WONERSH
© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk   (WHS)
HISTORY SOCIETY
WONERSH FIRE BRIGADE By   the   early   1940s,   Wonersh   had   the   distinction   of   being   the   first   village   in   Hambledon   RDC   to   have   a   full   complement   Auxiliary   Services   Fire Brigade.      The   fourteen   unpaid   volunteers,   with   a   Mr   Milner   in   charge,   had   completed   nine   weeks   training   to   qualify   as   members.      Two firemen were on duty day and night with other members available to be called upon if needed. When    it    became    apparent    that    there    was    little    chance    of    getting    equipment    for    some    considerable    time,    the    men    decided    to    equip themselves.      An   independent   Watch   Committee   was   formed   with   Mrs   Grover   of   Wonersh   Park    as   Chairman   and   Mr   Lindsay,    also   of   Wonersh Park,   as   Secretary   and   Treasurer.      They   raised   about   £70   which   was   spent   on   fire   equipment   and   Mr   Gaze    promised   a   fire   station   to   house   it.     The brigade needed a further £50 to buy the remaining equipment considered to be the absolute minimum required. The   fire   engine   was   kept   in   a   hut   which,   in   later   years   when   the   engine   was   pensioned   off,   was   moved   first   to   the   Blackheath   allotments   and then   to   land   owned   by   Mrs   Bailey   at   the   back   of   Lawnsmead   Hall   where   it   housed   the   mower   for   the   cricket   club.      Eventually,   two   houses were   to   be   built   on   the   land   and   the   Council   had   to   move   the   hut.      As   luck   would   have   it,   two   large   elm   trees   on   the   boundary   with   the Common   had   died   of   elm   disease   and,   while   being   felled   by   a   volunteer,   one   demolished   the   hut   thereby   solving   the   Council’s   problem   and providing Mr Mead  of Lawnsmead with an ample supply of firewood. Charlie Ansell, Dennis Ireland, John Heather, Ken Hammond, Len Franklin, Len Robinson, Ted Harpwood, Ted Palmer, Len Hammond, Fred Monk, ? Ayling, Dick Skinner, Lionel Riley, Ken Shravel,  plus one unidentified.
Photographs of Wonersh Fireman’s Axe courtesy of Andrew Brown