On this day in 1941, William John Wareham (1914-1941) died in a bombing attack on Portsmouth in the Second World War.
William was among the unsung heroes who fought the great fires in Portsmouth in devastating Blitz attacks.
Two hospitals in the city, the dockyards, the railway station, hotels, pubs and houses were badly damaged in a night-time raid on the city on April 27, 1941.
William, who served in the Auxiliary Fire Service, was among the first to tackle a series of blazes sweeping through Portsmouth during the attack.
He was among 28 people killed when a parachute bomb destroyed the Madden’s Hotel in the heart of the city. He was 26.
William was among 500 civilians who lost their lives in three Blitz attacks on Portsmouth in 1941.
The third and final raid on April 27 began with German aircraft dropping mines, incendiary and high explosive bombs over the city.
More than 100 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the attack.
William is among 60 firemen commemorated at the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Garden of Remembrance in Eastleigh.
He is also remembered on a memorial in the city to victims of the raids.
William was the son of Bertie Henry Wareham (1880-1965) and Florence Edith Bayne (1884-1951). Florence was the daughter of Sarah Ann Snell (1844-1900) and William Bayne (1842-1910). Sarah Ann was the eldest daughter of Robert Snell (1820-1897) and Ann Sheppard (1819-1859). Robert was the son of Robert Snell (1790-1854) and Ann Adams (1799-1824). Robert Snell (1790-1854) was the son of Robert Snell (1754-1838) and Sarah Roberts (1760-1837). Sarah was the daughter of William Roberts (1738-), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Born on August 1, 1914 in Portsmouth, William was an upholsterer. At the time of his death, he resided at 1, Claremont Road, Fratton, Portsmouth.
Among those killed at the Madden’s Hotel on April 27, 1941 was merchant navy captain John Barzillai Hurst, who was staying at the hotel as he awaited his next command. Others who lost their lives at the hotel included brothers Alfred and Ernest Nicholson, who were waiters, chauffeur Charles Warr and fire watcher Claude Symes.
Firefighters putting out a blaze in London after an air raid during The Blitz in 1941, the year William lost his life in a bombing attack. Public domain image (New York Times Paris Bureau Collection, via Wikimedia Commons). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blitzaftermath.jpg