Fire-fighting family across Midhurst and Petworth

Nigel Purves and his son Mark who is following in his footsteps. Picture by Kate Shemilt. C130634-3
Nigel Purves and his son Mark who is following in his footsteps. Picture by Kate Shemilt. C130634-3
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IT WAS a case of keeping up a family tradition when 24-year-old Mark Purves decided it was time to enrol for his firefighter training.

For Mark’s father Nigel has been a retained firefighter with Midhurst Fire Station for 33 years and his brother Stuart, four years older than him, is a full-time fireman at Shoreham airport and is also a retained firefighter at Petworth where he lives.

Mark, already an active force in the town as Midhurst’s youngest town councillor, told the Observer: “My brother joined when he was 18 – it was all he had ever wanted to do and he has been a fireman now ten years. It was slightly different for me as I was working at Cowdray Park Golf Club. But I wanted to serve alongside my dad and I thought I would get on and do the training now.”

He completed his training and passed out at East Preston along with five other new retained firefighters, who are now based at retained stations around the county.

Mark, now operations manager at the golf club, has just completed his first week at Midhurst as a retrained firefighter.

“It’s a home from home for me really,” he said. The fire service has been part of my life and my brother’s, ever since we can remember. Dad has been there longer than I have been alive.”