Smethwick Community Fire Station welcomed more than 25 descendants of Thomas Chandler, the town’s former Chief Fire Officer, including his 101-year-old granddaughter.
‘Tommy’ retired in 1923 after 43 years’ service and, sadly, died shortly afterwards. Residents and civic leaders paid their respects during his funeral procession and at his burial in Holly Lane.
A memorial plaque, paid for by public subscription, was erected in Chandler‘s name at Rolfe Street fire station. It was moved to the site of the current fire station when it was relocated.
Several accounts exist of his ghost haunting the Rolfe Street premises and their Stony Lane replacement.
Six Smethwick firefighters in ceremonial uniform formed a guard of honour at Chandler‘s grave, where his granddaughter and great-granddaughter laid a wreath before a minute’s silence was observed.
Watch Commander Lee Richardson said: “It was our honour to welcome Thomas Chandler‘s family and to learn more about him from them and the local historians who joined us, Mary Bodfish and Ian Bott.
“It was a happy and sometimes moving afternoon. We were very pleased to have helped the family remember and celebrate Mr Chandler.