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IN REMEMBRANCE

April 19 1973 to July 5 2024

Dates of service

April 2004
to
July 2024

Craig was a second-generation firefighter. His father, Pete, initially served at Handsworth Fire Station before others during his 30-year service.

Craig’s professional journey is testament to his versatility and adaptability. He began his career as a lifeguard, honing his water safety and rescue skills. However, his thirst for new challenges led him to join and serve with the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, where he further developed his physical and mental resilience.

Craig was eminently proud of the time he spent serving his country. While with 3 Para, he became a combat medic and all-terrain driving specialist.

When it came time for a change in his career, and with a view to further helping our communities, he returned to Birmingham and joined West Midlands Fire Service on 15 April 2004 as a trainee firefighter. Choosing this career directly ensured that Craig could continue to help, protect and serve the most vulnerable members of our society.

Initially posted to Ladywood Green Watch, Craig served at several stations, including Handsworth, Highgate and West Bromwich, before being redeployed into Organisational Learning and People Development (OLPD) in 2018.

Craig was originally diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2011 and given a prognosis of three to five years. However, his resilience saw him defy this prognosis and, with the addition of lifestyle changes, Craig stayed with his family and us for another 13 years. During this time, he helped and advised others with similar conditions, met and married his devoted wife Annette, and saw the arrival of his son Ryan, who is now seven.

Firefighters always move against adversity to overcome challenges. Craig was the epitome of this.

Please take comfort from leaving your own message or reading those of others.

A man smiles at the camera. He is sat forward on a blue upholstered chair. He is wearing a blue suit jacket with matching waistcoat, a white shirt, and an orange silk tie with blue leaf pattern. On his left lapel is a wedding corsage of a single blue flower with sprigs of green foliage.

Firefighter

Craig Williams

19 April 1973 - 5 July 2024

Dates of service

April 2004 to July 2024

Serving locations

Firefighter, Ladywood Fire Station
Firefighter, Handsworth Fire Station
Firefighter, Highgate Fire Station
Firefighter, West Bromwich Fire station
Firefighter, Organisational Learning and People Development

Craig was a second-generation firefighter. His father, Pete, initially served at Handsworth Fire Station before others during his 30-year service.

Craig’s professional journey is testament to his versatility and adaptability. He began his career as a lifeguard, honing his water safety and rescue skills. However, his thirst for new challenges led him to join and serve with the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, where he further developed his physical and mental resilience.

Craig was eminently proud of the time he spent serving his country. While with 3 Para, he became a combat medic and all-terrain driving specialist.

When it came time for a change in his career, and with a view to further helping our communities, he returned to Birmingham and joined West Midlands Fire Service on 15 April 2004 as a trainee firefighter. Choosing this career directly ensured that Craig could continue to help, protect and serve the most vulnerable members of our society.

Initially posted to Ladywood Green Watch, Craig served at several stations, including Handsworth, Highgate and West Bromwich, before being redeployed into Organisational Learning and People Development (OLPD) in 2018.

Craig was originally diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2011 and given a prognosis of three to five years. However, his resilience saw him defy this prognosis and, with the addition of lifestyle changes, Craig stayed with his family and us for another 13 years. During this time, he helped and advised others with similar conditions, met and married his devoted wife Annette, and saw the arrival of his son Ryan, who is now seven.

Firefighters always move against adversity to overcome challenges. Craig was the epitome of this.

Please take comfort from leaving your own message or reading those of others.

Louise Harris
From
West Midlands Fire Service

Craig

From first meeting you at Ladywood Fire Station you was a shining light and such a positive person.

True gent

Rest Easy

Jason O'Callaghan
From
WMFS

Ahh Willow, you had us all at our best at Training School, checking our uniform before Pete Luckin an Pat Carrol arrived for inspection, showing us a handy trick to ensure shirts were tucked in. You were a ball of energy, and enthusiasm throughout training school, and this never faltered when you learnt of your illness. This manifested into true grit and enormous determination to take on a fight most would have conceded early. Your amazing dedication to understanding your fate, and to fight as long as you did had us all in awe and amazement, even joining in on the Birmingham half marathon in fire kit was one of the best memories I have of you!! Goodbye Brother, stand easy, and rest in peace.

