On Friday, 20 May, two memorial plaques were unveiled to honour the lives of Firefighters David Barnes and Neil Goldsmith, who tragically lost their lives whilst on duty on 15 September 1977. The consecutive ceremonies took place at Caversham Road and Wokingham Road Fire Stations respectively, which is where each Firefighter was based and the plaques will be displayed outside these stations.
As part of the unveiling, tributes were given to David and Neil, and wreaths laid to remember them as they made the ultimate sacrifice in serving the community.
The event was jointly run by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), the scheme is funded by Firefighters 100 Lottery, which is administered by FBU and enables us to honour our fallen firefighters, and support fire service staff and their families.
Many family members, friends and colleagues attended the ceremony, and Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock and Chairman of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority ,Councillor Colin Dudley were there to pay their respects to the fallen firefighters.
Chief Fire Officer Wayne Bowcock said: “I was humbled to have the privilege of attending today’s memorial ceremonies to unveil the Red Plaques. Firefighters David Barnes and Neil Goldsmith made the ultimate sacrifice that day, and now they have a permanent memorial outside the stations where they worked.
“These firefighters paid the ultimate sacrifice in their service to the community and for that we must keep faith with their memory.
Councillor Colin Dudley said: “Our fire stations are rightly seen as being at the heart of the local community and with this in mind, I think it was very fitting to locate the two plaques at Caversham Road Fire Station and Wokingham Road Fire Station, where the two men served.
“They will be focal points for local people as they walk past these fire stations. The memorial plaques will serve as a reminder to the local community of David and Neil’s service to the people of Royal Berkshire.
Notes to editors:
- The Red Plaque Scheme remembers fallen firefighters and honours their sacrifice. redplaque.org.uk
- Firefighters David Barnes and Neil Goldsmith tragically lost their lives after being called to a severe warehouse fire at Clark’s Builders Merchants, Elgar Road, Reading on 15, September 1977
- The Red plaques are mounted on boulders outside the front of each fire station
- Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information