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> Issue 21 > Page 2 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

Page 2 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1 (932 reads)

the oldest boy was a qualified miner. She couldn't understand why at least he didn't come up. But she feared for the young fel? low, l4 years old. And we were told there was nothing wrong, it would be all right and he would be brought up. They said that Bill was holding the lamp for the men that were working down there. That was the ex? cuse they gave her. Then after they started to bring up the bodies, we went over • there were two places: one over at 12, a parish hall over there with all the bodies laying on the floor • and you could go in there and iden? tify them, your own. I remember going a- round this with my mother, and she'd say, "No, that's not my boy. That's not my boy." Then she came to another parish hall that they used. She went in there. These were all emergency cases, because there was no big hospital then. There were no bodies there. She knew them all but they were not her children. She went back to the pit and stayed there, because of the boys not being brought up. Her clergy came, talked with her and helped her through it, for the day. She wouldn't leave the pit. She was getting sick herself, falling down. Remember, she'd been up all night that night, look? ing after this other man that was dying. And all this time I was with her, in those halls • she wouldn't go without me. I was her baby. She was too frightened to leave me. She was down at the pit. Her clergyman came down to her. He said, "Mrs, Gadd, will you come home?" She said, "I want to know the truth. I only want to know the truth." "Well," he said, "are you willing to submit to God's will?" And she said, "Yes, no matter what. Whatever God's will," sTie said, "if I only know." So he said, "Come home and I will tell you." She went home. And Mr. .Johnson, a Salva? tion Army officer • he was a wonderful per? son • he told her that one boy had been killed. But the other one was spared. I had brothers overseas, and we had to send word that one brother was killed in the explosion. Then it had to be changed, that two were killed • because the little fellow was right in where the explosion happened. He was a trapper. And he was blown through the trap door with the force of the explo? sion. His face was all burned up. I can see it yet. I always see it. But the other fellow was only...he was probably going down to look for his brother, and he was overcome by what they call the afterdamp (carbon monoxide gas) • so there wasn't a mark on him. Not a mark. He just fell a- sleep. And that was our experience. And every door practically around here had a pall on the door (black ribbon). Nearly every house in this end of New Waterford would be touched, because 12 pit was here. There were mass funerals. All the Protes? tants were buried in one funeral and all the Catholics were buried in one funeral. The coal company gave a lot for everybody. My brothers were buried in what they called a doublel grave • but they were sepa? rate graves. There were no mass graves. The company looked after that. And my moth? er got ten dollars a month for each boy's life • that was the compensation. And this Sinclair I told you about, he had a nephew who didn't stay home. You know, they were hard times then, especially if they were large families • and this nephew didn't stay home from work that day after Mr. Sinclair died • and he went to work and was killed in that explosion. His name was John Sinclair too. They were buried the same day. college of Cdpe breton press Patterson's History of Victoria County '''''SQVS Edited by W. James MacDonald This volume provides a colorful account of the early history of Victoria County, Cape Breton, complete with detailed index of the first settlers' names and early place names with descriptions. Some of the earlier photographs of this beautiful county of Cape Breton are also featured. $13.00 per copy - Hard Cover • Available at your local bookstore HISTORIC MAP REPRODUCTIONS JACQUES BELLIN'S IVIAP OF CAPE BRETON [1744] Double mounted in burgundy and ivory to enhance the red outline of the island, this is one of the earliest maps of Cape Breton. Bellin was chief mapmaker for King Louis XV. All place names are in French. A very striking map. Size 14" x 12". Limited edition. Matted $10.00 Framed $25.00 DETAIL OF FORTRESS LOUISBOURG [circa 1760] A beautiful detail of the city and fortifications at Louisbourg, one of the few maps of this period in English. Size 11" x 16". Matted $10.00 Framed $25.00 THOMAS KITCHIN'S MAP OF CAPE BRETON [circa 1758] An exquisite map of the Island by English geographer Thomas Kitchin. Beautifully illustrated. Size 12" x 16". Matted .... $10.00 Framed .... $25.00 EfP -'' RECORDING DIVISION presents GLENDALE '77 Recorded "live" at the 1977 Cape Breton Festival of Fiddlers at Glendale, Inverness County, this exciting album features lively jigs, reels, strathspeys, hornpipes, classic marches and clogs, performed by 150 of Cape Breton's finest fiddlers $6.30 THE RISE & FOLLIES OF CAPE BRETON ISLAND A spontaneous recording of that magical music and comedy revue that played to capacity audiences in Cape Breton during the summer of 1977. Contained in this exciting album are memorable songs, hilarious skits and good natured humor, providing a unique listening experience. A must for Cape Bretoners living away from the Island $6.30 To order by mail, kindly send cheque or money order in the proper amount indicated made payable to: THE COLLEGE OF CAPE BRETON PRESS P. O. Box 760. Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6J1 some interesting gift ideas from tne II ' .college 'I cape bretof press
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