Armidale commemorates bravery medals

Published: 20th September 2013

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters and the Armidale community commemorated the 80th anniversary of the inaugural presentation of the Medal for Conspicuous Bravery at a special service and function on 20 September.

On 20 September 1933, eight firefighters from Armidale Fire Brigade were recognised for their bravery after a fire at the H Braund & Company Ltd store in Armidale on 18 May 1932, which claimed the lives of firefighters W Robinson and B F Jones when detonators stored in the building exploded violently.

Only a handful of Conspicuous Bravery Medals have ever been presented to Fire & Rescue NSW personnel. Those presented to the substation officer and seven volunteer firefighters who fought to save the heart of Armidale were the first in the state.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said it was fitting to recognise the efforts of the firefighters involved in fighting the Braund fire and the ultimate sacrifice made by W Robinson and B F Jones.

"The actions of the Armidale firefighters at the Braunds fire were remarkable and led to the striking of our highest honour - the Medal for Conspicuous Bravery," he said.

"Their selfless determination and sacrifice will never be forgotten."

An afternoon of activities was held to commemorate the anniversary including a service at Armidale Fire Station and a community function at the Armidale Town Hall.

Conspicuous Bravery Medal recipients

F G W Maizey
T Snell
R W Wicks
J H Munsie
R J Colmer
T S Snell
W Robinson (posthumous)
B H Jones (posthumous)