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martinpoynterfuneral002Hundreds of Islanders came together and paid their respects to Martin Poynter, a popular firefighter of almost 30 years, at a full fire service funeral in Newport this afternoon (Wednesday).

Watch Manager Poynter – known as Pin – turned out from Newport Fire Station for the last time when he was carried through the streets of Newport on a turntable ladder appliance with full fire service honours. Mr Poynter’s coffin was draped with a Union Jack with his helmet placed on top and was flanked by colleagues and his son, Toby, who rod on the appliance beside him. Newport fell silent.

martinpoynterfuneral005The streets were lined with friends and members of the public, many of whom have been touched by Martin’s dedication, professionalism, enthusiasm and love of life over the years from the many different roles he took on. A guard of honour was formed by members of the emergency services stretching the length of South Street, who fell in behind the appliance as it progressed through the town.

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martinpoynterfuneral007The procession, led by two Police outriders, travelled from the fire station in South Street to St Thomas’ Church for a public service, which was relayed outside the packed-out church.

During the service a number of hymns were sung, poems read and words were given from Steve Apter, the Chief Fire Officer, and friend Kevin Winchcombe. The Island’s Lord-Lieutenant Major General Martin White attended.

Pallbearers – colleagues from the fire service – carried the coffin both in and out of the church, the later greeted with a round of applause. Standard bearers from across the country raised their standards.

martinbw2Martin, 49, joined the fire service as a retained firefighter back in 1986 before becoming a wholetime firefighter in 1989. He served at Newport Fire Station as Watch Manager of Blue Watch most recently. He passed away on 25th February following a short illness

During his career the gentle giant played an instrumental role within the community safety side of the fire service, leading the LIFE (Local Intervention Fire Education) and Firesetter courses, inspiring many young people across the Island who had been struggling at school, at home or in the community.

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Martin’s work led to him being awarded two special commendations including the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation.

A private cremation was held following the service.

Martin leaves his wife, Helen, daughter Grace and sons Toby, Harry and Max, sister Claire and parents Roger and Pauline.






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