Fallen Firefighters Honoured in Glasgow on Anniversary of Cheapside Street Disaster

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Cheapside Street memorial 2021

A service of remembrance has been held in Glasgow to mark the 61st anniversary of the largest peacetime loss of life suffered by the United Kingdom's fire and rescue services.

On 28 March 1960, 19 firefighters were killed in the city's Cheapside Street disaster when a fire tore through a whisky bond warehouse, causing an explosion that saw the building's 60-foot-high walls collapse.

For the second year, due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, a smaller event replaces the annual service of remembrance at the Firefighter Memorial Statue at Glasgow's Necropolis.

SFRS Chief Officer Martin Blunden was joined by Roddie Keith, Area Commander for City of Glasgow and the Lord Provost Philip Braat, in a wreath-laying ceremony to honour those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Chief Officer Blunden said: "Today, we pause to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that these 19 men made to protect the lives of others in their community.

"It's of the utmost importance that we continue to honour their bravery and pay our respects in whatever way we can during these challenging times.

"These fallen men are recognised and remembered today for their courage, dedication and self-sacrifice by myself, the Service and the people of Scotland.

"My thoughts are with their families, friends and loved ones."

Fourteen Glasgow Fire Service and five Glasgow Salvage Corps members lost their lives as they protected the public from the inferno.

The 14 Glasgow Fire Service members who died at Cheapside Street were Sub Officers James Calder and John McPherson and Firemen Christopher Boyle, William Crocket, Archibald Darroch, Alexander Grassie, George McIntyre, Daniel Davidson, Edward McMillan, Alfred Dickinson, William Watson, John Allan, Gordon Chapman, and Ian McMillan.

Also lost were 5 Glasgow Salvage Corps' members Deputy Chief Salvage Officer Edward Murray, Leading Salvageman James McLellan, Salvagemen Gordon McMillan, William Oliver and James Mungall.