Saturday, November 12, 2011

The King Who Wanted To Be A Fireman

When he was Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII loved nothing more than fighting large blazes. His fascination with fire began when there was a fire in the nursery of Marlborough House in 1865. He doused the burning floorboards and organised the servants into a human chain so that they could pour water on the fire.

He asked his friend, Sir Eyure Massey Shaw, the Chief of the London Fire Brigade, to let him assist in fighting fires. Special vehicles were sent to the Prince's residence so that he could rush to fires. A uniform of helmut, axe, and bell was kept for him at the fire station near Charing Cross. The Prince probably didn't help by giving cigars away!

Edward VII introduced two medals, the King's Fire Service Medal and the King's Police Medal. These are still awarded to men from the British Fire Service today.

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