Firefighters Alan Bannon, 38, and James Shears, 35, of the Red Watch at St Mary’s fire station who died in the recent fire at Shirley towers have been remembered in an open air service outside the building where they lost their lives. The twenty minute service was held by the Salvation Army and attracted 250 people.
The service was led by major Ruth Hill, she said:
“The community wants to show the firefighters’ families that they love them and want to thank them in any way they possibly can for giving the ultimate sacrifice of their husbands and fathers.”
A book of condolences was set up on the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website on April 6th and already features over 400 messages with the option to donate to a memorial fund for the families of Bannon and Shears. The website has also issued statements by the families of the two Southampton firefighters.
Alan Bannon joined Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2001 and was married to Charlotte Bannon and father to five-year-old Abigail. His mother Mrs Margaret Bannon said ‘‘We have lost a caring father, a loving son and a dear friend’’.
James Shears joined Hampsire Fire and Rescue Service in 2003 and was married to Carla Shears and father to two sons aged four and five. Carla Shears said ‘’He had always wanted to be a firefighter and was truly our hero.”