‘Fearless firefighter lived life to the fullest’

Gerald Jones and Berkhamsted Fire Station crew in the 1950s
Gerald Jones and Berkhamsted Fire Station crew in the 1950s

ONE of the longest-serving retained firefighters in a town has passed away aged 98.

Gerald Jones was in the job for 34 years from the start of the Second World War, when he was drafted into London to help with the Blitz.

Mr Jones had wanted to join the army but could not because he had lost the middle and index finger of his right hand after an industrial accident.

Instead, the Gossoms End householder signed up for Berkhamsted Fire Station, following in the footsteps of dad William Jones, who had been captain there.

Mr Jones Jnr, who was a saw mill worker in Bourne End, would often fight fires all night and still make it to work on time in the morning.

Daughter Iris Biggerstaff, 64, said: “That was his life. The way dad was, it would not matter to him if he never got paid. He was fearless.”

Mr Jones died from pneumonia on Saturday.

Mr Jones, who survived bowel cancer after major surgery last year, died from pneumonia on Saturday.

Mrs Biggerstaff said: “He lived his life to the fullest right up to the end.

“He was the life and soul of the party with a great sense of humour.”

He leaves behind daughter Iris, grandsons Matthew and Elliott Biggerstaff, and great-granddaughters Holly and Ellie-Rose.