The first purchase of fire extinguishing appliance, by the Milton Parish Council was in 1910, when they invested in eight Minimax fire extinguishers which were kept in various shops of Ashley, Bashley, New Milton and Old Milton. But the brigade was formed in 1912, after a long agitation by the Ratepayers' Association and the appliances consisted of a hose cart, 600 feet of hose, necessary nozzles, standpipe, etc. On the fire alarm (which was the bell on Station Bridge) being sounded the hose, etc, was usually taken in the sidecar or car of Councillor Kirkman or nearest car available. The first Captain of the brigade was Mr Wescott and this post was afterwards held by Mr Snuggs, Mr S Whitcher, Capt Denson and now by Mr E Whitcher. During the war the appliances were in charge of the local platoon of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and were under the charge of Sgt Kirkman.
About five years ago the Parish Council purchased an up-to-date Dennis engine, which is capable of tackling any ordinary outbreak in the district and mortar maroons were installed as the means of calling the brigade together.
Ever since the brigade was formed they have been noted for the prompt turn out at fires, and it is usually only three to four minutes after the second maroon is let off for the engine to start on its journey with at least half the brigade. This is a very creditable performance, especially as all the men are volunteers and are usually at work in different parts of the district. The men get no pay whatever for their drills, but are, of course, paid during their attendance at a fire, which payment is usually met by the Insurance Company interested in the threatened building. We might mention that the alarms are set off at the Milton Hotel by Mr Harvell, who has always been connected with the brigade, first as Hon Secretary and then as an Hon Member.
The only large fires that the brigade have had to attend to were at Furzie Close and Messrs Butler's shop, both of which were prevented from doing enormous damage by the energetic work of our local brigade.