The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

June 8th, 2016

Feb. 22, 1945 Springhill RecordWe Hear From Boys Overseas

Sends Souvenirs

     Pte. Wilfred Marsden, who is with the W.N.S.R. and the 8th Army in Italy, made his folks pretty happy recently when a box of presents and souvenirs arrived from Italy including table cloths, medals, necklace, cruicifix, school box, etc.  Pte. Marsden was one of the first to land in Sicily.  He joined up November 9, 1939 and for a time was on a minesweeper.  After being torpedoed he transferred to the army and is seeing plenty of action in Italy. 

     Mr. and Mrs. Harry Arsenault has received word from their son Pte. Jerry Arsenault in Belgium.  He is well and speaks of the beautiful country and the hospitality of the people there.  They have also word from Pte. Doug Arsenault, who is stationed in Ontario, Canada.  He has just returned from a short leave spent in Detroit and finds the American people very kind.  Everything is free which includes sleeping quarters and tickets to places of amusement.  It is interesting to note that while attending a hockey match, in a crowd about 30,000 people Doug found himself sitting beside an American soldier, he found his wife was formerly a Springhill girl, Miss Eva Pleshow, who lived on the Herrett Road where George Calder now resides.  Even in such a crowd one can often find someone from our own hometown. 

     Mrs. Walter Rae, received a parcel from her son, Pte. Gus Prentice, Somewhere in Belgium, containing many beautiful souvenirs of that country.

Apr. 12, 1945Pte. H.C. James Dies of Wounds

Died of wounds, received in action in Holland on that day, Harold Charles James.  This was the word received a week ago by Mr. and Mrs. Charles James, telling them of the passing of their only son, overseas for almost five years.

     Hallie James was born in Springhill March 8, 1918, after school days he worked as a Repair Mechanic for the Cumberland Railway and Coal Company until the outbreak of war; enlisting at once for active service, Sept. 3, 1939 in Springhill with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  He trained in Amherst and in Ontario; going overseas June 21, 1940 with a Holding Unit.  In England he transferred to the Provost Corps. With which he served until shortly before leaving for the continent where he reverted to the North Novas.  He went across from England last year and spent his last Christmas in Holland

     He is survived by his parents, by his three children Shirley 7, Dawn 6, and Charles 5, who were being cared for by his parents; three sisters: Mrs. Ralph Scott (Evelyn), Mrs. Charles Lewis (Audrey) and Mrs. Gordon Mann (Lorna) all of Springhill. 

     He was a member of Wesley United Church and had a lovely tenor voice and had sung in both the Baptist and St. David’s Choir.  He was keenly interested in sports and athletics in general.

    Being a son of Charles James he made an early start in hockey and in due time came into Seniors Hockey.  In the season of 33-34 a local league comprised four teams: “Crystals”, “Hawks”, “Maroons” and “Springhill Junction”.  Hallie James, “TexasWhite and Allie Maddison formed the “Crystal” Line.  Also during the season Charles James was on defense with the Crystals.  Exceptionally fine hockey was played during the season and special interest was shown in the unusual circumstances of a father and son playing on the same team.  Some excerpts from reports will show the James style of hockey:

  1. “Hallie James put his team in the lead when he drilled a close-in shot past the Maroon goalie that he never saw.  It was that old veteran, Charlie James, however, who swept the team into the lead on another fluke goal.  Charlie had wormed his way through the Maroons ….. Charlie James stuck to his job on defense most of the time but occasionally gave the opposition something to think about with a smart thrust into their territory.”  Again “Hallie James opened the scoring in the first period after the game had been going only a minute, with a smart solo rush, split the defense, drew Hayes out of the net, and pushed it in” ……James stick handled through again and flipped it in and Charlie went from end to end, stick handled around the defense and stick-handled a beautiful back hand shot from a difficult angle to end the second period 8-1.” 

A comment on another game “I certainly have to hand it to Charlie James.  He played fifty-eight minutes without a relief and made many plays for the Crystals that had the Junction worried.  The father and son act that he and Hallie put on is worth watching.”

     A father sorrowing for his only son has a wealth of such memories on which to draw as time goes on.  In England Hallie played Soccer and Softball and went in for Boxing and Track whenever opportunity offered.  His greatest wish, however, expressed in his last letter was to come home on leave and he was looking forward to it.  Instead he passed on – in gallant company.


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