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Death in a Lodging House


Watson Street Fire Glasgow

19 November 1905

And some there be
Which have no memorial


Death in a Lodging House

ISBN 09 528575 8 8

The Story of the Watson Street Fire, Glasgow of 19 November 1905. 100 years ago this week.

This 36 page book tells the harrowing story of a fire in a Model Lodging House in Glasgow which resulted in the deaths of 39 men, with 24 others seriously injured and more than 300 others escaping the blaze with their lives.

It is a remarkable tale of heroism and courage.

A Limited number 4.00 +Postage 50p UK 1.50p Overseas

Press Release

*****New Book *****
Death in a Lodging House

This Saturday, November 19th, is the centenary of a Glasgow disaster that is more ignored than forgotten. It was a horrific, ferocious fire. The destruction of property amounted to a pitiful 500 but the loss of life was enormous, 39 individuals died of suffocation from smoke and flames and a further 24 were seriously injured. Over 300 others escaped with their lives.

The catastrophe does not feature in any history or web-page about the great City of Glasgow, nor in any book, or compilation or article. There is no memorial or dedication to the event to mark its 100th anniversary. Yet, in the league table of fire disasters in the UK this tragedy ranks as deadly as The Glen Cinema catastrophe at Paisley in 1929 with 70 victims, the Summerland Leisure Complex Fire on the Isle of Man in 1973 with 50 fatalities, the Bradford City Football Stadium blaze of 1985 with 56 dead, or the fire at London Kings Cross Underground in 1987 with 31 victims.

All the casualties were men. They were inmates of a Model Lodging House at 39, Watson Street situated a stone-throw from Glasgow Cross in a street connecting the Gallowgate and Graeme Street. Safety was not something that was much regarded by those who owned or regulated institutions like Model Lodging Houses. However, despite the high death toll the Glasgow authorities of the day rose well to deal with the fire and its aftermath.

Contact for Further Information

William Cross
58 Sutton Road
S Wales NP19 7JF
Telephone 01633 779731

Other Accidents & Disasters books available from William Cross




William Cross FSA Scot is author of a series of booklets on Accidents and Disasters in Scotland in the 19th and 20th Centuries


Your support is appreciated

I look forward to hearing from you

If you have any information from your family history on the Watson Street Disaster of 19 November 1905 please contact William Cross

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Death in a Lodging House