Imperial Hotel, Grenfell Street, Adelaide, 1917


Photo taken 01 January 1917

B 4471 Grenfell Street with city buildings, tramlines and parked cars. In the centre of the intersection a policeman is directing traffic and people are crossing the road. On the left is the Imperial Hotel, licensee at the time being J.H. Flannagan. The Imperial existed from 1869 until the building was demolished in 1960. The Advertiser, Thursday 18 February 1943, page 3 reported: "BRAWL IN CITY STREET Soldiers Taken Into Custody Some hundreds of people watched a fight between soldiers and military and civil police which began in Grenfell Street outside the Imperial Hotel, at 2.30 pm yesterday and ended half an hour later in the basement of Miller Andersons Ltd. in Hindley street. A 24-year;-old AIF soldier whose home is believed to be in Queensland, was arrested by civil police and charged at the City Watch house with fighting and resisting arrest. He suffered facial injuries. Military police took: a number of soldiers into custody. A police sergeant suffered a wound in an elbow and another policeman sprained his thumb. The outstanding police figure in the incident was 53-year-old Sgt. A. E. Olsson. He was about to catch a tram home after signing off duty when he noticed a crowd gathering about a motor car in Grenfell street. He saw two or three soldiers attempting to push another soldier, who appeared to be under the influence of liquor, into the car. Sgt. Olsson tried to persuade the group to go into a lane beside the Imperial Hotel. Military police, called by Constable White, then arrived, and fists began to fly as friends of the four soldiers joined in. Sgt. Olsson and Constable Lawton pinned the 24-year-old soldier to the footpath and then, thinking be had given up the struggle, allowed him to his feet again. The soldier attacked the constables, broke away, and raced across King William Street to the Bank of Adelaide corner. On the opposite corner. Constable Menadue tried to stop the soldier, but was knocked down, and Sgt. Olsson went sprawling on top of him. The sergeant scrambled up and chased the soldier down Gilbert Place and through to Hindley street. He caught him in Miller Anderson and Co.'s basement. Sgt. Olsson and Constable OSullivan held the man until a police van arrived. Sgt. Olsson had his elbow and a lip cut, but was not seriously hurt. The police said that no civilians took part in the affray." For a closer view of the building see: www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/15532... Visit the State Library of South Australia to view more photos of South Australia