Cry of "fire" and bell raise alarm on June 27, 1865

WORKING TEAM: The fire brigade pictured in 1865.
WORKING TEAM: The fire brigade pictured in 1865. Contributed

THE inhabitants of Ipswich were awakened from their sleep on June 27, 1865, by the cries of "fire" and the ringing of the old English Church bell on the corner of Brisbane and Nicholas Sts. .

Two men, Mr Geo Holt, a baker, and his assistant, Mr Geo Frank, were the first to notice the fire. Sub-Inspector Edward Quinn and Constable Walsh were quickly on the scene as were a large number of citizens.

They promptly set about handing buckets of water from one to the other as the water cart system of conveying water was in force. Others with American axes cut off all connections with other buildings while others, enveloped in wet blankets battled the fire.

Less than half-an-hour after the alarm was given, the new railway fire engine arrived on the scene and it was drawn by a number of railway employees under the command of Mr J W Bedford, locomotive foreman.

Soon a hose was put into a large water tank at the back of Mr Martin Byrne's property.

This was the first time many Ipswichians had witnessed water coming from a nozzle.

After a hard struggle, the fire was under control. it was estimated 4000 pounds worth of goods had been destroyed.

Some of those who helped extinguish the fire were Messrs John North, warehouseman; John Roberts; Abraham Phelps, grocer; William Johnston, porter and Miss E J North, housekeeper.

At the time of the fire (27/6/1865), the land facing Brisbane St between the Bank of New South Wales and the Congregational Church was swamp holes and the debris from the fire was taken there ... tons upon tons.

Scholars attending Mr John Scott's primary school began taking from this rubbish tip, tins of jam, tins and bottles of other "goodies" as well as whole cheeses.

For their "collecting", the pupils received terrible lashings with a part of an old bullock whip, for daring to bring these items onto the school grounds. 



IPSWICH women formed a Sandbag League early in 1916, as a report "from the Front" stated "a shortage of sandbags was endangering Australian troops in Europe".

Flora M Gibbs of the Sandbag League's executive committee wrote that "some 2000 sandbags were needed each day in trenches and gun emplacements".

She also stated "each soldier took 10 empty sandbags when he advanced. If fired on, he dropped and filled a bag for cover. Then he rushed on again with his remaining bags, leaving the filled one as cover for a man coming behind him".


HULLO, Hullo. Here we are again. South Station Road, Booval. Horse Shoeing and General Smithing a speciality at greatly reduced prices by the man the Ipswich Farriers could not stop. A trial solicited. Satisfaction guaranteed. JAS McKEOWN Blacksmith


HA ... Ha ... Read This. CHEAP FISH ... CHEAP FISH ... Fresh fish arrives daily direct from the Fisherman. Mullet uncleaned only sixpence halfpenny per lb; Mullet cleaned only sevenpence per lb; Bream eightpence; Whiting tenpence; Flathead eightpence. Other Specialities are: Hot Fried Fish and Chips; Huttons Small Goods; Soft Drinks right off the ice. W C Lawley, proprietor (Late State Fish Shop), Brisbane Street, Ipswich.

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