GLASGOW Cathedral was full that day, August 25, 1972. Church officials said there were 4000 people inside; never had this figure been equalled at any of the special services held after previous disasters in the city.

The service was relayed by loudspeakers to a waiting crowd of some 1500 people outside the Cathedral (pictured).

The service was held in memory of the seven firefighters who had died the previous week while fighting a serious fire in a warehouse in Kilbirnie Street.

It was the second major tragedy to have affected the fire service in the space of 12 years.

In 1960, 14 members of the Glasgow Fire Service and five members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps died during a serious fire in a whisky storage warehouse in Cheapside Street.

Among those in attendance at the Cathedral following the Kilbirnie Street tragedy were the Scottish Secretary, Gordon Campbell, civic dignitaries, city firemaster George Cooper and his deputy, Peter McGill, and all 200 off-duty firemen in the city.

Every fire brigade in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – some 135 in all – were represented

William Morris, the Glasgow Fire Service chaplain, said it was not enough to honour the seven who had died. “If now we value highly those who served us with their lives, let us tomorrow translate our gratitude and indebtedness into practical generosity to their comrades who still offer their lives for our safety,” he added.