Our review of Martin Sugarman's fascinating book about the role played by Jewish members of the Fire Services during the Second World War stirred some memories for long-standing JEECS member Yoel Sheridan, one of our members in Israel.  

He writes: Once again, the latest issue of The Cable proved to be a good read.

I was interested in your review of Martin Sugarman’s book on WW2 Jewish participation in the Fire Services, particularly as I knew Percy Miller, who was one of those fighters. He, sadly, was killed on September 9, 1940, when the blazing tenement buildings in Buckle Street collapsed on him while he was trying to control the fire created by the incendiary bombs dropped by the German Luftwaffe that night.

The Jewish Chronicle (September 20, 1940) reported Percy’s death, stating that his mother received a letter from the Fire Brigade Authorities saying: “If it were not for the gallantry of men like Mr. Miller, we may well have had another ‘Great Fire of London’.”

Below is a link to the ‘find a grave’ website where it gives his address as Fuller Street, whereas to the best of my knowledge he lived in the adjacent Bacon Street. https://www.findagrave.com/cgibin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39385080.

Is Percy mentioned in Martin Sugarman’s book? (Indeed he is – Editor)

Buckle Street Jews Infant School (which I attended to the age of eight) was also destroyed that night.
Atached is a photo of the burnt‐out shell with a short history by A. B. Levy as published by the Jewish Chronicle on March 11, 1955.

I would add that one of my brothers also participated in the Auxiliary Fire Service, but as the London Records Office was bombed during the war, and many records were destroyed, I have not been able to obtain specific details of his service.

Kind Regards

Yoel Sheridan.

You can find our review of Martin Sugarman's book, Last Voices, here.

Latest news

  • I remember, I remember

    Among my most powerful memories of living in Petticoat Lane are the smells. I make my own bread and when I smell baking I’m taken back to our cold water tenement in Wentworth Dwellings. Read More
  • A unique view of East End life in pictures

    European Day of Jewish Culture on Sunday October 6 sees a fascinating exhibition at Sandys Row Synagogue, Spitalfields, of unique photographs of the Jewish East End from the 1970s that have never been seen before. Read More
  • An East End family through three generations

    East End life will be explored in what should be a fascinating evening at Finchley Church End Library on Monday November 25, when author Ruth Badley will be in conversation with Kate Thompson talking about her  book Where are the Grown-ups?,  a tragic and uplifting story about a Jewish family in Stepney. There will be a 45mins discussion followed by Read More
  • An Evening with Esther Rinkoff

    Esther Rinkoff from the East End’s celebrated Rinkoff Bakery is at Finchley Church End Library on Monday November 18 in conversation with Pam Fox examining the business’s fascinating history. There will be free pastries for early arrivals, while stocks last. Read More
  • Hoping for a connection

    Back in 2013 our magazine The Cable published a fascinating article by Ivan Koop Kuper about his maternal family's East End origins in Whitechapel. Read More
  • In search of a better life

    IVAN KOOP KUPER takes a personal journey through his mother’s East End from his home in Houston, Texas.    The average American’s only exposure to London’s East End, if any, is typically through the BBC television series EastEnders, syndicated to the US to be shown by PBS. This long-running British soap opera depicts the offbeat characters who live in the fictional neighbourhood Read More
  • Minnie Lansbury: one of the most remarkable women to emerge from the East End

    A gleaming green and gold clock on the side of Electric House in Bow Road forms a fine tribute to Minnie Lansbury, one of the most remarkable women to emerge from the East End, whose life and achievements are the subject of a recent book from Five Leaves Publications. It was a life cut tragically short at the age of Read More
  • Stepney Synagogue book

    People have been asking us about the top picture on our Facebook page (JEECS Facebook). It is the East London Synagogue in Rectory Square, Stepney Green, long closed and now turned into flats, some of which retain features of the synagogue.. The picture (see above) dates from August 1948 The synagogue’s fascinating history has been told by Marc Michaels in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive