Tributes paid to firefighter who died at Southport station
The Fire service have this week marked the 60th anniversary of A Southport Fire crew member who died in a tragic accident.
As fireman Maurice Evans walked into Southport Fire Station on a cold November evening in November 1956, he had no idea what horrible twist of fate was awaiting him.
Maurice, an accomplished fire fighter of over three years at the time had proudly joined the emergency services and vowed to risk his life day in day out to protect the people of Southport.
However it was to be a routine training drill gone wrong at the fire station, then on Tulketh Street, which spelled the untimely death of the thirty year old.
Maurice was serving as an operational fireman at Southport on the evening of November 8, 1956 taking part in a drill display to mark the annual visit by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire Services.
He climbed onto the Brigade’s 1930’s Leyland TLM Metz turntable ladder and began to climb at the same time the ladder was being elevated.
Suddenly the top section of the 85ft wooden ladder, which had a history of twisting, broke off and Maurice fell over 60 feet onto the bonnet of the appliance. Critically injured he was taken to Southport Hospital by his colleagues but sadly he died three hours later.
Now on the 60th anniversary of his death, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Officials have paid tribute to Maurice with a special service at his graveside at Southport Cemetery.
A spokesperson for the MF&RS said: “Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service colleagues joined with family, friends and colleagues of Fireman Maurice Evans to honour the 60th Anniversary of his tragic death while on duty at Southport on the evening of 8th November, 1956.
“A service of remembrance took place at his grave in Southport Cemetery, Cemetery Road.
“Maurice joined Southport County Borough Fire & Ambulance Service in 1953 and completed his Recruit Training course at Washington Hall, near Preston.
“Maurice was given a full ceremonial Brigade Funeral with representatives from almost all of the 150 or so Brigades in the UK attending. His coffin was borne on a City of Liverpool Fire Service Leyland tender which was followed by Southport’s first turn pump named the ‘Scott’ alongside which marched members of his Watch.
“There is memorial plaque to Maurice in the current Southport Community Fire and Ambulance Station.
“Fireman Maurice Evans, not forgotten, Rest in Peace.”
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