Today we commemorate and pay tribute to Cutchogue firefighter James Parker Wickham who, on April 5, 1930, lost his life in the line of duty while serving his community.
At approximately twelve noon on Saturday, April 5, 1930, the siren on the Cutchogue firehouse sounded for a brush fire near the eastern boundary of the fire district.
At the time, 23 year old James Parker Wickham and his younger brother John — both members of United Fire Company No. 1 — were working in the barn on the Wickham farm. Upon hearing the siren, they jumped into John's LaSalle roadster and responded to the call. As they got to the end of the farm road, the fire engine raced by on its way to the alarm.
John drove the car out onto Main Road and followed. After traveling a short distance down the road the car swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, causing it to roll over. John was slightly injured. Parker was thrown from the car and killed instantly.
James Parker Wickham had been a member of the Cutchogue Fire Department for less than two years at the time of his death. He left behind a wife and two young children.
Links to 1930 Newspaper Articles:
In November of 2012 James Parker Wickham was memorialized, when the newly constructed Southold Town Volunteer Firefighters Memorial was dedicated during a ceremony that included firefighters from across Southold Town.
A stone bearing his name was inorporated into the memorial forever memorializing his sacrifice for our community.
Link to the Memorial Dedication: