A memorial service is being held in Warwick today (Thursday) to mark ten years to the day that four Warwickshire firefighters died in a warehouse fire.
On November 2 2007, firefighters 20-year-old Ashley Stephens, 27-year-old John Averis, 24-year-old Darren Yates-Badley and 44-year-old Ian Reid died tackling a fire which engulfed the Wealmoor vegetable packing plant in Atherstone-on-Stour.
A memorial service is being held today at St Mary’s Church in Warwick.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will mark the event with the families of those who lost their lives, firefighters from across the county and the UK and dignitaries from Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and The Cheshire Fire Service Choir who will be singing The Rising by Bruce Springsteen.
Talking about the 10 year anniversary and memorial event, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Andy Hickmott said: “The memorial service will provide us with an opportunity to stop and reflect on the lives of those we lost on November 2 2007.
“I hope the event will bring comfort to all who attend. Although gone, they will never be forgotten and will forever hold an honoured place in the hearts of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and the fire service community nationally.”
Councillor Howard Roberts, portfolio holder for community protection, said: “Marking the 10 year anniversary in this way is a fitting tribute to the four brave firefighters, Ashley, Darren, John and Ian who lost their lives serving the community they loved.
“The strong values and traditions of the fire and rescue service will certainly be evident in the service as will be the respect for those who lost their lives. It will be an honour to attend the service.”
The service will start at 2pm. The ceremony will begin with the standard bearers ceremonial salute, swiftly followed with the fire service bell which was tolled four times.
The ceremony will close with the sound of the last post, followed by a minute’s silence and a blessing by the Fire Service Chaplain.
To mark the event, flags across the county at each fire station were also flown at half-mast.
Because of the service Northgate Street and Church Street are closed today from 8am to 6pm.