"City Of Singapore" Firemen`s MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Mary Beaven

The memorial erected over the grave of George Anderson commemorates firemen George Anderson and James Hickey who were killed in the S.S. "City of Singapore" fire at Port Adelaide in 1924.

The City of Singapore was loaded with a shipment of cars and tractors from America and a large quantity of flammable cargo, including kerosene, lubricating oil and 38,000 cases of petrol.

On April 26, 1924, one of the ship`s officers saw flames coming from a ventilator. The local fire brigade was ill-equipped to deal with such a disaster, and fire crews from all over Adelaide moved in during the night to assist. 

The Chief Officer at the Head Fire Station in Adelaide called all men to parade, and told them that he wanted volunteers to attend the fire.  Not one fireman refused to go to the fire.  Driver Albert Greenman was one of those who went to the fire.

The hold was flooded and the fire apparently contained. Shortly afterwards an explosion threw some of those on the boat onto the wharf and others escaped by climbing through portholes ahead of the flames. Greenman was found lying on the deck with dreadful head injuries and was dead on admission to Port Adelaide hospital. Eleven firemen and two of the ship`s personnel were taken to the hospital injured. George Anderson and Jim Hickey also disappeared.

At the Cheltenham Cemetery, on the grave of Fireman G. J. Anderson, who lost his life at the fire on the steamer City of Singapore three years ago, a handsome monument will be unveiled on Sunday afternoon. The memorial has been erected by public subscription following the efforts of a committee, of which Mr. F. Condon, M.P. is secretary, to perpetuate the memory of the firemen killed in the disaster at Port Adelaide.

Consisting of a marble pedestal surmounted by a statue in marble representing a helmeted Australian fireman, lifesize, the height of the monument is 11 ft. The grave, which is 9.ft. square, will be surrounded by kerbing and covered with white tiles between the pedestal and kerb.  On the base the names of the other two firemen who lost their lives in the disaster, Messrs. A. Greenman and J. Hickey, will also be inscribed. At a meeting of the memorial committee to be held tonight it will be decided who will perform the unveiling ceremony. The statue was scuptured in Italy from Carrera marble, and its erection is in the hands of Mr. John Tillett, of the Adelaide Monumental Works.
News (Adelaide), 16 March 1927.

The memorial erected to the firemen lost their lives in the steamer City of Singapore disaster at Port Adelaide on April 26, 1924, was unveiled at the Cheltenham cemetery on Sunday afternoon. Mr. F. Condon, who had worked hard for the memorial had been allotted the honor of unveiling it. The base, pedestal and statue are all  carried out in pure white marble, the statue being made in Italy. With only a photograph of Fireman Anderson to work by, the sculptor has made a remarkably convincing figure of an Adelaide fireman dressed for action. Engraved on the pedestal are the following words:— "Erected to the memory of George James Alexander Anderson and James Hickey, members of the Fire Brigade, who lost their lives in the City of Singapore fire at Port Adelaide, April 26. 1924."
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 21 March 1927


Address:Port Road, Cemetery, Cheltenham, 5014
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.872067
Long: 138.525243
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:26-April-1924
Actual Event End Date:26-April-1924


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 20th March, 1927
Front Inscription

Erected by the citizens of Port Adelaide, 

To the memory of George James Alexandra Anderson, and James Hickey,

Members of the Fire Brigade, who lost their lives in the City of Singapore fire at Port Adelaide, April 26th 1924.

Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au