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Honour at last for fire watch heroes; DEATH ON DUTY: Seven civilians' names added to memorial.

Byline: By Christina Savvas

SEVEN men who died on fire watch during the Second World War have been added to a memorial at a Coventry fire station.

James Cecil Blagburn, William Allen, Dennis Brown, Leonard Cyril Cotton, William Henry Munt, James Leonard Porter and Charles James Towers perished protecting others but because they were civilians, they were never commemorated, until now.

Their names will be placed on a plaque at Radford fire station and also honoured in a new book by local historian Trevor Harkin, an updated version of City of Coventry: Roll of the Fallen. The book provides details of those who died and where they are buried.

Another 892 names have been added since the roll was first created.

Mr Harkin, who was at Borders bookshop in the city centre for the launch of the book, said: "On March 6, 1946 the General Purposes Committee Minutes for Coventry Corporation decided that a Roll of Honour for those who fell during the Second World War should be created and the task was given to the election and registration section."

Containing 2,017 names of civilians and servicemen and women, the roll was finalised for the rededication of the war memorial by Field Marshal Montgomery on October 5, 1947.

"It was recognised that further names would be added as it hadn't been possible to obtain the names of all those killed. With the assistance of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission and the Heritage Centre at the Herbert (museum), a further 892 names have been added, taking the total to 2,909 names,"

Mr Harkin said.

The revised Roll of the Fallen commemorates the dead of the war during 1939 and 1945. Mr Harkin who has written four books, has worked with watch commander Tim Parsons at Radford fire station to commemorate the fire watches. It will take the number of men honoured at the fire station memorial to 110.

Mr Parsons said: "This is really important. These men were civilians who fell during fire watch. They died protecting others from fire so their names should be recorded and they should be commemorated."

The fallen

ALLEN, William. Died as a result of enemy air action on April 9, 1941, at 45 St Patrick's Road. Age 33. Firewatcher.

Communal Grave, Coventry (London Road) Cemetery.

BROWN, Dennis. Died as a result of enemy action, November 14, 1940 at Alfred Herbert's Fire Station, Cross Road. Age 19. Son of Albert Brown, of 54 Beacon Road.

Born at Wheelwright Lane, Exhall. Resided at 54 Beacon Road, Holbrooks. Employed Standard Motor Company Ltd. Communal Grave, Coventry (London Road) Cemetery.

COTTON, Leonard Cyril. Injured as a result of enemy action, April 9, 1941, at Henley Road, died at Warwick Hospital, April 10. Age 35. Firewatcher. Son of Ada Cotton, of 206, Henley Road, Coventry, and of the late Abel Cotton. Born in Coventry. Resided at 206 Henley Road, Coventry. Employed as a Turner, Daimler Company Limited. Windmill Road Cemetery, Longford.

MUNT, William Henry. Injured as a result of enemy action, April 11, 1941, at 75 Middlemarch Road, died at Emergency Hospital, Old Stratford, April 12, 1941. Age 33. Resided at 75 Middlemarch Road, Radford, Coventry. Husband of Frances Olivia Ann Munt. Born at Ryde, Isle of Wight. Employed by Morris Motors. (Middlemarch and Grangemouth Road Fire Guard). Windmill Road Cemetery.

TOWERS, Charles James. Died as a result of enemy action, April 9, 1941 at Batsford Road. Age 47. Husband of Annie Towers, of 74 Batsford Road, Radford. Born in Walsall. Employed as capstan turner at Morris Motors. Fire-watcher. Communal Grave, Coventry (London Road) Cemetery.

PORTER, James Leonard. Injured as a result of enemy action, April 9, 1941 at Leicester Causeway, died same day at Warwick Hospital. Age 59. Husband of Louisa Porter, of 17 Leicester Causeway, Coventry. Employed at Alfred Herbert. Communal Grave, Coventry (London Road) Cemetery.

BLAGBURN, James Cecil. Died as a result of enemy action, November 14, 1940, at Laxons, Chapel Street. Age 39. Son of Florence Marian Blagburn, of 1, Kenpas Highway. Husband of Winifred Blagburn, of 167, Whoberley Avenue. Grave Ref. Coventry, London Road, Warwickshire.

CAPTION(S):

FITTING TRIBUTE... Trevor Harkin, with his new book, and Radford fire station watch commander Tim Parsons. Picture: James Balfour JB121108book-01
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 17, 2008
Words:704
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