Sheffield Police Fire Brigade

Superintendent F.W. Hadwick joined the brigade in 1894 after leaving his job with what was the M.S. and L. Railway Company, and became the chief engineer. In 1901 he was appointed superintendent of Wigan Fire Brigade where he also fulfilled the duties of a police inspector. At a later date he returned as second officer of the Sheffield Fire Brigade in charge of West Bar station.

Owing to the demands of the Great War the working strength of the Brigade had been gradually reduced because of the call on manpower for the fighting services, until at one time it was as low as three officers and twenty men. By 1916 the strength of the Brigade had become so depleted that a number of volunteer Firemen stood by at the two Fire Stations during the evening for the purpose of assisting the Brigade in both fire fighting and ambulance duties.

As a further consequence of this depletion and owing further to the possibility of fires being caused in Sheffield by bombs dropped by enemy aircraft all agreements for the attendance of the Brigade out of the City were cancelled and a notice to this effect was sent out on the 23rd February, 1916.  It was agreed, however, that the hospitals at Wharncliffe, Longshaw Lodge and Dore would still be protected as long as they continued to be used as military hospitals.

Zeppelin Raid

The only really damaging raid on Sheffield during the Great War came on September 25, 1916.

The next day, The Star reported that 29 people had been killed when a Zeppelin airship bombed a North Midlands town.

The North Midlands town was Sheffield but the paper wasn't allowed to say so.

The report also mentioned that the principal attack was aimed against the industrial centres of this North Midlands town. That was Sheffield's East End, which escaped relatively unscathed.

The Zeppelin dropped more than 30 bombs that night and among the dead were eight victims found in the cellar of a bombed house at Burngreave. Three fires were started by incendiary bombs dropped from German Zeppelins, two in dwelling houses and one in the Stores of the Great Central Railway at Woodbourn Road where a number of sleepers and timber were destroyed. 


Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917Steamer at West Bar 1917

Photograph Courtesy of John Hague
No. 1 Steamer in West Bar fire station yard 1917 - Crew: G. H. Bellfield and colleagues. Standing Inspector Outram.

In November, 1918 the War to end wars was over. After the Armistice was signed, the Brigade gradually regained its normal strength, and on the 29th March, 1919, the volunteers at their own request were relieved from further service. The strength of the Brigade at this time was four Officers and 39 men.

Memorial Stone to the WAr Dead of SFB
Photo by John Hague

British Pathe Newsreel Clip

Sheffield Parade

If you wish to download a short (5Mb) silent film of Superintendent Hadwick and the Lord Mayor inspecting Yorkshire's firemen at a conference in Sheffield on 11th May 1922. Go to British Pathe Downloads. and type the words 'Sheffield Firemen' into the 'Search Box', and select the file "Lord Mayor Inspects Firemen (AKA Yorkshire Firemen)".

Picture of Superintendent Hadwick Inspecting Yorkshire Firemen

Photograph - Fire at Heeley. Date Unknown

Photo - The horse Gertie
Photograph from: Sheffield Fire Brigade - A Brief History
The horse "Gertie" which served with Sheffield Fire Brigade from 1912 to 1922 and was sold to the Mounted Police.

Fire Chief to Retire

Sup. Hadwick’s Long Service with Sheffield Brigade

On 6th January 1923 it was reported that Superintendent. Frederick W. Hadwick, Chief Officer of the Fire Brigade, who is 53, years of age, and has completed 28 years’ approved service. Having given notice of  his desire to retire from the Police Force was entitled to retire and to receive a pension for life of  £353 6s 8d. per annum, and the Watch Committee approved of his leaving the force 31st January 1923.

It was resolved that the committee place on record their high appreciation of  the services rendered to the city by Superintendent Hadwick  during the many years he has occupied a responsible position in the brigade, including seven years as chief fire officer, and that a copy of this resolution, under the Corporate Common Seal, be presented to him.

Splendid Record

Superintendent Hadwick was appointed Chief  Officer in January 1916,  on the retirement of Mr William Frost.  During the 13 years prior to that he had been Second Officer of the Brigade. He has been a popular chief with his men and retired with their best wishes.

He was a Sheffield man and spent most of his life in the city. At the commencement of his career he gained valuable engineering experience in the locomotive department of the Great Central Railway, first at Doncaster ant then later in Sheffield.

Whilst serving a probationary course in the Sheffield Police Force in 1894 vacancy occurred for an engineer, and he was appointed to the position.  Five years’ later he received promotion and subsequently was placed in charge of West Bar station with the rank of Second Officer. Later he was transferred to Rockingham Street.

Superintendent Hadwick held three certificates presented by the Sheffield Watch Committee, for meritorious and efficient service, and
the Long Service Medal of the Professional Fire Brigade Officers Association. He was also granted certificate by the Watch Committee in 1916 for stopping a runaway horse. He took a keen interest in the Sheffield Boy Scouts and the Boys Life Brigade.

News 1917 to 1923

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