Obituary: Barry Glover – longserving New Forest firefighter
AN honour guard of almost 40 serving and retired firefighters lined up to pay tribute to New Forest fire officer Barry Glover as his hearse left Lyndhurst fire station on its way to his funeral.
Described as “big both in stature and personality” by former colleagues, he was said to be “a well-liked and highly respected member of the community”.
Barry, who was a long-serving New Forest fire officer and popular Lyndhurst resident, died at the age of 85.
Born on 18th December 1935, he spent his early years in Hounsdown, Totton, before moving to Minstead at the age of 14 where his father opened a market garden.
On leaving school, Barry worked in the family business before training as a vehicle mechanic at the former Southern Electricity Board’s workshop at Castle Malwood.
He did two years’ National Service with the army, after which he worked at Monsanto Chemicals near Fawley where he was a member of the company’s security and fire team, rising to the rank of leading fireman.
In 1957 he joined what Hampshire Fire Service as a part-time on-call firefighter at Lyndhurst.
Rising through the ranks, he was promoted to sub-officer in 1976, becoming the officer in charge of Lyndhurst fire station’s part-time on-call crew.
Under his leadership they earned a reputation for being one of the best trained and most efficient firefighting teams in Hampshire.
During his time there he attended fires of all kinds, including houses, factories, heathland, and forestry plantations.
He also dealt with a number of serious petro-chemical emergencies at industrial sites on the Waterside.
A further aspect of his work involved rescuing New Forest commoners’ animals which had suffered mishaps and freeing the victims of vehicle accidents on New Forest roads.
In 1991 he reached the fire brigade’s compulsory retirement age after serving the New Forest community for over 34 years.
During his service with the fire brigade, he witnessed many improvements in fire appliance design, equipment and communications.
Barry once recalled how before two-way radios were introduced widely some fire stations had to rely on crew members using motorcycles to get to a telephone kiosk to ring the fire control room.
After retiring he became an HGV driver until the age of 73 when his family finally persuaded him to give up work altogether.
But he still kept himself busy carrying out all sorts of odd jobs for relatives.
He died on 27th May following a short illness.
The parade at Lyndhurst fire station was followed by cremation at Test Valley Crematorium, near Romsey.
Barry is survived by wife Joan to whom he was married for 67 years.
They had a daughter and four sons, one of whom died through illness. Barry also leaves 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.