Cheapside Street Memorial

The bravery of those who have gone before us, lives on in those serving today.

Memorial service ceremony
SFRS Chief Officer Ross Haggart at a service of remembrance of Cheapside Street fire in Glasgow.

A service of remembrance has been held at the Glasgow Necropolis to remember 19 men - 14 firefighters and five Salvage Corps - who lost their lives 64 years ago fighting a fire on Cheapside Street, Glasgow.

The fire, which took place on the evening of the 28 March 1960, lead to the largest loss of life suffered by fire and rescue services in post-war Britain.

Several crews attended a fire that had engulfed a whisky bond warehouse, ultimately causing an explosion that saw the building’s 60-foot-high walls collapse.

The firefighters lost included 14 from Glasgow Fire Service and five from Glasgow Salvage Corps. They were commemorated at the service which was led by SFRS chaplains Rev Gordon Armstrong and Father Jim Thomson.

SFRS Chief Officer Ross Haggart was joined by SFRS Board Chair Dr Kirsty Darwent, Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Stephen Wright, Local Senior Officer for Glasgow David Murdoch and Bailie Thomas Kerr in a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

CO Haggart said: “I am privileged to be here today to remember each of the 19 brave men, who tragically lost their lives fighting the Cheapside Street fire.

We pay tribute to each of them, as professional firefighters, and colleagues, but they were also Fathers, Husbands, Brothers and Sons.

“Last year, also saw the tragic passing of Firefighter Barry Martin, following a fire in the former Jenners building in Edinburgh.

“Our past helps to shape who we are, and who we want to be. I am proud to say that the spirit and bravery of those who have gone before us, lives on in those serving today.

“The sacrifice made by the 19 men fighting the Cheapside Street fire will always be remembered. Their memory lives on, and our thoughts will always be with them and their families.”

The fourteen Glasgow Fire Service members who died at Cheapside Street were Sub Officers James Calder and John McPherson and Firefighters 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 five members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps - Deputy Chief Salvage Officer Edward Murray, Leading Salvageman James McLellan, Salvagemen Gordon McMillan, William Oliver and James Mungall.