William Edward Purdy
Nominator:Julie Brookes    Category: Community

 William Edward Purdy was born around 1901 in Seaham Harbour.
Lived in the Firemen's houses, Robert Square from 1932 to about 1956 when he came to United States of America. He was a Fireman and Ambulance driver for 32 years in Seaham Harbour. In fact he opened the new firehouse on Princess Road .     
Bill Purdy saved many lives in Seaham by getting people to Sunderland and Ryhope Hospitals as quick as he could drive that ambulance. He also saved many lives going to fires at all times of night and day.
During the war he was on duty  24 hours a day, every day. During the air raids on  Seaham harbour whilst we were in the air raid shelters,he along with the rest of the firemen, was out on the streets fighting fires and rescuing people from bombed buildings. He personally built an air raid shelter in the back yard of Robert Square for our family of eight children. The shelter was partly underground and built of corrugated Iron panels then covered with tons & tons of soil. Inside he built bunk beds and shelves where we stored emergency supplies. The whole neighborhood used to come to our shelter when the sirens went off because it was big & cozey and as safe as a shelter could be.