The plaque on the wall in Postman's Park reads, "George Frederick Simonds, Of Islington, Rushed Into A Burning House To Save An Aged Widow And Died Of His Injuries. Dec 1 1886."
However, the man whom the plaque is remembering was, in fact, Frederick George Simons (1845 - 1886).
Regarding his death the St James's Gazette published the following brief article, which was published in its edition of 2nd December 1886:-
"A fire occurred yesterday afternoon at 61, St. Peter-street, Islington, at a house occupied by Mr. E. Corke.
On the firemen arriving they found the ground floor ablaze, the fire completely cutting off communication with the upper part of the premises.
Mr. Frederick Simons, who was in the upper part of the house, appeared at the front window on the second floor, and, after appealing to the by-standers for help, threw himself out.
He was picked up, fearfully injured, and he died immediately after being removed to the hospital."
On the same day The Evening Standard published an article that went into a little more detail:-
"A fire occurred yesterday afternoon at 61, St Peter-street, Islington, at a private house occupied by Mrs. E. Corke.
On the firemen arriving, they found the ground floor ablaze.
Deliveries were got to work from a standpipe; but the fire ran up the staircase, completely cutting off communication with the lower part of the premises.
Mer. Frederick Simons, 41, was in the upper part of the house, and he must have become aware of the fire too late to escape by the staircase. He appeared at the front window on the second floor, and, after appealing to the bystanders for help. hurled himself out of the window.
He fell with a terrible thud, and was picked up fearfully injured.
Although immediately removed to a hospital, he expired in a short time.
The official report states:-
"Called at 2.44pm, to 61 St Pater-street, Islington, premises of K. Corke, private; came of fire spark from fire grate; backroom on ground floor and contents burnt out; staircase to second floor damaged by fire; rest of house of eight rooms and contents by heat, smoke, and water.
Frederick Simons, 41, severely injured by jumping from the front window of the second floor and taken to hospital (since dead).""
However, it later transpired that the initial press reports concerning the role of Frederick Simons were, in fact, incorrect.
He had not, as some newspapers been reported, been a resident at the property, but, rather, he was a neighbour who, an seeing the house ablaze, had rushed into the burning building intending to save the life of Elizabeth Corke.
Tragically, as it transpired, he was unaware that Elizabeth had, in fact, rushed out of the back door of the property when sparks from the fire had set fire to her rug and started the conflagration; so she had been safely out of the house when Frederick had rushed in to look for her.
It also later transpired that the initial reports of how Frederick met with his death had been wrong, as was demonstrated by a corrective letter that was published by The Evening Standard on the 3rd of December 1886:-
"Referring to the fire in St. Peter-street, Islington, a correspondent states that Mr. Simons did not leap from the second-floor window, but that he got out of the landing window on to the cistern, and that he fell into the backyard, about fourteen feet, and was carried to his own house [he lived in nearby Preband street] where he shortly afterwards died."