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Firefighters Memorial : 20-February-2013
Firefighters Memorial : 20-February-2013

Photographs supplied by Scott Cunningham

The monument commemorates the firefighters who were killed in the Ash Wednesday fires.

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 where situated on St Georges Road, Upper Beaconsfield, on the top of a hill. When the change came through the fire travelled from High St, up the hill to St Georges Rd, 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:St Georges Road , Critchley Parker Junior Reserve , Beaconsfield Upper, 3808
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.001349
Long: 145.39548
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


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


Front Inscription

This memorial was erected in memory of the firefighters who lost their lives near this site on
“Ash Wednesday” - 16th February 1983

Narre Warren Rural Fire Brigade    Panton Hill Rural Fire Brigade                               

John Minett                                       Bill Marsden
Dorothy Balcombe                            Peter Singleton
Lloyd Donovan                                  Maurice Atkinson
Murray Forsythe                                Stuart Duff
Neil Henry                                         Neville Jeffery
Darrell Wilkes
                          Casual Firefighter  
                         Keith Busbridge

Country Fire Authority
Forests Commission Victoria

Source: MA,ACPH
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au