Thomas
Winstanley



THOMAS WINSTANLEY was born on January 9, 1910 to John and Sarah Winstanley, of 225 Burns Street in the Poet's Row section of North Camden. His father, born in England, had come to the USA in 1895 and settled in North Camden. The family lived at 421 Erie Street when the Census was taken in 1900. John Winstanley worked in the nearby shipyards as a carpenter and as a caulker. The Thomas Dickinson family lived next door at 421 Erie. Son William, born in December of 1891, grew up to operate a garage at the point of Market and Federal Streets for the better part of 50 years.

When Thomas Winstanley was born, the family included siblings John, Mary, Richard, and Joseph when the 1910 Census was enumerated. John Winstanley left the shipyards for a short time, the 1914 City Directory listing him at 1000 Segal Street where he operated a variety store. This did not work out, and by September of 1918 both he and John Jr. were working as ship's carpenter and helper respectively, at the William Cramp and Son Dry Dock in Philadelphia. The family had moved to 228 Milton Street.

The 1920 Census shows the family had added two daughters, Elizabeth and Lydia, and had moved to 228 Milton Street, around the corner... and virtually through the back yard, of the Burns Street house. The 1924 and 1927 City Directories shows the family at 228 Byron Street, still in Poet's Row

The 1929 City Directory lists John and Sarah Winstanley at 8 Church Street in East Camden, but by April of 1930 the family had returned to Burns Street, this time at 232 Burns. The Census of 1930 reveals that three more children, Florence, Anna, and William, had arrived. Thomas Winstanley, then the 

oldest child still at home, was working as a painter in one of the nearby shipyards.

Just after 10 P.M. on February 20, 1946, yet another major fire occurred in the S.S. Kresge Department Store at 29-33 Broadway near Federal Street. First arriving units found heavy smoke billowing from the building as second and third alarms were transmitted in quick succession.

Shortly after midnight, a backdraft injured five members as flames raced through the building. Firemen William Reed, Thomas Winstanley, Theodore Guthrie, Thomas McParland and Captain Howell Needham were removed to Cooper Hospital for facial bums; whereupon each member insisted on returning to the fire following treatment. At 12:30 A.M. Deputy Chief Charles Erickson directed the Fire Dispatcher to recall a platoon of off duty members and summon them to the fire. By 2 A.M. the flames had broken through the roof and were visible ten blocks away. As the first floor began to collapse Engine Company 8 was forced into the street as a roaring column of tin vented outward some thirty-five feet over Hudson Street. While the Department was making a major effort on Broadway, another fire broke out at the Camden Foundry Company, Front and Elm Streets, North Camden. Engine Company 11 assisted by off duty members staffing reserve apparatus confined this fire to a section of the building.  

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows that Thomas Winstanley had married and had also joined the Camden Fire Department. He was then living at 214 Milton Street, around the corner from the house he grew up in.. He served with Engine Company 6 at Front and Linden Streets in the late 40s and early 1950s. After being promoted to Captain He served with Engine Company 2 at Fire Headquarters, North 5th and Arch Streets.

The 1956 and 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone directories show that Thomas Winstanley was living at 717 Bailey Street. By 1969 he had moved to 244 North 40th Street in East Camden and was living there into the 1980s. 

Thomas Winstanley passed away on November 15, 1987. He was survived by his wife, Regina S. Winstanley, who joined him in July of 1990, brother William Winstanley, who had retired at the beginning of 1987 as a Captain with the Camden Fired Department after more than 35 years of service, and sister Anna.


Engine 6 Wagon and Pumper at Front & Linden Streets
circa 1948

Left column, from left: Captain William Deitz
Firemen Robert DukesHarrison Pike, Mario Fattore
Edwin Callahan
. Right column, from left: Firemen Thomas McParland, Philip FarrowThomas Winstanley, James Stewart, Ernest Tartaglia, John "Shorty" Prucella

Click on Image to Enlarge - Click HERE to Supersize


Engine 6 Wagon and Pumper at Front & Linden Streets
circa 1949

On apparatus John Prucella and Harrison Pike- Motor Pump Operators, l to r: Philip Farrow, Edwin Callahan, Thomas McParland, Robert Dukes, Captain William Deitz, Thomas Winstanley, James Stewart, Mario Fattore, and Ernest Tartaglia 

Click on Image to Enlarge - Click HERE to Supersize


Engine Company 2 with new pumper in front of quarters, 5th & Arch Streets, 1960. 
Bottom row, from left: Fireman
Harrison MacNeir, Chief Edward MacDowell, Fireman James Troutman, Captain Albert Weller, Fireman Charles Devlin, Fireman William Hopkins, Fireman George Hennessey; Top row, left to right: Fireman Francis Stibi, Fireman Robert Briggs, Fireman Bertram Dahl, Fireman Erwin Brennan, Captain Thomas Winstanley, Fireman Anthony Orme..


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