Plaques unveiled in memory of firefighter who died in line of duty

A private ceremony was held at the fire station where Barry Martin was based.

Plaques unveiled in memory of firefighter who died in line of duty Family Handout

Memorial plaques have been unveiled to commemorate the life of a firefighter who died in the line of duty on the first anniversary of his death.

Barry Martin, 38, died on January 27, 2023 after he was critically injured while fighting a large fire at the former Jenners department store in Edinburgh earlier that week.

A Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Red Plaque and a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Memorial Plaque were unveiled on Saturday at McDonald Road fire station where the father of two was based.

Members of Mr Martin’s family, fire service colleagues and representatives from the FBU and SFRS were among those at the private ceremony.

Mr Martin’s wife Shelley Martin said: “Barry Martin was, and will always remain, the heart and soul of our family.

Barry Martin died in January last year.

“There is nothing right about our profound loss, but what we must do is do right with what we are forced to live with.

“That is, living a life without him physically here to have and to hold.

“Therefore, what is right is to celebrate our extraordinary Barry, who shines through his beautiful sons Oliver and Daniel, and forever blazes with a ferocious love in our hearts.

“We thank everyone who helped us to make this day about our Barry.”

Mr Martin was the first Scottish firefighter to die in the line of duty since Ewan Williamson, who died after being injured in Edinburgh in 2009.

Shelley Martin, widow of Barry Martin, with their twin sons Oliver and Daniel at his funeral in Edinburgh

The Red Plaque project is funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery and creates memorials for firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty across the UK.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “As we mark one year since he lost his life in the line of duty, Barry Martin and his loved ones will be in the thoughts of firefighters everywhere.

“The plaques unveiled in his memory will provide a place of reflection and remembrance for all who knew him, and for future generations of firefighters to pay their respects.

“The Fire Brigades Union honours Barry’s dedication and bravery. We commemorate his life and work with pride, and we will ensure he is remembered always.”

Seona Hart, FBU Scotland treasurer, said: “The Red Plaques play an important role for the loved ones of the firefighters they remember, as well as sharing their stories with the community.”

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