Burch, John Henry

Dates:

War Service:

JOHN HENRY BURCH, a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service, was killed during the night of 10 May 1941. Three trailer pumps were engaged in pumping water from a temporary reservoir in the basement of the Old Surrey Theatre in Blackfriars Road to fight fires raging in Blackfriars Circus and the Elephant and Castle when a landmine exploded outside.

In all 17 firemen, including the complete crews of the three trailer pumps, were killed in the incident, and several more injured. It was the second highest loss of life in the Fire Service in the London Region.

He is buried in Hither Green cemetery.

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the Hither Green Cemetery CWGC Memorial (Firemen) and on the Firefighters memorial in St Peter’s Hill near St Paul’s cathedral. The names of the 17 firemen are also recorded on a plaque on the wall of the student accommodation which now stands on the site of the Old Surrey Theatre in Blackfriars Road.

Details:
He was 27 years old, the son of Henry and Clara Burch, of 4 Hacks Bungalows, Rayleigh Road, Thundersley, Essex.

Source:
Saved –the magazine of the Friends of the Fire Services National Museum Trust

Contributed By: Andy Pepper

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