Robert CRITCHLEY

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Inscription Police monument Toxteth Park cemetery
Liverpool Mercury, Oct 19th, 1865

Extensive fire at Lard refinery

About 12pm, last night while PC DAVIS [546] was on duty in Rigby St, Oldhall St, his attention was attracted by a small but bright light on the premises of Messers WHITWORTH and Sons, used as an oil and lard refinery. Having procured the assistance of another officer DAVIS broke down the door, in the expectation that jointly they would be able to extinguish the flame, which they saw proceeding from some erection near the boiler. The moment the air obtained admission to the premises the flames sprang up with amazing rapidity and enveloped the entire room, which was filled with lard and oil. The alarms had been previously given and the reels from the Princes Dock were quickly on the spot followed by the engine and reels from Hatton Garden and the engine of the West of England fire brigade.

The fire had however taken such a hold of the inflammable materials with which the premises were stored, that no hope of saving the building was from the first entertained. At the time of going to press the fire was still raging, but there was every prospect of it being subdued without igniting adjoining buildings. seven stories in height, also belonging to Messers WHITWORTH and stored with lard and oil. The walls only of the refinery are left standing and nearly all the valuable stock destroyed. We understand Messers WHITWORTH are insured.

Liverpool Mercury, Nov 2nd, 1865

Fatal accident to a policeman

An inquest was held yesterday before the borough coroner Mr CURRY, touching the death of PC Robert CRITCHLEY, who met with an accident while on duty at a fire in Rigby St, PC James HIGNETT, one of the fire brigade said , on the morning of the 19th ult he went to Rigby St and found a lard warehouse on fire there. The deceased and another fireman were there, a ladder was erected to the 3rd and top storey. The deceased and witness ascended the ladder, the deceased going first. After getting to the top of it he remained guiding the branch, and witness assisted him with the hose. About 1 o clock the deceased complained of the smoke coming through the windows, which caused him to cough very much. Witness asked what was the matter, he replied, it is very strong, I cannot stand it much longer.

Witness told him he would change places with him, but, that where he was the smoke was equally as bad. The deceased was then going to HIGNETTS place, and as they were passing each other on the ladder, he fell over HIGNETTS shoulder, the ladder being very slippery with the lard from the warehouse. The deceased fell from a height of 20ft, striking on his side on the pavement, The ladder was in good order and properly erected. The deceased was taken to the Northern Hospital where he died on Monday last. Verdict, Accidentally killed.

Copyright 2002 / To date

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