Reginald Archibald Oscar Bartrum was born on 3 January 1906 to his parents William, a general labourer, and Alice.
The family spent much of Reginald's younger years at an address in High Street, Oakfield. The 1911 Census evidences that Reginald was the second youngest of eight children ranging between the ages of 19 and 4. Little more is known of his young life until a marriage record appears for 1931 when he married Dorothy Emily Mursell in Staines, Middlesex.
The earliest reference to him being a member of Ryde Fire Brigade appears in a report of the IWFBF drill competition held in the grounds of the Frank James Hospital, East Cowes, on 31 August 1934 where he performed for the Ryde team that came second to Shanklin in the motor-turnout drill. On several occasions he is noted as having performed songs at Ryde Fire Brigade social events.
The 1939 Register evidences that Reginald and Dorothy were residing at 18 Well Street, Ryde (with their childrens details withheld) and that he was working as a plumber in addition to continued service with the towns fire brigade. Reginald was one of the Island's firemen known to have volunteered to serve in London during the blitz, later to return and continue in service with the National Fire Service on the Island until 1948 when the County Fire Brigade was formed and he remained at Ryde Fire Station.
On 15 September 1955 he was among over-100 members of the service and retired veterans who attended Newport Fire Station where a restored Victorian manual fire engine was presented to the service by its owner. That engine is the Shand Mason appliance that today resides at the IW Fire and Rescue Service training centre at Ryde. Reginald's attendance was two-fold, both as a service show of appreciation to one Mr King for donating the appliance and also as Reginald was among the first group of Island firemen to be awarded the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, instituted just over a year earlier, presented to him and eleven others by Mr King . This information assures us that his service began by at least 1934 although an eulogy published in the IW Times after his death suggests he had been a member of the brigade since a teenager - suggesting service since the 1920's.
Reginald passed away aged 55, at the Royal National Hospital on 25 July 196.
Rest in peace Fireman Bartrum.