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The Firefighters' Heritage Trail

Cheapside Street

Whilst engaged in a protracted and very serious fire in a whisky storage warehouse, a sudden and massive explosion occurred resulting in the instantaneous deaths of fourteen Firefighters of the Glasgow Fire Service and five members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps.

The explosion caused the walls of the warehouse to collapse simultaneously into Cheapside Street and Warroch Street. It was the largest number of Fire Service deaths in the peacetime history of the British Fire Service.

There was international shock at the deaths of so many brave Firemen and Salvagemen.

Those who lost their lives were: Sub Officer James Calder, Sub Officer John McPherson, Firemen John Allan, Christopher Boyle, Gordon Chapman, William Crocket, Archibald Darroch, Daniel Davidson, Alfred Dickinson, Alexander Grassie, George McIntyre, Edward McMillan, Ian McMillan and William Watson, Supt. Salvageman Edward Murray, Leading Salvageman James McLellan, Salvagemen Gordon McMillan, James Mungall and William Oliver.

At what was almost a state funeral, with representatives from all of the Fire Brigades in Britain, thousands of citizens lined the streets leading to Glasgow Cathedral as the long funeral cortege slowly passed.

The memorial plaque is situated on the Clydeside walkway near the Kingston Bridge.

Online Resources

Cheapside Street video (© TrueBravery/YouTube)

Scotland's History - Glasgow's Cheapside Street Fire (© BBC Scotland)