The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

February 17th, 2016

Mar. 9, 1944Springhill RecordSnow Fall One of Heaviest This Year

     The month of February had the second heaviest snow fall on record for the particular period in 36 years.  There were 32 inches of snow recorded at the Experimental Farm, Nappan, whereas in February 1926, 36 and one-half inches of snow fell.  Snow came down on nine different dates while rain fell on six to provide a total precipitation of 3.61 inches higher than the thirty-six year average of 2.81 inches.

     The month had 120 hours of sunshine against a thirty-two year average of 103 hours.  Maximum temperature was 45 degrees on February 15 and a minimum of 12 below on the 22nd.  There was 13 sub-zero days in the month.

F.O. Don Elliott Lost Over Berlin

     A fine young Springhill boy, Flying Officer Donald James Elliott has made his last flight and passed to that Far Country, “Above the smoke of battle and the sound of weeping.”  But because he was young and brave, and because he will not return, hearts are sad, and friends will miss him, after his brief life of 22 years. 

     Surviving are two sisters: Jean, Mrs. Lyman Canning and Gladys Elliott, student in the Senior Class, Acadia University; his aunts Miss Jane Elliott, Miss Minnie Elliott of the Springhill Teaching Staff; and his grandmother Mrs. Donald Ferguson; uncles, aunts and cousins, a large number of whom are in the services.

     The only son off the late D. David and Dora (Ferguson) Elliott, he was born in Springhill October 11, 1921.  He was the grandson of a Scottish soldier, James Elliott, a member of the famous 78th Seaforth Highlanders and a veteran of the Indian Mutiny, who later came to make his home in Springhill many years ago – a man highly respected and noted for the austerity and uprightness of his life.

     Donald attended Springhill Public and High Schools and graduated from Grade X11, Amherst Academy, at the age of 16.  He entered the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Springhill and later was transferred to Charlottetown, P.E.I., where he studied and passed his Junior Bank Examinations.  He enlisted in the R.C.A.F. in Sept.1940, was trained as an accountant, then transferred to Air Crew and trained as a Navigator at Victoriaville and Ancienne Lorette, Quebec.

     He received his commission as Pilot Officer in August 1942 and later became Flying Officer, going Overseas in September 1942.  He was navigator for Squadron Leader Claude Hebert and made thirty-nine Operational Flights, with the famous “AlouetteSquadron from a base in North-West Africa; being stationed in Africa from May to October, 1943 and returning to England in November.  He had just completed a five-week series of courses in Specialized Navigation, when he lost his life, January 3, 1944 in a flight to Berlin.  Listed as “Missing”, word has now been received that he is buried in Wahrenholz Cemetery, County Gifhorn, Central Germany.

     We would like to quote the beautiful requiem by Stephen Spender:

  1. “Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,

  2. See how these names are feted by the waving grass,

  3. And by the streamers of white clouds,

  4. And whispers of wind in the listening sky,

  5. The name of those who in their lives fought for life,

  6. Who wore at their hearts the fire centre,

  7. Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,

  8. And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”

Mar. 16, 1944Neil Chapman Killed in Mine

     Neil Chapman, 63 year old Company Hand, employed in No. 4 Colliery, was instantly killed Monday afternoon when a trip of boxes passed over him.  He sustained a fractured skull and multiple body injuries. 

     Employed as a Company Hand, assigned to a various jobs on the Wall, he was put on the trapper at the 6,000 foot level for the afternoon shift.

     The accident occurred shortly after when he had opened the door for the empty rake.  The exact manner in which he was struck is not known. 

     Following the news of the accident, his fellow miners stopped work after the news of the accident reached them.

     The miners are idle today for the funeral of the late Neil Chapman, which is being held this afternoon at 2 o’clock, from his home, where the service will be conducted by Rev. W.M. Knickle, of All Saints Anglican Church, and Capt. E. Hill of the Salvation Army.  The customary honors of the local also will be accorded.


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