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75th Anniversary of the NSW Fire Brigades' Medal for Conspicuous Bravery

Published: 18th May 2007

Friday 18 May 2007 marks the 75th anniversary of the highest award which can be bestowed on a firefighter by the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) – the Medal for Conspicuous Bravery.

The award was prompted by an incident which took place in Armidale on that day in 1932, claiming the lives of two firefighters.

A fire had broken out at the rear of a large produce store. Within the burning storeroom were 9,000 detonators and located close by was a shed containing 400 sticks of gelignite, 10 pounds of dynamite and a box of cartridges.

Shortly after the arrival of the Armidale Fire Brigade, the storeroom exploded violently, killing Volunteer Firefighter B. Jones, mortally wounding Volunteer Firefighter W. Robinson and critically injuring Station Officer F. Maizey.

Despite the danger of the shed exploding with great force, the surviving members of the Armidale Brigade attacked the raging fire while using a curtain of water to protect the explosives. Their actions undoubtedly prevented a further explosion which would have resulted in the destruction of the business centre of Armidale.

The bravery exhibited by the eight firefighters of the Armidale Brigade was such that it was necessary to create a new medal. They were honoured with the NSWFB Medal for Conspicuous Bravery, two posthumously, on 6 June 1933.

To date the Medal for Conspicuous Bravery has been awarded 26 times, the latest recipient being SO Carlos Henry who rescued a three-year-old boy from a burning Kingswood home.

Read the full list of recipients

Date of Award Name Rank Act of bravery
6 June 1933 W Robinson Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 B F Jones Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 F G W Maizey Sub Station Officer Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 T Snell Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 J H Munsie Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 R J Colmer Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 R W Wicks Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
6 June 1933 T L Snell Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of F Braund & Company Ltd Armidale on the 18th May 1932 at which Volunteer Fireman W Robinson and B F Jones lost their lives through the explosion of detonators stored therein.
10 December 1957 D Cameron Third Class Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at premises 124 Morehead Street Redfern on 10th October 1957 in endeavouring to save the life of a child.
20 September 1967 W Doyle Senior Fireman Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at the premises of the Shore Motel 450 Pacific Highway Artarmon on 2nd September 1967 in assisting three persons to safety and saving the life of an unconscious woman.
26 June 1968 G J Dowling Station Officer Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at premises 12 Pritchard Street Enmore on 6th June 1968 in endeavouring to save the life of a child.
9 December 1970 A J Robinson Station Officer Conspicuous gallantry displayed on the occasion of a fire at premises 29 McGinn Parade Warwick Farm in saving the life of one child and in endeavouring to save the life of another on 27th September 1970.
1 November 1978 R K Ross Station Officer Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a train crash at Granville on the 18th January 1977 whilst performing many exceptional acts of courage during the rescue activities under highly dangerous conditions over a lengthy period of time.
1 November 1978 A G Freeman Senior Fireman Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a train crash at Granville on the 18th January 1977 whilst performing many exceptional acts of courage during the rescue activities under highly dangerous conditions over a lengthy period of time.
1 November 1978 R G Carruthers First Class Fireman Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a train crash at Granville on the 18th January 1977 whilst performing many exceptional acts of courage during the rescue activities under highly dangerous conditions over a lengthy period of time.
4 March 1981 M Guider Station Officer Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a fire at premises Sheldon Building Clarence Street Sydney on 15th November 1980 in rescuing a Station Officer buried to his waist in hot bricks and rubble despite imminent danger from falling walls.
4 March 1981 P Simpson Senior Fireman Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a fire at premises Sheldon Building Clarence Street Sydney on 15th November 1980 in rescuing a Station Officer buried to his waist in hot bricks and rubble despite imminent danger from falling walls.
11 November 1981 R Currie Volunteer Fireman Conspicuous bravery displayed at the scene of a fire in a dwelling at 72 Mowbray Avenue Edgeworth on 13th March 1981 while attempting to save the lives of two children believed to be therein.
4 August 1994 K J Fletcher Senior Firefighter Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire in a motor vehicle in Keiwa and Dean Street Albury on 19th April 1994 in saving the life of a woman trapped in a burning car and carrying her to safety.
11 November 1994 D L Moore Qualified Firefighter Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire at the Sydney Bowlers Club York Street Sydney on 7th September 1994 whilst performing acts of courage with the aid of a ladder saved the lives of six persons trapped on the third level.
14 July 1994 A H Connon Qualified Firefighter Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire at the Como Hotel Cremona Road Como on 3rd November 1996 whilst performing an act of courage with the aid of a ladder to save the life of a person trapped on the first floor.
2 August 2000 B D Daly Retained Firefighter Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire in a dwelling at 45 Bulls Garden Road Whitebridge on 29th March 2000 whilst performing an act of courage in rescuing a fellow firefighter who was injured.
27 October 2004 D Rayner Station Officer Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire at a house in Denman Street Doyalson on 26th July 2004 whilst performing an act of courage with the aid of a ladder to attempt a rescue of a child trapped on the first floor.
27 October 2004 P Brown Senior Firefighter Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire at a house in Denman Street Doyalson on 26th July 2004 whilst performing an act of courage with the aid of a ladder to attempt a rescue of a child trapped on the first floor.
20 September 2006 J C Henry Station Officer Conspicuous bravery displayed on the occasion of a fire at a townhouse in Park Avenue Kingswood on 26 July 2006, whilst performing an act of courage whilst off duty in rescuing a child trapped on the first floor.