Wartime firefighters remembered

Seventy years on Pembroke Dock remembered a special anniversary and a sad and dramatic chapter in its recent history.

Fire brigade veterans joined clergy, civic leaders and present day fire personnel at South Pembrokeshire Golf Club on the 70th anniversary of the raid made by Luftwaffe bombers on the Llanreath oil tanks on August 19th 1940. The golf course now includes the site of the wartime tanks.

Among those present was veteran fireman Wyndham Scourfield of Narberth whose first fire duty as a 17 year old newly joined member of the Auxiliary Fire Service was to help fight the Pembroke Dock blaze - the largest fire in Britain since the Great Fire of London.

Mr Scourfield read the Roll of Honour of the five Cardiff firemen who died at Llanreath fighting the blaze which lasted for 18 days and destroyed eight of the massive tanks.

A service was conducted by the Rev Thelma Barber, Team Vicar, Benefice of Carew, and prayers were led by the Rev Roger Hart, Bethany Baptist Church, and Father Patrick Fitzgerald-Lombard, St Mary's Catholic Church.

Present day members of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, including its Colour Party, and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service joined with former firefighters at the commemoration. Crews brought two fire engines from the Pembroke Dock station.

Wreaths were laid by the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor John George, the Mayor of Pembroke Dock, Councillor Maureen Colgan, the Mayor of Haverfordwest, Councillor Chris Blakemore - himself a former firefighter - and on behalf of the Pembroke Dock Branch, Royal Naval Association, the Pennar and Bufferland Community Association and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

In a special tribute a wreath was also laid by Ted Owens who as a teenager acted as messenger for the firemen tackling the Llanreath blaze.

MC was retired Pembroke Dock firefighter David Neville and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Tim Bourne.

Great interest was shown in a wartime Army Jeep, brought along by owner Paul Doehring of Whitland. The Jeep will 'star' in next month's Forties Weekend at the Garrison Chapel, Pembroke Dock.

Refreshments were enjoyed in the golf clubhouse and thanks were expressed to the Golf Club for their help with the arrangements which were co-ordinated by two Pembroke Dock heritage organisations - the Sunderland Trust and the Museum Trust.


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Llanreath oil tanks site is the South Pembrokeshire Golf Club following the raid