Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 34 > Page 10 - The Halifax Explosion & Going to Siberia

Page 10 - The Halifax Explosion & Going to Siberia

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (418 reads)

Mostly in Halifax we were tending the TB ward that was down on Pier 2. And we had to look after them and feed them and bathe them and stuff like that. It was all in the training, you know. My unit was transferred from Citadel Hill up to Wellington Barracks up in the North End. There's where we were the morning of the Halifax Explosion. It was 6 minutes after 9 on December 6th, 1917. When we came down out of our rooms upstairs in the barracks, the fire depart? ment was just going by the big gate, and they turned down the next street, towards the harbour. That was the vicinity where the burning boat was coming down, you know, in the stream. Before they got down to the water, the explosion happened and they went over the bank, the firemen were killed. We had just fallen into parade, and the sergeant-major was going around inspecting our shoes and clothing--and away she went off, and there wasn't two of us standing. Before I lost my senses, I knew the next fellow to me went down, face down on the ground. When I came to, I had my hands up over my head, as if I was protecting my head--but I don't think I was ever on the ground. We were scattered. There weren't two or three of us alongside of each other. (You never actually heard the explosion.) No, no, no, no. There was all kinds of pieces of the ship around us. I never got even struck with a nut or a bolt or any? thing . We started to the street and found a man walking, with his arm swinging. And I saw one of our fellows lying down, and he had a broken leg. We then got to looking for a tent or something to carry him out to the street. We took him to the hospital and just dropped him. The windows were all out of the hospital, the windows were all out of the stores, nobody in them. The way we did during the day was, we'd drive along in the truck taking people to the hospital. We were taking them out of the married quarters--families of men who were over? seas. They were all wounded and all smashed up. We were digging them out and taking them to the hospitals, all over the place. And some of them were so badly wounded from glass and other things, we just had to carry the four ends of the mat? tress. Take them to the hospital and back for more. And the nex't day, we were taking glass out of their faces, and there was lots of crying and howling, as all medical supplies for killing pain were all used up. During the day there was a report came a- round to the public, announced over the air or something, for them all to get out on high ground, because they expected the military magazine to blow up. But it Hyland Ftestaurant Fully I II il ?? I Fully ''""' and MotGl '''"' Bake Shop Open year round to Cape Bretoners and their friends, offering good home cooking and seafood at its best. Inverness 258-3440 HOBBY HUT The Knitting & Craft Shop 204 Commercial St., North Sydney, N. S. Tel. 794-7774 • Pure Wool & Synthetic Yarns • Knitting Needles & Patterns • Crewel & Needlepoint Canvases • Artists' Supplies • Locally Made Ceramics & Gift Items IIQ ''J[QIlf building of a home than lumber and nails. Because we've been building quality into our homes for more than 20 years. "They just don't build homes like they used to." How often have you, or one of your friends said something like this? You're probably right. House-building has changed ... for the better! Lighter, stronger materials. Energy- saving designs: More efficient plumbing and electrical systems. They all add up to better-built homes. If there's one thing that's lacking in many of today's homes though, it's quality. Some firms sacrifice quality for speed. It makes a certain amount of sense. The faster homes are built, the more can be built. But it's you the prospective home builder who suffers. How do you recognize a quality-built home? It's simple. Just look for our name as the builder. At Co-op our time, expertise and experience is channeled into each home we build. And it shows! See for yourself. Visit our office. We'll show you our catalogue of fine Harbour Homes. If you wish, we'll even custom build to your specifications. We want you to be satisfied with the home you build. After all, you'll be living in it for many years to come. It's got to be good. And CO-OP it is if its built by Harbour Homes. You've Got Experience On Your Side CO-OP MIH) Pointing The Way To Better Living Building Supplies KING'S ROAD, SYDNEY - 539-6410 STATION STREET, PORT HAWKESBURY - 625-2600 '0)
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download