Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 21 > Page 1 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

Page 1 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

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Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1 (2760 reads)
 

Mine Explosion in New V feterford, 1917 9 9'0--.. V '*.. Mrs. Arthur Gadd Whitex I didn't hear the explosion. But my mother was doing practi? cal nursing at the time and she was sit? ting up all night with a man who was dying of cancer. He was John Sinclair. During the night he died. And you know, those days they had to help the undertaker. They didn't tak? them to an undertaking parlour or anything. The undertaker came to the house and they helped dress the body and fix it up for the casket. Well, my mother said she had to go home, put the boys out to work, said she would be back to help the undertaker. So she put the boys out, my oldest and youngest brothers. William was the oldest, Arthur was the youngest one. Then she went back to help Mr. LaDrew, the undertaker at that time. They fixed up Mr. Sinclair. And she was coming back up from that, to help another lady who had a collarbone eaten through with cancer • she met Murray Andrews, a coal company police? man. He said, "Oh, Mrs. Gadd, I just got word, there's been an explosion in 12 pit." Well, my mother was from Wales. And she had heard so much about Welsh mines exploding. She right away got afraid. She said, "Oh my God, my boys are in there." And he said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Gadd, it will be all right. You go home and we'll let you know if there's anything further." So she came home. And there was a man, he was a deputy in the mine, but this wasn't his shift • but he had a son in there, working this day shift. Mother said to him, "Jim, there's been an explosion in 12, hurry down and look for our little boys." That was the young ones. His son was only young too, so he got dressed and went down. My mother came in and stayed at home for a little while and then she couldn't stay. So we went. She took me by the hand • I was only 12 then • and we went down to 12 pit. She couldn't get any information. They wouldn't give her any. And everybody was around the pit. All the relatives. They roped the place off to keep the people back. But you could talk to anyone. The draegermen would come up, the officials would come around • and they would talk to them. She asked about her sons, because CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER TWENTY-ONE WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL • REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014
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