Superintendent James Braidwood’s Grave

James Braidwood led the London Fire Engine Establishment from its inception in 1833 until he was killed leading the firefighting at the Tooley Street Fire on 22nd June 1861. Following the death of James Braidwood, the London Fire Engine Establishment changed from being funded by the insurance companies to being the responsibility of local London Government with the new name of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade which eventually would become known as London Fire Brigade.

James Braidwood’s grave is located in Abney Park Cemetery, one of the magnificent seven burial grounds opened to take the dead of London’s church parishes when the church grave yards were closed to new burials. Eventually the new burial grounds became overgrown.

Very appropriately, the grave of James Braidwood was rediscovered by the London Fire Brigade Station Officer in charge of Stoke Newington fire station which is right next door to Abney Park Cemetery. Eventually, the cemetery was restored by an army of volunteers to create the wildlife havens it is today

The grave is the Braidwood family plot. The monument records several members of the Braidwood family laid to rest within it. They include James Braidwood’s stepson who the monument tells us, was killed whilst “voluntarily assisting to extinguish a fire in Holland Street, Blackfriars”. That happened in 1855, six years before James Braidwood was killed in Tooley Street.

James Braidwood’s London Memorials

At the junction of Tooley Street and Cottons Lane there is a memorial on the building, about 7 metres above the ground.

Memorial in St Mary Aldermary church in the City of London.

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