Pat, and later served in Palestine, before returning to the post-war NFS and at the express instructions of the Island's first Chief Fire Officer Richard Sullivan, Eric was appointed as the first Station Officer of the IW County Fire Brigade's Shanklin Fire Station, Station 7.
Eric was the officer in charge of the station when the new facility on Landguard Road was formally opened on 28 September 1951 (image below).