Volunteer Firefighter International

Firefighters Who Died in 1940 UK Air Raid Remembered

One career and one auxiliary firefighter died looking for survivors at a bombed out theater


A firefighter killed in the 1940 Sheffield Blitz is among the victims being remembered 80 years after air raids wreaked devastation on the city.

Hundreds of people died during German bombing raids over two nights starting on 12 December 1940.

Frederick Parkes Spencer was the only full-time police fireman, as they were then known, to be killed.

He died, along with auxiliary fireman Stanley Slack, tackling the aftermath of the bombing of The Empire Theatre.

The theatre in Charles Street had been hit and severely damaged and was on fire, but the two men had gone to help anybody still inside.

Anne Whiteley, one of Mr Spencer’s relatives, said: “The night of the Blitz it had been half-day closing, so Sheffield was busy, as it had always been a popular night for going out to theatres, cinemas and dance halls.”

Henry Hall and his Orchestra were on at the Empire that evening.

The air raid warning sounded at 19:00 GMT and enemy planes were soon overhead, Ms Whiteley said.

Read the full story here.

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