Tributes paid as ‘Britain’s oldest fire fighter’ dies aged 105

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 24 May 2016

Jack, 105, with Deputy Assistant Commissioner Allen Perez

Jack, 105, with Deputy Assistant Commissioner Allen Perez


The daughter of John “Jack” Corbett, “Britain’s oldest firefighter”, this week led tributes to the Blitz hero who has died aged 105 – just days after he was honoured by the fire brigade.

Jack and his daughter Pamela, bottom left, with representatives from the Fire ServiceJack and his daughter Pamela, bottom left, with representatives from the Fire Service

Mr Corbett, 105, served in Clerkenwell during the Second World War. He died on May 15.

Featured two weeks ago in the Gazette, “Jack” had recently been honoured by the fire brigade as part of its 150th anniversary.

His service spanned four decades – 1937 to 1965.

“He had a hell of a run and really did live life to the full,” his daughter, Pamela Shrimpton, told the Gazette.

“He was a very upright, moral and strong person who achieved so much.

“I think foremost he’ll be remembered as a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

London Fire Brigade watch manager Anthony Marshall, who worked at the old Clerkenwell station where Jack was stationed during the war, also paid tribute.

“Jack visited us at the old Clerkenwell station when he was 101 and it was an honour to show him around,” he said

“He pointed up to the third floor veranda at the station and told me that, during the war, he was assigned to clear away rubble from the Blitz, and he remembered looking out and seeing St Paul’s was still standing.

“Since meeting him, I kept in touch with Jack and his family. He was an inspiration, and I look back at my time with Jack with pride and honour.”

Mrs Shrimpton had recently spoken of Jack’s time in Clerkenwell during the war, saying how “his experiences in the war stayed with him for the rest of his life”.

Funeral arrangements are being finalised by Jack’s family.

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