Retirement beckons for Wargrave's chief firefighter

Retirement beckons for Wargrave's chief firefighter

Daniel Darlington

Retirement beckons for Wargrave's chief firefighter

One of the longest-serving firefighters in Berkshire was saluted by colleagues during his final drill night as Wargrave's watch commander on Tuesday.

Tony Annetts, of Highfield Park, will be on call until midnight this evening, having given the community 41 years of service, all at the Wargrave station.

The 60-year-old said he had enjoyed the camaraderie of the role.

"There comes a time when you can't do everything you used to be able to do," he said.

"I have really enjoyed the role and have worked alongside some great guys."

The married father-of-three received a plaque to commemorate his 40th year of service from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service last year.

His crew was one of the first on the scene of the Windsor Castle fire in 1992, and he almost lost his life while fighting a major factory blaze in Reading in the early 1970s.

"The floor collapsed and Bobby Goddard, who was a big boy, managed to grab me and pull me up," he said.

"If it was the other way around we'd both have gone in.

"I suppose he saved my life that day."

Tony, a retained firefighter, has served alongside his brothers and nephew at the Wargrave Station.

His father Reg Annetts was also a firefighter at the station until his death in 1966.

"We have calculated this will be the first time in 79 years that an Annetts will not be serving at Wargrave," said his daughter Chez Payne-Annetts.

She described her father as a 'local hero' and said a retirement party would be held for him on Saturday, September 15.

Tony announced the decision to stand down from duties this week.

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