A memorial ceremony is taking place today at St Mary’s Church in Warwick to mark the 10 year anniversary of the tragic deaths of firefighters, Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, John Averis and Ian Reid, who lost their lives when tackling a fire in Atherstone on Stour on the 2 November 2007.
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 the 2 November 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.”
Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Councillor Howard Roberts 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 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.