Geoffrey Blackstone was born near Stamford, Lincolnshire in 1910. Educated at Uppingham School, he worked for the family engineering company, before joining the London Fire Brigade as a Direct Entry Officer in 1938. He won the George Medal during the Blitz, when he was the Divisional Officer responsible for London south of the river. An auxiliary fire station was bombed at Woolwich, and he worked for four hours with his bare hands, rescuing several people while more bombs fell and the building was in danger of collapse.
Later, he wrote A History of the British Fire Service, published in 1957.