Firefighters Memorial AvenuePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

An avenue of trees commemorates the firefighters who lost their lives in the Ash Wednesday fires of February 1983. 

The following people have plaqued trees planted in their memory. 

Narre Warren Rural Fire Brigade     Panton Hill Fire Brigade

John Minett                                        Bill Marsden
Dorothy Balcombe                             Peter Singleton
Lloyd Donovan                                   Maurice Aitkinson
Murray Forsyth                                   Stuart Duff
Neil Henry                                          Neville Jeffery
Darrell Wilkes

Casual Firefighter Keith Busbridge

On Wednesday 16th February 1983, a call was received from Narre Warren tanker that they and another tanker from Panton Hill were in trouble and trapped. They were situated on St Georges Road, Upper Beaconsfield, on the top of a hill.

When the change came through the fire travelled from High Street, up the hill to St Georges Road, a distance of half a kilometre, in eleven seconds. With such speed and ferocity, they never stood a chance. The radio went dead, fire-fighters were fighting for their own lives, trying to take cover by getting under their trucks for protection.

At dawn the next morning two burnt out fire trucks and twelve fire fighters where discovered by Narre Warren First Lieutenant, Frank Clarke at St Georges Road, Upper Beaconsfield. One of those on the truck was his Captain, and 5 other members from Narre Warren.    

Forty seven people, fire-fighters and civilians, were to die on this day at fires all over the state. Forty six of these people died when the wind changed


Address:Magid Drive, Narre Warren, 3805
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.019336
Long: 145.298851
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Trees
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:16-February-1983
Actual Event End Date:16-February-1983


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 1st February, 2003
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design