Liverpool Mercury, Nov 21st, 1863
This interesting ceremony took place yesterday at the Toxteth Park Cemetery, Smithdown Lane in the presence of a large body of the police and fire brigade and a considerable number of the general public. The monument was originally designed as a memorial of esteem on the part of the fire brigade towards the late Insp COMMELIN, accidentally killed some time since at a fire, the police force and others joining in the movement, a sufficient sum was raised [about 120 pounds] to provide a kind of mausoleum as the last resting place of those men who should lose their lives in the performance of the hazardous duties they are frequently called upon to perform. As much intrepidity is sometimes displayed at a fire as on the battle-field, and it is well that there should be some permanent record of the fate of the brave men who, like COMMELIN, HARDAKER and ATKINSON, meet with death in the post of duty.
The members of the Liverpool Fire Brigade have on many memorable occasions shown a daring courage in the saving of life and the preservation of property which makes the whole community their debtors, and though we trust the necessity may not arise for inscribing another name upon this granite pillar, the existence of such a memorial is a guarantee to every man in the force that, should his life be sacrificed, his name and his fate shall not be forgotten. The monument is situate upon the side of the cemetery furthest from the principal entrance at Smithdown Lane. It was designed by Mr BEARD, manager of the cemetery, and consists of a massive pillar of polished granite, placed upon a broad pedestal and surmounted by an ornamental vase, out of which springs a flame, emblematical of the purpose the memorial is intended to serve. An oblong piece of ground has been secured and a vault constructed underneath, in which it is proposed to inter [free of expense to their friends] those belonging to the police force or fire brigade who may hereafter meet with fatal accidents in the cases of fire. This place is enclosed by a neat iron fence, is ornamented with flowers and shrubs, and forms an interesting addition to the cemetery.
Upon one side of the pillar is the inscription:-
Erected by his comrades and friends as a mark of their esteem, to the memory of John COMMELIN, inspector of the Liverpool Fire Brigade who was killed in the discharge of his duty by the sudden falling of a wall while at a fire on the premises of Messers Garnock Bibby and Co, Wavertree, July 28th, 1861, aged 39 years.
On the other side reads, Also Robert HARDAKER. Who was killed at a fire at the Sailors Home April 29th, 1860, aged 44yrs.
On the third face there is , Richard ATKINSON, who died from injuries received at a fire in School Lane, March 8th, 1863, aged 31years.
Space is left for the names of those who may unfortunately meet with a like fate. The circumstances attending the deaths of the above men are well told in the admirable speech of Divisional Superintendent RIDE. A portion of the funds has been kept in reserve for keeping the memorial in good order, and every care taken to render it what it is intended to be, a lasting memento to the brave performance of dangerous duties.
The inaugural ceremony was of a simple character, fixed to take place at 2pm.
The police force was represented by about 300 men, under Divisional Superintendent RIDE and the fire brigade by about 80 men under Superintendent HEWITT. A number of the West of England firemen under Superintendent BARRETT also showed their fellow feeling by their presence, among the civilians were Messers BICKERTON and TOWNSON, surgeons to the police force. All having assembled on the terrace in front of the chapel. The circumstances attending the deaths of the men were then well told in the admirable speech of Divisional Superintendent RIDE. He also thanked the West of England firemen and Superintendent BARRETT for attending the ceremony and the press and the public for their support in raising money to provide a liberal allowance to the widows and orphans of the deceased men. HARDAKER left a widow and 6 children, COMMELIN, a widow and 5 small children, ATKINSON a widow and two children, the watch committee and head constable were able to grant a most liberal allowance to the widows from the superannuating fund which placed them in a position above want.
Mr SIMPSON then addressed the men and Supt HEWITT also asked to say a few words but the emotions aroused by the scene were to great to permit him of doing so. A procession was then formed to the monument, which was uncovered, the design met with general approval and the proceedings terminated.
Erected by his comrades and friends as a mark of their esteem, to the memory of John COMMELIN,
, inspector of the Liverpool Fire Brigade who was killed in the discharge of his duty by the sudden falling of a wall while at a fire on the premises of Messers Garnock Bibby and Co, Wavertree, July 28th, 1861, aged 39 years.
Sergeant Robert KEWIN,
, killed at a fire Hanover St, 15th March 1921, [interred at Kirk Braddan Isle of Mann] aged 40yrs.
On the other side reads, Also Robert HARDAKER
Who was killed at a fire at the Sailors Home April 29th, 1860, aged 44yrs
John BEER, aged 29 and Charles John WATTS, aged 23 ,
, killed at the warehouse fire in Juniper St, 6th Jan 1893.
Also William GAVAN,
who was killed when attending a fire in Charlecote St, 22nd Dec 1912, aged 41 yrs, and was interred at the St Austins Chapel, Grassendale.
Also Joseph NEWARK,
aged 32 yrs, who was killed at a fire in Grundy St on the 7th April 1914 and was interred in Overton Parish church
Also in memory of John DONALDSON,
aged 47yrs who was killed at a fire in Hurst St on the 30th April 1914
Fireman Edward JONES,
Killed whilst on duty at Well Lane, Childwall, nr Liverpool, 9th March 1921, aged 34 yrs
On the third face there is , Also Richard ATKINSON,who died from injuries received at the fire in School Lane, March 8th, 1863, aged 31years.
died Oct 30th, from injuries received at Rigby St fire on Oct 19th, 1865, aged 25yrs.
who died from injuries while on duty in Rose Place on June 23rd 1869, aged 30yrs.
killed at a fire in Foster St on Oct 21st 1873, aged 25ys.
killed at a fire in Manesty Lane, Feb 9th 1874, aged 30yrs.
killed at a fire in Cherry Lane, June 8th, 1874, aged 47yrs.
Richard Frederick RICHARDSON,
aged 29, killed at a warehouse on fire in Duke St, Jan 28th 1887
Misc Deaths and Inquests, Fire Brigade
Misc Deaths and Inquests, Policemen
Police, prisoners, prisons Liverpool Life, 1857
Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Awards to Police and Fire Brigade
Awards to brave Liverpool policemen 1908
Clothing the poor children of the city, [Police clothes] 1907
Copyright 2002 - To date