FRANK BRADLEY MEMORIAL AND WALK WAY
Friday August 23, 2019

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The memorial that sits in front of the Main Fire Station is named in honor of Simsbury's first firefighter to die while a member of the fire company since its founding. Ironically Frank Bradley was only a member for 7 days from the first formal day of existence for the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company which occurred on June 29, 1944. On July 6th Frank took his family to Hartford to watch the Circus and perished along with his wife in the infamous Hartford Circus Fire.  Click here to read more about Frank Bradley.


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When the New Main Station was being designed the building committee and the Fire Company worked together to create this memorial that honors those who have served this community as Volunteer Firefighters or members of the Ladies Auxiliary, became honorary life members and have passed on or died while an active member of the Fire Company.  Adjacent to the rear of the Monument are bricks that honor each of those members.


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The memorial also honors the only Firefighter from Simsbury to die in the line of duty,  Lieutenant Richard Kelleher died while fighting a fire at the Knights of Columbus hall which was adjacent to the north side of Saint Mary's Church on November 6, 1981.  A granite stone as been placed in his honor in front of the memorial.


 

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While the memorial is located at the Main Station, the remembrance is for the entire fire company from each of the 6 fire stations in town. Each of the six panels at the top of the memorial contains the name of each Fire Station.  In fact if you are standing at the memorial each station name faces the direction of where the station is located in town.


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  Attached to the base is a brass plaque that explains the origin of the memorial and a chrome bell is mounted in the center which is tolled during the Fire Company's annual memorial service when the name of each passed member is read.

 

(Inscription on the memorial)

 

Frank R. Bradley Memorial

In April of 1944, seventeen men stepped forward to form what would

become the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company.  Frank Bradley was one of those

original seventeen

In June of that year the Simsbury Fire District was created, followed closely by the

creation of the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company with the joint responsibility to provide

fire protection for the residents of Simsbury.

On July 6th, 1944, Frank Bradley, his wife Helen, and their two young daughters were

attending the matinee performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in

Hartford, CT. Shortly after the show started, fire erupted across the big top.  In a matter of

seconds, mass panic erupted as the spectators stormed towards the exits in all directions.

Tragically, Frank and Helen Bradley became from their two daughters.  Neither of the parents

would emerge from the big top alive.  Frank Bradley, that day, became the first deceased member of the

Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company.

It is in his name that the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company honors all of our deceased members who have served

the community with dedication and pride.

Remembering the Fallen

Remembering the Fallen

In memory of those firefighters who died in the line of duty

For All Emergencies

Call 911 for all Emergencies