Steven Whitworth
From
West Midlands Fire Service

Your enthusiasm for life was unmeasurable, from training school to department, you had enough energy for everyone. Rip Craig

Andy Botterill
From
WMFS

From the day I first met Craig, on our recruit course in 2004, he struck me as always being 100% committed in everything he did, there were no half measures with Craig. His enthusiasm and the way he approached every day of that course was an inspiration. I next met Craig on our FATM Instructors course 4 years later and I can honestly say that he hadn't lost any of his enthusiasm, passion and energy for the job. Unfortunately, I never crossed paths with Craig again but I often spoke to people who told me about his courageous fight against his illness and it was of no surprise to me that he approached it with the same vigour and determination as he did everything in his life. Craig's approach to life should be an inspiration to everyone he is a great loss to us all.

Daniel Ward
From
West Midlands Fire Service

Willo



You were both a warrior and a force of nature.

And at BTC, you certainly set a benchmark (or two) for the rest of us.



Rest easy now

Utrinque Paratus

Chris Jeffery
From
WMFS

Craig,



You were the most happiest, dedicated, kind, colleague and true professional Firefighters.



Our professional lives crossed at Highgate Fire Station where we would forever chat during cross over of shifts. Your long battle with illness was a credit to the individual you were.



Committed, a fighter, inspiring and incredibly brave.



Your legacy will live on through your son Ryan. Thinking of your family at this incredibly sad time.



Rest in peace, thank you for your service and stand down now brother.



Chris.

claire mcquoid
From
West Midlands Fire Service

Craig,

You have been an inspiration to so many people and families, where most people would have hid their battles you spoke about it openly to help others.



Even though I saw you at jobs, I got to know you more in OLPD where we would have conversations about your family and your journey, normally whilst you were working out in the gym in CDC.



Your advice and passion that you gave me to support Freddie will never be forgotten and always checking in to see how we were getting on.



Your creation and design that I saw in your work was amazing, and I am not quite sure if you realised how good you were.



To hear your stories of how much love you had for your family and how proud you were of them all.



Sending love to all your family and I know Annette will keep telling your beautiful boy Ryan all the stories of his Daddy x xx x

Pete

Craig,



As you knew, I was never one for public displays and would much rather opt for quiet contemplation. However, I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't honour your memory here as your other friends have.



Our paths first crossed when we were kids in the same cadet organisation. By all accounts you had earnt your reputation as being gung ho and welcoming danger with open arms even then! When we each joined up and went our separate ways it was a random mutual acquaintance that put us back in touch and we became great friends as a result. Inseparable rogues actually!



As I look at the various photo's, either cammed up and trying to look ally, hanging off the side of a mountain or suited for Remembrance Day or a night on the tiles, the memories that flood back bring anything from a smile to raucous, uncontrollable laughter and that's really you in a nutshell buddy. Like a bag of L2's going off from the moment you woke to the moment you were down...



You always brought a smile or laughter out of anyone and it was infectious Craig.



I'm genuinely privileged to say we were brothers.



Annette and Ryan will be loved and cared for as you know and would expect.



Until Valhalla...

Jase Dean

Stand down, Craig. RIP

Rob Baird

RIP Craig. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

A life well lived.

Luke Kesterton
From
WMFS

Craig,



I had the pleasure to know you for over 20 years both as a friend and later on as a colleague.



I have many memories of nights out drinking far too much and vivid memories of some of the most confident and "interesting" dance moves ever attempted...



What is not mentioned above is your years of dedicated commitment to the cadet forces and to local youth groups. Over the years you made such a positive impact on so many eager young minds. Holding yourself to account as a role model, you embodied the values instilled in you by your military background and approached everything with infectious tenacity.



You fought your illness with the same tenacity; researching, learning, adapting and educating as you went. You used your own journey and story to comfort and give courage to numerous other people that had been diagnosed, without hesitation and with empathy.



You were a whirlwind of a man and your enthusiastic and eccentric ways will be missed by many.



Rest in Peace.

David Owen
From
WMFS

Craig,

What a true, & kind Gentleman, always up beat and a positive person to everyone you cam in contact with.

We always spoke at change of shift at Ladywood & you would always have a beaming smile & always something positive to say.



We ran the Birmingham half marathon back in 2013 in full fire kit!

I can honestly say it was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done! but for you it was a breeze! due to your dedication to health & fitness, the only thing that let you down was that crap white head sweatband that you thought you looked cool in!



Craig, you have been a strong & dignified person throughout your illness, you fought to the end.

My deepest sympathy to Annette & Ryan,

Stand down Craig, rest in eternal peace brother X

Brian Kirkbride

Craig, you were one of the most inspiring positive person despite what you were going through, you always showed immense positivity, commitment to your work, and a drive for life. You were a true joy to work with. I hope you are now resting in eternal peace. Sending condolences and love to Annette, Ryan, your family.

