A heroic fireman who died attempting to rescue two young girls from a burning building has finally been given the send-off he deserves.

Fred Davies tragically lost his life in August 1945, fighting a raging fire that broke out in a house in Craven Park Road, Harlesden.

The 32-year-old father-ofone, who was based at Willesden Fire Station, entered the property with no safety equipment but was left with horrific burns and died of his injuries the following day.

For his sheer bravery, Mr Davies became the only peacetime fireman to be presented with the George Cross, the highest civilian award for gallantry, introduced by King George VI in 1940.

But strangely, no mention of the prestigious accolade was made on his epitaph in Kensal Green Cemetery.

On Saturday (Aug 23) more than 70 people, including dignitaries and senior firefighters, congregated at his resting place to unveil a new plaque, which recognises the achievement.

Mr Davies's daughter Doreen attended the emotionally charged event, aswell as Renee Flynn who escaped from the burning building. Her two sisters tragically died.

Historical researcher Terry Hissey, 34, from Harrow, is documenting the fireman's life in his latest book and helped to organise the event along with the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery.

He said: "The day was more about a celebration of the life of Fred Davies and the person he was rather than marking his passing. It was very emotional but he can now be recognised for the hero he was."

About 20 uniformed firefighters from Wembley and Willesden fire stations joined the ceremony , forming a guard of honour as his recently refurbished grave was re-dedicated.

The last post was then sounded as floral wreaths were laid.

Mr Davies joined the brigade in 1937 and was in his last week of service when he was killed.

Mr Hissey added: "Fred was leaving the brigade to become a bus conductor but when the call came in he immediately volunteered to go and help tackle the blaze.

"As soon as he arrived he climbed up a ladder into a blazing second floor bedroom to rescue the two trapped girls.

"He was seen to take off his tunic, presumably to wrap it around the children, but his hands were too badly burned.

"He then walked into the room and after a short period he returned with a child in his arms and handed her out of the window. He then turned back into the room to find the other child."

According to eyewitness reports Mr Davies was engulfed by the flames and flung himself out of the window with all of his cloths alight.

He was taken to hospital but tragically died along with the two girls.

The fireman lived his married life in Fourth Avenue, Queens Park and had four brothers who all served in the military.