Fireman John Whittaker Dilworth

  • RankCivilian (AFS Fireman)
  • Date of Death10/09/1940
  • Age26
  • Regiment/ServiceCivilian War Dead
  • Reporting Authority:POPLAR, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

John Whittaker-Dilworth lived at 107 Hindle House, Arcola Street, Hackney E8 with his wife Hilda Dilworth. He was employed in the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) in Bethnal Green. The AFS was set up in 1938 in Great Britain as part of civil defense air raid precautions to supplement the work of local fire brigades. Members of the AFS were unpaid part-time volunteers, but could be called up for whole-time paid service if necessary
In the early hours of 10th September 1940, the 3rd day of the blitz, John was part of a fire team attending a fire started by a HE bomb explosion at Pearce Motor Engineers (aka Woodstock Garage), 166 East India Dock Road, Poplar East London E14. The fire had spread to Woodstock Terrace and Poplar Baths. At 04: 06am another bomb fell in the road outside where the first had come down burying 15 firemen. By 10am all of the 15 bodies had been recovered including John Whittaker-Dilworth, none of them had survived.
John Whittaker-Dilworth is commemorated on an AFS plaque at Poplar Fire Station which now stands on the site of the bombing and on The National Firefighters Memorial at St Pauls.

The bomb devastation at East India Dock Road E14 on 10th September 1940 (photo courtesy Poplar Fire Station)
The bomb devastation at East India Dock Road E14 on 10th September 1940 (photo courtesy Poplar Fire Station)

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