Dedication of memorial to remember firefighters who lost their lives in tragic fire

Sun Valley Fire 1993

The fire at a factory in Hereford formerly known as ‘Sun Valley’ on 6 September 1993 was one of the biggest the city of Hereford has ever seen. Tragically while tackling the fire two Firefighters lost their lives.

At its height, 130 Firefighters were at the scene, using 23 pumping appliances and in memory of the two Firefighters who never made it out of the factory, work has been ongoing to remember David Morris and John Davies.

A Red Plaque, funded by the Fire Brigade Union’s 100 lottery, was placed at the Queenswood Country Park, Dinmore in July 2021 and pays tribute to the two men who ‘gave their lives in the line of duty’.

The public site on Dinmore Hill lies halfway between the two Firefighters’ hometowns of Hereford and Leominster. The woodland site, popular with families and walkers, is therefore seen as the perfect location to remember the men.

John Davies, who was 34, was a retained Firefighter from Leominster but as he worked in Hereford, would often attend emergencies in the city.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old David Morris was a fulltime Firefighter with 11 years’ service when he responded to the fire which started in a unit for defrosting meat.

Insulation panels in the factory ceiling meant smoke and flames travelled unnoticed through the roof space, setting fire to ceilings which collapsed.

In addition to the circular Red Plaque at Queenswood, a further permanent tribute of a lead plaque has been erected in the Lady Arbour Garden in the city’s most prominent landmark on the walls of Hereford Cathedral.

In this the 30th anniversary year, a memorial and dedication service will take place at the Cathedral on Saturday May 13 at 1730 hrs. The Dean of Hereford The Reverend Canon Sarah Brown will lead the service and unveil the lead plaque.

Dignitaries including His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire and the High Sherriff of Herefordshire will be attending, alongside the Chief Fire Officer and members of Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority.

Students from Hereford’s NMiTE University worked alongside the lead craftsmen on the project to create this fitting tribute, designed by Hereford Firefighters.

The organising committee from Hereford Fire Station welcome all serving Firefighters past and present, along with any members of the public who wish to pay their respects, to join them at this service in Hereford Cathedral on Saturday May 13.

If you would like any further information, please email Adrian Morris directly