The last member of the Second World War Leighton Buzzard fire brigade has died at the age of 96.
Sidney Geary joined the service in 1936 when he was just 19 years old so he could follow in the footsteps of his father John Geary, and older brother John.
He served with the brigade for six years and during this time he married, in 1940, Elsie Nash, at Heath Methodist Chapel, where they left the building under an archway of fireman’s axes.
Two years later, Sidney was out fighting a fire at Stockgrove when his eldest daughter, Sheila, was born.
Later, after the war, the dedicated fireman served with the Army Fire Service in Egypt, a world away from his birthplace in Rushmere, Heath and Reach in 1917 before moving to Leighton Buzzard.
But his interest in the brigade never wavered, and on his 90th birthday he was invited to the station for a look around and a chat to the crew.
He was able to help them compile the history of the brigade on the occasion of Elsie and Sid’s 70th wedding anniversary where two firefighters arrived at the party in 1940s outfits complete with brass helmets.
And it was only last year that Sidney took part in an open day in Leighton by riding on a 1930s engine from the station to Pages Park, which turned out to be a memorable occasion for his whole family.
Sidney, who died on Friday, September 20, at his home in Bletchley is survived by his wife Elsie (93 years) and daughters Sheila and Daphne.
Sheila, of Durrell Close, Linslade, said: “The fire service was like a family to him and he never forgot it. It was very important to him.”
Sidney’s funeral takes place at Bletchley on October 7 and all donations will go to the Fire Fighters Charity.