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Jack Fourt-Wells

Picture source

Credit for this entry to:
Andrew Behan.

Jack Fourt-Wells

Person  Male  Born 4/5/1911  Died 23/1/1958

Jack Fourt-Wells was born on 4 May 1911. He married Winifred Elsie Seward (1916-1993) and their marriage is recorded in the 2nd quarter of 1939 in the Pancras registration district. The 1939 England and Wales Register shows them residing at 55 Caversham Road, London, NW5 and lists his occupation at a Fireman Res No.7858. They had one child, Terence Fourt-Wells, whose birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1940 in the Finsbury registration district.

During the Second World War he served in the Merchant Navy and was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Atlantic Star, the Italy Star and the War Medal 1939-1945. His discharge number was R41945. He re-joined the London Fire Brigade and progressed to the rank of Station Officer. Electoral registers from 1947 show him and his wife recorded at 44 Warden Road, London, NW5.

Based at Clerkenwell Fire Station, he was called to a fire at Smithfield Meat Market in the early hours of 23 January 1958. Both he and his colleague Richard Stocking were overcome by smoke despite wearing breathing apparatus and were taken to St Bartholomew's Hospital at 5.14am where they were pronounced dead on arrival. He was aged 46 years.

His funeral took place on 30 January 1958 at the South London Crematorium in Streatham. At the subsequent inquest held in February 1958 the coroner made various recommendations to improve the breathing apparatus used by firemen which were implemented by fire brigades nationwide. Probate was granted to his widow on 5 April 1958 and probate records show that the family address remained as 44 Warden Road, NW5. His effects totalled £1,546-15-7d. 

At the picture source the image is captioned: "The recovery of Jack Fourt-Wells, tragically too late. Smithfield Market 23rd January 1958."

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Jack Fourt-Wells

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Fourt-Wells + Stocking

To mark the 60th anniversary of the fire this plaque was unveiled, on one of ...

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