Standing: Hector Smallman, Frank Witter, Harry Knowles, Len Holloway, Frank Savage
Seated: Herbert Gresty, Fred Leah, James Harrison
The Auxiliary Fire Service was formed in Great Britain in 1938, as part of the Civil Defence Service. The AFS supplemented the work of fire brigades at a local level. It was superseded in 1941 by the National Fire Service. Men and women could volunteer part- time; women were mainly placed in administrative roles. Men who were too young or too old to go to war, or who were in reserved occupations, could volunteer.
The Hatton Auxiliary Fire Service comprised eight volunteers, not all of whom lived in Hatton. The fire engine was stored at “Glenholme” on Hatton Lane in Hatton, which was the home of Miss Mary Green, the local schoolmistress. Two of the AFS lodged at her house: Fred Leah and Harry Knowles. At least one of the eight (Len Holloway) went on to serve in the Forces later in WW2.
Herbert Gresty was born in 1908 at Little Leigh. He was an agricultural worker who in 1939 was living on Hatton Lane with his wife Elizabeth Annie and their daughter. He passed away in 1971.
Frederick Leah was born at Thelwall in 1901. He was a greengrocer and market gardener who had a fruit and vegetable round. In 1939 he lodged at “Glenholme” on Hatton Lane. He was also linked to the AFS in Stockton Heath. He passed away in 1948.
James Harrison was born at Croft in 1911. He was an acetylene cutter and a warehouseman for Frank Hughes in Warrington. In 1939 he was living on Hatton Lane with his wife Ivy Mary and their family. He passed away in 2013.
Hector Smallman was born in Warrington in 1908. He was a carpenter and joiner. In 1939 he was living on Acton Avenue in Appleton with his wife Hilda. During WW2 he was also in Air Raid Precautions at the new RAF airport on Cow Lane, Great Sankey (Burtonwood). After the war he became a civil servant with The Admiralty, spending some time in Kenya. He passed away in 1977.
Frank Witter was born in 1904 at Daresbury. He was a wheelwright and (car) body builder. In 1939 he was living on Hillside Road in Appleton with his wife Annie Dora and their son. He passed away in 1981.
Harry Knowles was born in 1904. He was a builder’s labourer. In 1939 he was lodging at “Glenholme” on Hatton Lane with his wife Alice Gertrude and their daughter. He passed away in 1972.
Len (Leonard Gilbert) Holloway was born in Warrington in 1906. In 1939 he was living on Hatton Lane with his wife Florence. He was employed as a bricklayer and general foreman. Later in WW2 he served in the Forces and became a civil servant, spending some time in Kenya. He passed away in 1983.
Frank Savage was born in 1909 at Stretton. In 1939 he was employed as a transport driver for a company called Brown’s. He was living on Common Lane in Lower Stretton with his wife Esme. He passed away in 1982.
Herbert Gresty, Hector Smallman, Frank Savage, Harry Knowles, Len Holloway, Frank Witter, Fred Leah, James Harrison