John Donley

John Donley

John lost his life in the line of duty on the 5th of September 1982, alongside his colleague Tony Hall. Their Red Plaque was presented on the 5th of September 2018.

Colleagues at Peterlee Station in County Durham, John and Tony were killed in the line of duty when their appliance overturned on the way to answer a call for help. At the time of his death, John was twenty-six and married with a young daughter.

John and Tony were on their way to tackle a chimney fire when their appliance overturned on Front Street, South Hetton on 5 September 1982, killing the two men and badly injuring three other firefighters. Following the accident, all fire appliances were modified with reinforced cabs to help ensure the safety of firefighters in the future.

Today, John is fondly remembered by his former colleagues and his family. His daughter Claire laid flowers at the ceremony unveiling the Red Plaque which commemorates John and Tony outside Peterlee Fire Station. The stone for their memorial’s plinth was kindly donated by County Durham Fire and Rescue Service.


Photo credits: Fire Brigades Union

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