Cyril George Dutton lost his life in the line of duty on the 29th November 1940. His Red Plaque was unveiled on the 2nd November 2023.
Auxiliary Firefighter Cyril Dutton was just 25 when he lost his life while on duty and is believed to be the first person to have been killed in Chester during the Second World War.
Cyril lived on St Anne Street close to where Chester Fire Station is located and had been off duty, enjoying a walk in Grosvenor Park in Chester with his wife Florence when he heard his colleagues race past in a fire engine to the scene of a bombing raid. He leapt into action, racing off to grab his uniform and join his colleagues in tackling the blaze. Tragically, he lost his life after being injured by falling masonry and getting trapped in the building.
Hundreds attended his funeral with his coffin borne on a fire engine and a guard of honour formed of 150 firefighters from seven brigades. The funeral was covered by the Chester Chronicle and the Cheshire Observer, with photos showing his colleagues parading through the city centre as many bystanders stood silently paying their respects.
During the funeral, the vicar said that Cyril laid down his life, though not in the trenches and not at the front, for his King and his country.
FBU General Sectary Matt Wrack said
“It was a firefighter’s duty to remember those who came before us and gave their lives to protect others”.
“We are proud to unveil a plaque in memory of Cyril Dutton… whose dedication and bravery is a vital part of the history of our service,” he added.
“We will always remember his sacrifice.”
Below are memories added by those who knew Cyril Dutton or had a story that they wish to share with you. If you have a tribute for Cyril Dutton that you wish to add, please include your memory below.
Please help support our Firefighters with the Firefighters 100 Lottery, a weekly online lottery created to support firefighters, their bereaved families and to honour the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters killed in the line of duty. With your help we can have schemes such as the Red Plaque Project for memorials to those lives lost.
Photo credits: Dom Salter