Do ‘fire boats’ jog any memories of wartime?

ACTION: The National Fire Service did sterling service during the war.

ACTION: The National Fire Service did sterling service during the war.

First published in Worcester by

TODAY we are publishing two vintage photographs of fire-fighting personnel at Worcester during the Second World War as part of an appeal to readers for information about two wartime ‘fire boats’ which operated on the city’s river and canal.

The appeal comes from Ian Lisseman of Ispwich whose father Reginald Charles Lisseman was a member of the National Fire Service at Worcester during the war and was in charge of one of the fire boats.

Ian Lisseman’s sister, Jean Harris of Upper Howsell Road, Malvern, and his older brother visited their father aboard his fire boat during the war but all of Ian’s researches have so far failed to produce documentary evidence about the existence of Worcester’s fire boats.

This is why he is appealing to Worcester News readers and asking the question: “Does anyone remember the two wartime fire boats or have documentary or photographic evidence of their existence?”

If you can help, please write to Mike Grundy, Worcester News, Hylton Road, Worcester WR5 2ES or e-mail news@ worcesternews.co.uk.

Reginald Lisseman, born in 1904, hailed from Malvern and was employed as a Malvern Council workman before the war. The family home was then in Yates Hay Road, Malvern, where Ian Lisseman was born in 1944.

Reginald Lisseman joined the Auxiliary Fire Service at Colwall in 1938 and later transferred to the National Fire Service at Worcester, attending the aftermath of the Coventry blitz in November 1940 and the war-ravaged cities of Birmingham and Liverpool. Later, he was in charge of one of the two fire boats on the river and canal at Worcester.

After the war, Reginald Lisseman joined the Ministry of Supply Fire Service at RAF Defford and later the Ministry of Aviation Fire Brigade at RAF Pershore where a fellow fire-fighter and ‘crash crew’ member was Eric Carnell of Worcester. They were involved in the rescue of the crew of a Valiant ‘V’ Bomber which crashed on take-off at RAF Pershore.

Reginald’s family home at this time was in Woodward Close, Pershore but he died at the RAF base of a heart attack in 1967.

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