Fireman retires after 30 years service in Mitcham


A Mitcham fireman has retired after spending 30 years on the same watch.


By Ellie Gibbs

A MITCHAM fireman has retired after serving for 30 years with the same watch.

Graham Hawley joined the London Fire Brigade on March 12, 1979 after passing out from the Bethnal Green satellite training centre.

His time in the service saw him tackle numerous fires and make countless rescues.

He particularly remembers the fire at Woolworths in 1981 where a fireman lost his life. In 1992 he attended a 20 pump fire at St. George’s Hospital.

As well as tackling fires, Mr Hawley was involved in the training of new recruits to the watch.

He was also one of the first to be firemen to participate in the Local Intervention Fire Education project which aims to educate children on fire prevention.

Outside of the fire service, Hawley devoted his time to helping wayward children and ex-offenders reintegrate into society at the Surrey Springboard centre.

Hawley was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal as well as the Queen’s Jubilee medal.

Although Mr Hawley will miss being a fireman in Mitcham, he commented on how the service has changed on the last 30 years.

He said: “There have been many major changes in the organisation, equipment and fire fighting techniques.”

David Simpson, Watch Manager at Mitcham Fire Station, said: “He was a very popular member of the Watch and the station, offering a wealth of experience and always a funny story.

“He has been an absolute asset to this watch. His skills, stories and general positive character will be missed immensely.”


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