Gordon Pratten, aged 82 years, passed away on 13th March 2018.
Gordon was called up for his National Service with the Gloucester Regiment at 18, at his Passing out he was awarded Best Recruit of the intake, after training he transferred to the Dorset Regiment and served in Hong Kong and Korea.
In March 1957 Gordon joined the Bristol Fire Brigade and was stationed at Speedwell. In 1963 he along with two other Firemen decided to emigrate to Australia with his family on the £10 ticket scheme, living in Adelaide. One story he often told was, one at work on the roof of a cottage on Kangaroo Island, it was so hot he went for a swim in the sea. After a while he work colleagues suddenly became very animated and stared waving and calling to him from the rook they were working on. He started to swim back to shore and when he turned around to look behind him, there was a large dorsal fin heading straight for him. he put on a turn of speed and got to the beach in record time!!! Later he took a job with the Commonwealth Police Force and moved to Canberra.
Then in 1966 they decided to return home to Bristol and restart his career with the Bristol Fire Brigade, he went on to complete 28 years of service having served at Speedwell again and then to Patchway, he even appeared in the station Christmas pantomimes, finally retiring in 1987.