The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

April 27th, 2016

Oct. 5, 1944Springhill RecordSees Service on Three Fronts

(Medicine Hat Daily News)

     Tpr. Jack Beaton returned to the city yesterday after more than two years spent in the Canadian Army Overseas, during which time he saw action in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, and twice was wounded.

     He enlisted in the Southern Alberta Regiment in June 1940, and after training in Canada embarked for Overseas in August 1942.  Shortly afterward he was sent to North Africa where he was stationed for a few months.  Tpr. Beaton said that although he was not terribly impressed with conditions in Africa, the novelty of seeing foreign lands and observing native customs was a great thrill to him.  The sunsets over the desert, he said, were among the most beautiful in the world.  He spoke also of the marked differences of architecture, the better class business district being very striking in appearance, constructed of a sparkling white concrete mixture and along the most modernistic lines.  On the other hand, he said, the poorer sections were among the most dowdy, shabbily equipped districts he had ever seen.  The heat in North Africa was phenomenal, he concluded, living up to all the tales he had ever heard of the “dark continent.”

On To Sicily

After Africa Tpr. Beaton was sent to Sicily with the Calgary Regiment, where he was stationed for a short time, before joining the invasion forces entering Italy.  Travel restrictions in Sicily were particularly rigid, he said, so that his impression of the island was mainly one of terrific heat and dust. 

    On September 3, he landed on the Reggio beachhead.  He was first wounded during the battle of Ortona near the end of December 1943, receiving a superficial wound to the forehead, but remaining on duty.  During the crossing of the Rapido River on May 12, 1944, he was again wounded, this time receiving shrapnel wounds to the right hand and both legs, resulting in partial paralysis of his arm.  He was sent back to England where he was treated in the 19th Canadian General Hospital.

     Tpr. Beaton remarked on the excellent service provided by the Red Cross stating that this institution was one of the highlights for servicemen in Africa.  He was most enthusiastic in his appreciation for Red Cross welcoming committees who met the hospital train all the way across Canada, providing comfort for the returning men and talking to them. 

    Jack Beaton was born in Medicine Hat and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Beaton, 536 Belfast Street.

Editor’s Note – Tpr. Jack Beaton is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm R. Beaton, Junction Road, Springhill.

Springhill Sets Record?

     Checking up her record of enlistments in the Town of Springhill recently, Miss Bertha Scott, assistant editor of The Record, has found that 1170 of our men have signed for active service since the war broke out.  This is about 11.3 percent of our population of 7170 and we would not be at all surprised if it constituted a record for the Dominion of Canada

     In the last war Springhill enlistments were claimed to be the second highest in the Dominion.  Today, we believe we have gone one better than that.  Does any town want to dispute the claim?

He Gave Up Hunting

     “Holy, Jumpin’, Christmas,” shouted Paul Brenton, Monday afternoon as he trekked through the woods around Rodney in search of a deer as the season opened.  Paul’s exclamation was caused, not by a deer, but by a big bull moose which he found blocking his path as he lifted his head after pushing through some small saplings. 

     “He blew his breath right in my face,” said Paul, telling of the incident later, “and believe me I blew too, but in the other direction.  It was tough going for a time,” said Paul as there was nary a good sized tree in sight after Bill Smith got through lumbering in that area, but I out-hurdled that moose over the dead windfalls until he gave up the chase.”  Paul also gave up hunting for the day.


     Word was received this week that Pilot Officer Ronald Beaton, R.C.A.F., has been promoted to the rank of Flying Officer.  Flying Officer Beaton, who is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Beaton, Junction Road, is an instructor at Dauphin, Manitoba.  His wife, the former Gertrude Ellis, and children Ronnie and Janice, joined him in Dauphin in July.


Errors or omissions please report to the