AN ex-fireman who collects fire brigade medals has stumbled across a Bridgwater hero.

Mike Taylor, of Combwich, picked up a type one British Empire Medal for civilian bravery at an auction.

Mike told the Mercury: “It belongs to a man from Bridgwater, Walter Luckes, who was a war hero.

“Walter was born in Bridgwater on May 8, 1870, and lived in St John Street.

“He joined the merchant navy, went to the metropolitan fire brigade and was awarded the medal for rescuing people on two different occasions during the Zeppelin bombing raids.”

According to an old document Mr Taylor holds on Mr Luckes, it appears Luckes was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal in 1897.

In July, 1902, he was commended for rendering first aid at a very difficult case. He was awarded a long service medal in 1909, what appears to be a King George V Coronation Medal in 1911, commended for saving six lives from a partially collapsed building in 1916 and received a British Empire Medal in 1920 for his work with London Fire Brigade during the First World War air raids.

Mr Luckes, who served 27 years in the fire brigade, is buried in Wembdon cemetery and Mike thinks he still has relatives in Bridgwater area.

Mike added: “I just think it would be nice for people to know what a hero this man was.”

DO you have any information about Mr Luckes? Contact the Mercury on 01278-727962 or e-mail