Ser­vice for AFS

West Lothian Courier - - Courier View - Ian M Ten­nant, Ex-lead­ing fire­man AFS Bath­gate.

The Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice is hold­ing a Com­mem­o­ra­tion Ser­vice to mark the 50 years since the dis­band­ment of the Aux­il­iary Fire Ser­vice in March 1968.

Ini­tially formed in 1938, be­fore the Sec­ond World War, the Aux­il­iary Fire Ser­vice served through­out that war and was ac­tively in­volved in the Cly­de­bank Blitz and other ma­jor in­ci­dents within Scot­land.

Dis­banded im­me­di­ately af­ter the war, it was re­formed in 1948 along­side the Civil De­fence Corps, start­ing ini­tially with old Na­tional Fire Ser­vice equip­ment. How­ever the role of the AFS was to pro­vide mo­bile fire fight­ing col­umns that could be de­ployed to ar­eas that had suf­fered a nu­clear at­tack. The old equip­ment was not suit­able for this task, so in the 1950s the AFS was re­quipped, this in­cluded 1000 Green God­dess fire en­gines, Land Rovers, mo­tor­cy­cles and sup­port ve­hi­cles such as pipe car­ri­ers, mo­bile kitchens, and foam and wa­ter car­ri­ers.

At Bath­gate Fire Sta­tion dur­ing the 1960s over 20 fire­fight­ers were ac­tive within the AFS and by early 1968, based at the Fire Sta­tion were two Green God­desses and a Land Rover, the per­son­nel at­tend­ing many ex­er­cises and lec­tures.

The Ser­vice of Com­mem­o­ra­tion will be held in Cly­de­bank on April 1, 2018, and I would ask that any per­son who had served in the AFS at Bath­gate, con­tact me through Whit­burn and District Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust on 01501 748708 so we can ar­range to meet up again and ar­range suit­able trans­port to Cly­de­bank for the Pa­rade and Com­mem­o­ra­tion Ser­vice.

I trust that as many of the 20 or so AFS mem­bers who served, will at­tend on this day and sup­port the ser­vice we were once proud to serve.

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