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B L Fincham

St John Ambulance Book of Remembrance

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Tribute by: Barbara Hasler

Date added: 4 Aug 2014

Mr B L Fincham, my father, was born in 1890, the middle son of H W Fincham, and became the Superintendent of No. 1 Division of St John Ambulance and Knight of Grace of the Order (front row, second left in the photograph).  He was presented to the Duke & Duchess of York in 1935  (they became King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth), served in the RAMC from 1914-1918, and did night duty at a local first aid post from 1939-1945. Just before the war he made good use of me, his daughter (born 1931) - I was used as the forerunner of 'Resussi Annie' for a class learning first-aid from him!

An annual highlight was a visit from Lady Mountbatten at my father's place of work in Clerkenwell, London, when she thanked him for his service.  He carried out many duties at various venues throughout his life, from being backstage at Covent Garden to outdoor duties at various royal occasions.

One night during the Second World War he was on his way to his night-duty post when a bomb came down 'a bit close'.  He and a policeman crouched down in the doorway of a shop, but they had to laugh afterwards, as they saw that the shop was the Gas Showrooms made entirely of glass!

Father and his brothers never spoke of what they saw and experienced in the wars, but thankfully they all survived (Father in France, one brother in Gallipoli and the other as a policeman).

Father's great pride was having a seat in Westminster Abbey at the Coronation in 1937; my sister and I used the velvet-covered stool afterwards as a music stool!

Father died at the age of 88 in 1978 and is much-missed.

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