Alexander BURGESS

Inscription Police Memorial Toxteth Park cemetery
Liverpool Mercury, Feb 11th, 1874


The Fireman 330, BURGESS, who lost his life in a fire in Manesty Lane, belonged to Grantown, Inverness-shire, he joined the force on the 13th Dec 1870 and was promoted to the rank of fireman on 6th Feb 1872. He was not injured in the fire in Foster St, but received injuries in the fire in Sefton St on the 16th Aug last, and was off duty for 19days, since which time he has regularly attended his duty.

BURGESS was an exceedingly well conducted man and had been several times rewarded for his energy at fires. He was in the Glasgow police for some time before joining the Liverpool police. He was good and kind to his aged parents to whom he frequently transmitted money.

Liverpool Mercury, Feb 12th, 1874


Yesterday Mr C. ASPINALL, borough coroner, held an inquest on the body of Alexander BURGESS, aged 29, police constable and fireman who lost his life during the fire on Monday morning at Messers TATE and Sons, sugar warehouse, Manesty Lane.

The evidence showed that the fire was found a few minutes after 12 on Monday morning, when information was immediately given and the fire brigade were soon in attendance. The building was four stories high and smoke was first observed issuing from the second floor. The fire spread rapidly, notwithstanding the efforts made to arrest its progress and it was not entirely extinguished until 3.30am, when the building was completely gutted.

About 1.30am the roof gave way and immediately afterwards a coping stone fell into the street. At that time the deceased was assisting to straighten some hose which was in use, and was in a stooping position when the stone struck him on the head. The head constable was close behind at the time and had called to those about him to keep clear of the falling stones. Deceased was speedily removed to the infirmary, but when he reached the institution was found dead.

Benjamin ALLEN, engine-driver at the warehouse, witness, stated he was the last person on the premises on Sunday evening, but could not account for the origin of the fire.

A verdict of, Accidental death, was returned and that there was no evidence to show how the fire originated, the jury added that they considered the disclosed great activity on the part of the police, and also showed that the supply of water was abundant, but they regretted that it seemed impossible to trace or even to suggest a possible cause for the origin of the fire.

Liverpool Mercury, Feb 19th, 1874


It will be remembered that on the 9th of the present month Alexander BURGESS an officer in the fire brigade of the Liverpool Police force lost his life while attempting to extinguish a conflagration at Messers TATE and Sons, sugar warehouse, Manesty Lane. BURGESS was a young single man who joined the force on the 13th Dec 1870 and was promoted to the rank of fireman on 6th Feb 1872, his conduct in the interval having been of the most satisfactory character. It appears that at the time of his death BURGESS had a father living at Grantown, Scotland, aged 68yrs, and he regularly transmitted money for the support of his parent who was in so an enfeebled state of health as to preclude the possibility of him earning a livelihood. The intelligence of the disaster was conveyed to the old man by Rev H. D. MACQUEEN of Inverallan, who, in a letter forwarded to Major GREIG, bears testimony to the high character of BURGESSS father, and says if any assistance could be rendered to the old, man it would be well bestowed, and be a great boon to him.

The matter was brought before the sub-committee of the Watch Committee but as the 31st section of the Liverpool Police Superannuation Fund Act of 1854, authorised allowances only to be paid to widows and children of constables dying in service, the committee were unable to make any grant to the father of Alexander BURGESS, although they believed the case to be a deserving one.

Under these circumstances a number of gentlemen have interested themselves and are endeavouring to raise funds in aid of the father who has been deprived of all assistance by his son in consequence of this fatality in the discharge of an arduous and dangerous public duty. We are sure when these facts become known the Liverpool public, who are so much indebted to the vigilance and bravery of the fire police, will not allow an aged and infirm old man to be deprived of the necessities of life. Subscriptions in aid of the fund will be kindly received by Major GREIG, Head constable, by Mr O. H. WILLIAMS, 2 Dale St, and by J. B. KER, 40 Chapel St.

Liverpool Mercury, March 5th, 1874


We are informed that the contribution in aid of the father of the late Alexander BURGESS, PC 330, killed at the fire in Manesty Lane on the 9th Feb, now amounts over 90 pounds. Should the amount realised admit to such a course it is intended to purchase for the old man a small annuity, which may in some degree be a substitute for the assistance rendered him by his son thus unexpectedly cut off.


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