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). 

Eric remained in the service as Shanklin's Station Officer until he was compelled to retire on reaching the upper age limit in 1970. During those 37 years of service, and in particular from 1948-1970, his name featured regularly in the local Press as officer in charge at a range of fires and other emergencies including a blaze at the International Stores in October 1948, the annexe of Upper Chine School in 1950, through dozens of others until the final time he appeared in a Press report when commanding the firemen that extinguished a fire at Shanklin pier in May 1969. The fire bell, first installed in his childhood home to alert his father to every call out, was subsequently transferred to his homes in both Falcon Cross Road and finally Collingwood Road.

Eric had also served as councillor and chairman of the Sandown Shanklin district council. At the time of his retirement from the brigade was described in the County Press as one of the brigade's most popular personalities. Former Chief Fire Officer Sullivan, himself retired by 1970, attended the retirement party held at the station on 18 April, and paid high tribute to Eric's capability as an officer and the reputation of reliability and readiness he had instilled in the Shanklin firemen. 

Eric passed away on 17 June 1994. 

Rest in peace.