Remembering Lucky McIllquham of Carleton Place

Remembering  Lucky McIllquham  of Carleton Place



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal23 Jan 1956, MonPage 15


There used to be a former tall “gunner” who lived in Carleton Place whose claim to fame was being a brave soldier among other things. He survived a 400-foot fall into a haystack when the rear of his bomber was shot off in World War ll and made a lot of local folks proud. Sadly in January of 1956, a little more than 10 years after he came home from the war, he drowned in Mississippi Lake trying to save his son.

Thomas Oswald McIllquham DFM was a machinist with the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Department of Highways and his young son Scott would have been 5 years old when they both lost their lives in the cold water of Mississippi Lake. They probably thought the ice was thick enough that day their truck went through the ice near their home.

They found Thomas’s body 7 feet down, but his son’s body was found just a few scant inches away from the edge of the hole made by the settling chassis. It is believed that Thomas had valiantly tried to save his son and almost did.  His wife Oda Larsen had already seen tragedy losing her brother to an accident a few years previous and the *Queen’s Park Lodge owned by her father Swen Larsen had burned to the ground in 1955.

Before the accident Thomas had been driving around the lake visiting fisherman on the ice even though Victor Majury had warned him to be careful. A change of heart of must have occurred as they were last seen heading to Rocky Point.  Barely 400 yards from the shore facing the Lodge the ice thinned and Victor Majury, Harry Willis and Stanley Gibson all from Carleton Place told the OPP that the truck went down as if it was in slow motion.

The men were powerless to help so they went to the farm of Mrs. Percy Hay and she drove them two miles so they could use a telephone.  Lucky McIllquham had survived the heaviest fighting of the war and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal by King George.  His record was long: destroying at least two enemy fighters and the damage of many others, a parachute leap from a burning plane, and his fabulous drop into a haystack when the tail gunners section was destroyed mid air.



Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Lucky was born and raised in Carleton Place and was one of the sons of Mr and Mrs Clyde McIllquham who owned the Mississippi Hotel.  He was survived by wife Oda and his 3 year-old daughter Ruth and two brothers Walter and Gilmour who were residing at the Mississippi Hotel.

How ironic and sad was it that Lucky had died in 7 feet of water on a sunny January day in Carleton Place instead of that day flying into battle in Cologne. Every time I stand at the old dock of Lake Park Lodge it will now have more meaning.

In memory of Thomas “Lucky” Oswald McIllquham.





1956 accident on Mississippi Lake. City of Ottawa Archives


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal29 Jan 1955, SatPage 1


          — Ottawa Journal 1959–


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun



Related reading


Carleton Place Boy Brings Down 10th Hun Plane — Daniel Galbraith 1917

It was Friday the 13th on Napoleon Street in Carleton Place


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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