Engine honour for former firefighter

THE FAMILY of a former Worthing firefighter say he would have been honoured that a fire engine was part of his final send off.

Albert Bacon
Albert Bacon

Albert Bacon, husband of the late Doreen and father to Yvonne, Reg, Derek and Chris, died at the New Grange Care Home in Worthing on June 16.

His funeral service was held at Worthing Crematorium on June 26 and a fire engine was in attendance.

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Born on March 13, 1921, at Portland Road, Worthing, at the age of eight, Albert moved to 20 Meredith Road with his parents Chris and Marion, sister Jean and brother Arthur.

He became a member of the ‘crazy gang’ of Meridith Road and his nickname was Ocher.

Albert left school aged 14 and joined the Navy with his best friend, Norman, in 1939.

He married Doreen on August 23, 1943, and had four children, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

Albert was a painter and decorator for Worthing Council and spent 30 years as a part-time fireman when the station was at High Street, Worthing.

He was part of the crew that tackled the fire at The Rivoli Picture House when he nearly lost his life.

Quick-thinking colleagues started to see the roof go and used the pressure of a hose to propel Albert away from danger.

Chris Bacon said: “Dad thoroughly enjoyed his time as a firefighter, although he did not talk much about it.

“I remember the fire station very well and at Christmas the children would receive a present at a party which would be attended by Father Christmas.

“Dad used to cycle to the station and once he was stopped by a policeman when he had his pyjamas on underneath his uniform.

“He was by the Ivy Arch subway and he was let go only because he said he was on his way to a call.

“When he received a long service medal from the fire brigade, he was so proud, especially as he was not a person to boast,

“We were really pleased when the fire engine and four crew members turned up at his funeral and we know he would have really appreciated it and been very proud.”

Albert’s other passion was football.

He was an avid supporter of Brighton and Hove Albion, watching them often throughout the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Chris said: “Dad was an outgoing man and a strong man and one thing that I will remember about him is that he loved playing the organ.

“One of his best achievements in life was that he played the Wurlitzer at Blackpool Tower and he absolutely loved it.

“He was a real character in many ways and he was known by a lot of people. I really think he will be missed.”