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Frank Bailey: Google Doodle celebrates Guyanese-British first black firefighter and social worker’s 95th birthday

Google Doodle praises the 95th birthday celebration of Guyanese-British firefighter and social worker Frank Bailey, who is known as being one of the first black firefighters of post-war London in the United Kingdom, on November 26, 2020.

Who was Frank Bailey?

frank bailey
Frank Bailey

Frank Arthur Bailey was born on 26 November 1925, in British Guiana (presently Guyana), South America. Among his pioneering achievements for the sake of diversity and incorporation, Bailey is likewise credited as one of the first Black social workers specializing in mental health in London’s Kensington and Chelsea borough.

Frank Bailey went to local church schools. He proceeded to become an engineering student and dealt with a German ship as a coal trimmer. He moved to New York, United States, and looked for some kind of employment at a hospital initially as a porter however soon became a medical assistant within the physiotherapy department.

At the hospital, Frank Bailey effectively led a walkout in opposition to racially isolated dining facilities. Afterward, he wedded Isabella Maven however they later divorced.

In 1953, after shortly getting back to British Guiana, Frank Bailey moved to London, England. Afterward, he went to a Trades Union Congress conference where a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) delegate disclosed to him that black people were not employed by the fire service since they were “not educated or strong enough” however he challenged this by applying as a firefighter.

In 1955, Frank Bailey was acknowledged and joined the West Ham Fire Brigade and served at the Silvertown Fire Station in east London. He became the first full-time firefighter in London and perhaps the UK.

In any case, there are a few reports of black firefighters that served during World War II. Before long, Frank Bailey became the FBU branch delegate and become befriended the then FBU general secretary, John Horner.

In 1965, Frank Bailey left the service due to being systematically being turned down for promotions with white firefighters being promoted in front of him. Agreeing with Michael Nicholas, a previous FBU national secretary for black and ethnic minority individuals, this was because of the innate racism within the service.

Frank Bailey was then employed as a social worker in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, and became one of the first black mental welfare officers and psychiatric social workers. He at that point worked as a guardian ad litem and therefore retired in 1990. During this time he was likewise the first black legal advisor to black youngsters at Marylebone Magistrates Court.

Frank Bailey wedded his second spouse Josie Munro however it brought about divorce. Afterward, Bailey wedded Joy Greenall which additionally finished in divorce.

Frank Bailey died on 2 December 2015 at the age of 90.

On 26 November 2020, Google honored Frank Bailey’s 95th Birthday with Google Doodle in the UK. Google Doodle was presented by West Yorkshire-based visitor artist Nicole Miles.

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