2 a.m.

They kept coming down. It was worse than the screaming of the high explosive bombs, was the sound of the firebombs. They had been going for hours.

England felt as if he was going to go mad.

It was the repetition that kept them going. Only the hope they could save one thing tonight. Keep the fires at bay. Keep the fires away from St. Paul's Cathedral. There was no stopping. If any of them halted, the fires would come, sweeping across the churchyard. If any of the Watch stopped the roof would be aflame and all of this hard work would be for naught.

Something had to be won this night. England had not seen London so ablaze since 1666. If his hazy mind availed him, just for this moment, he would forget how small that fire seemed now. And that it was not only London.

Somewhere inside of him he was screaming.

Somewhere outside of him he put out another fire.

If only his tears were enough to cleanse the burns from his people.


The evening of December 29 was the beginning of the Second Great Fire of London, the most destructive raid of the London Blitz. Over 1,500 fires were started, stretching from Islington to St. Paul's Churchyard. The Cathedral was saved by dedicated firemen and St. Paul's Watch who kept the fires breaking out on the roof from spreading.