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