Born in Rayleigh, he married my Grandmother, Ethel Florence Salmons, and settled here in Wickford. They moved into a bungalow in Guernsey Gardens, 22 Sadoreth, where my Grandmother later gave birth to an only child, a little girl, who they named Doreen. My Grandfather is recorded in the local newspaper as being the very first fireman to retire from what was at the time, the new Basildon Fire Station, in June 1964. He died in 1975.
This photograph was sent to us by John Cootes. This is a picture of my father, Ben Cootes, who was part of the Wickford Fire Service through WW2. He served for 21 years and was the fire engine driver for much of that time. This picture shows my father with my two older sisters, Pat and Josie, and was taken at our home in Athelstan Gardens during WW2, before I was born in 1944. I guess this picture was taken about 1940/41. During the war the Wickford Firemen were called into London during the blitz; it would be interesting to know if anyone has any records of that period.