Great-great-great-granddaughter of London Fire Brigade founder opens Rainham forest
PUBLISHED: 11:18 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:18 12 August 2016
A forest named after the first chief officer of London Fire Brigade officially opened in Rainham yesterday.
Braidwood Forest, in Ingrebourne Hill, Rainham Road, was named after James Braidwood, the first Superintendent of London Fire Brigade.
His great-great-great-granddaughter, Diana Hamilton-Jones, travelled from The Netherlands, where she described Mr Braidwood as an unsung hero.
She said: “James Braidwood is today very much an unsung hero, so to have this new forest named after him means that every visitor who comes to enjoy the peace and beauty of the area will go away knowing who he was and how much he contributed to our society.
“It means a great deal to the family that firefighters have put forward his name for recognition 155 years after his death.”
A total of 150 trees were planted in March this year as part of the Brigade’s 150th anniversary celebrations, as much of the Brigade’s early fire gear was made of wood.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, who officially opened, said: “It is an honour to have been joined by the great-great-great-granddaughter of James Braidwood in the Brigade’s 150th anniversary year.
“Naming the forest after James Braidwood is a fitting tribute and I hope it will help raise the profile of the work he did for the Brigade.
“The forest helps us give back to the community and I hope it will be enjoyed by the community in Rainham and further afield for years to come.”
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