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Frank Bailey: Google honors UK’s first black firefighter on 95th birthday

Devdiscourse News Desk | London | Updated: 26-11-2020 12:15 IST | Created: 26-11-2020 12:15 IST
Frank Bailey: Google honors UK’s first black firefighter on 95th birthday
Frank Bailey moved to New York, United States, and found work at a hospital initially as a porter but soon became a medical assistant within the physiotherapy department. Image Credit: Google doodle

Happy Birthday Frank Bailey!!!

Google today honors UK's one of the first black firefighters, Frank Bailey on his 95th birthday. He became the first Black legal advisor for Black youths at Marylebone Magistrates Court.

Frank Bailey (Frank Arthur Bailey) was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) in South America on November 26, 1925 and was educated at local church schools. He attended local schools and then took a job on a German trade ship, which brought him to New York.

Frank Bailey moved to New York, United States, and found work at a hospital initially as a porter but soon became a medical assistant within the physiotherapy department. At the hospital, he successfully led a walkout in opposition to racially segregated dining facilities.

Frank Bailey moved to London in 1953 after returning from British Guiana. Later, he attended a Trades Union Congress conference where a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) delegate told him that black people were not employed by the fire service because they were "not educated or strong enough" though he challenged this by applying as a firefighter.

In 1955, Frank Bailey as accepted and joined the West Ham Fire Brigade and served at the Silvertown Fire Station in east London. He became the first full-time firefighter in London and possibly the UK. Soon after, he became the FBU branch representative and befriended the then FBU general secretary, John Horner.

A lifelong advocate for workers' rights, Frank Bailey became a union branch representative before the repeated denial of promotions pushed him to leave his post in 1965. He then transitioned into social work and became the first Black legal advisor for Black youths at Marylebone Magistrates Court.

Frank Bailey died at the age of 90 on December 2, 2015. Google dedicates a fascinating doodle to him for his fight for equality for all.

Also Read: Saloma: Google doodle on Malaysia's First National Songbird, Marilyn Monroe of Asia


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