In this 150th anniversary year of the British Fire Brigade, 75th anniversary of the London Blitz and the 70th anniversary of the end of the WW2 Guest of Honour Ron Dobson, Chief of the London Fire Service.
Told here for the first time is the account of the essential part played by Jewish personnel in the Fire Brigade in WW2.
The author has captured through archival material, books and some personal ‘Last Voice’ interviews, part of this extraordinary contribution. It is accompanied by numerous photographs donated by families never before published. Ever civic-minded, many Jews from all social backgrounds volunteered even before war broke out, to be trained for dealing with the mass bombing of cities by the Germans, that was expected. When war came, by 1940-1 many younger Jewish men and women had been ‘called to the colours’ in the armed services. This still left, a considerable bulk of Jewish Firefighters who played a major role in the Civil Defence of Britain. Some won bravery awards including the only George Cross – the highest civilian award for courage alongside the military VC – won by a Jewish London Fireman in WW2. Many gave their lives; this is their story.
Martin writes and lectures extensively on Jewish Military History and has had books and articles published in the UK, USA and Israel in various historical journals, and on the internet. A book, “Fighting Back; aspects of the Jewish contribution to the British war effort 1939-45” was published in 2010 (Valentine Mitchell). A new book on Jewish POW’s of the Japanese was published in 2014. Martin is also co-author with Henry Morris of “We will Remember Them” book of Remembrance for British Jews.
For more information, go to www.spiroark.org/events