Adapting from a peacetime role to one of greater magnitude than anyone could have expected, resourcefulness, bravery and self-sacrifice were to become the cornerstones of Britain’s firefighting services during the Second World War. Rising to great challenges during air raids and always exceeding the expectations of a grateful population, these ‘heroes with grimy faces’ remain the unsung heroes of the war on the home front.
Their story is uniquely enhanced by the arrival in England of over 400 volunteer firemen from Canada. The Canadians took up Britain’s call for help in dealing with the onslaught of enemy air raids, yet it wasn’t until 1942 that the first contingents of the Corps of Canadian Firefighters arrived in Liverpool.
These men, having braved a journey across the U-boat infested Atlantic Ocean, faced an equally uncertain future on the streets of war-ravaged cities including London, Bristol and Plymouth.
Their relatively unknown contribution was nonetheless significant and every member of the Corps played his part in helping to win the war on the home front. Many members of the Corps sustained injuries and three made the ultimate sacrifice. 10" x 7", 128 pages, B&W photos, softcover