Ashley Davies

Cant believe I'm writing yet another message to a fellow colleague.



I'd like to say I had the pleasure to work with Craig on white watch along with Daz.



Can't believe you are no longer here with us. Another one taken away before his time. Had so much more to do and give but you battled brave Craig, this is testament to you background and your character. We were all aware of the cruel disease you carried around with you but you never complained or made it about you . You carried on doing what you do! Helping others and caring for the community you serve. Your wife Annette and son Ryan should and will be immensely proud of who you are , what you've done and achieved. I'm sure I speak for everyone who knew you but we are a family and will support Annette and Ryan however we can bud. You can now rest in peace brother. You will be missed Craig.

Matthew Allen

I have very fond memories of Craig. He was an inspirational figure in my development as a marine cadet with T.S Leopard. He fought right to the end with such positivity and will be greatly missed by me and so many others. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

John Hodgkiss

Craig

I had the pleasure of knowing you both in and out of the job a lovely guy and an inspiration to all with the way you battled such a terrible illness.



I know your dad Pete was very proud of you along with the rest of your family.



Rest in peace Brother.

Andy Gray
From
WMFS

I knew Craig really as a kid from the age of 9 to about 12 in the area of Hamstead Village, where he lived with his mom, dad and his beloved dog Tara. Even from that early an age he was full of adventure, a kid who was a leader amongst the local kids who played out in the area. He always had a fascination with anything to do with the military and I'm so glad he had that chance to fulfil his dreams. Years on, I met him by chance when he was at Highgate and we reminisced about our child-hood which he was grateful for, sadly, it was the only time we made contact while both in the service. It was a sad time to hear of Craig's passing but I knew, even back then, that he was strong willed and determined to make his adventure last as long as it did, Rest in Peace and God Bless.

My condolences go out to his wife, son and family.

Steve Gibson

Well respected and rightly so, Craig was a top guy and a fighter. Such sad news, I served at Highgate for ten years and our paths regularly crossed. He was always a positive guy that you could tell had a lot of inner strength, it was a pleasure to serve with him. Condolences to his family.

Daz Pickard
From
West Bromwich Fire Station

My memories of Craig.

Craig was a much respected member of White watch West Bromwich. A quiet unassuming character with a cheeky smile, always smart in appearance and whether it be on station or on the fire ground always acted very professionally. He was meticulous with his cleanliness and he stuck to a certain diet which unknown to me at the time was to help fight the illness he was suffering with . He kept his illness to himself as he did not want or seek any attention or sympathy from anyone. I did not know he was an ex paratrooper(much respect)or his dad was an ex firefighter. He was really good at trauma and i remember one day he brought to station this big bag of battlefield dressings from his time in the forces so fire fighters being fire fighters we had a blast wrapping each other up in these bandages probably not the proper way but it was a laugh. White watch attended craigs house a short while ago to lift him from downstairs to upstairs to be more comfortable , you could not speak craig because you were so ill but i could see in your eyes that you still recognised me and Ash from out time served together, you were a brave man and will be greatly missed .Annette you are an amazing person ,strong, a fantastic wife to craig and a brilliant mom to Ryan. West Brom is only across the road from your house so if you need anything just call , nothing is forgotten.

So Craig for the last time brother until i see you on that squad line again, crew , crew, shun for your duties , fall out and stand down, rest in piece my friend, Much love , FF Daz Pickard , West Brom white watch x

Dave Harris
From
WMFS

Craig, I had the pleasure of working with you at West Brom. You were kind, considerate and always happy and keen. My thoughts are with your family at this time. May you rest in peace.

Glynn Davies

Craig

I had the honour and pleasure of working with you. rest easy brother your shift is done.

CAROLE FRANKLIN
From
WEST MINLANDS FIRE SERVICE WEST BROMWICH

CRAIG,

I had the pleasure to work with you at west bromwich you such a lovely person thinking of your family at this sad time .

R.I.P

paul dixon
From
wmfs

craig i met you and your family and got to know you when you landed at west Bromwich.it was around the time when my wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and it was only short time after your first treatment. You was a mazing person with so much to offer and a credit to wmfs and will be deeply missed you were a fighter and a very positive person always had that smile upon your face no matter what sort of day you had good or bad. you will be missed rip brother

Maj Mohammed
From
WMFS

It was an honour working with you Craig. Rest easy brother.

John Littleton
From
NARF West Midlands

The West Midlands Branch of the National Association of Retired Firefighters send it condolences to Craig Williams family at this sad time.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you and are thinking of your loved ones in this difficult time. Rest in peace

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