A Personal Letter John Reid, Almonte 1942


The following, eye-witness account of Sunday night’s train collision at Almonte was written for the Canadian Press by John R. Reid of Almonte, Lanark County roads engineer. By JOHN R. REID Written for The Canadian Press

ALMONTE, Ont., Dec. 28. 1942 —

I was walking along beside the standing train when the crash came. I did not know anything out of the usual was happening until the collision. As I was walking against the wind there was a terrible splintering of glass and a young woman fell through the air right at my feet. I could see other people trapped in the wreckage, but I could not reach them at the moment.

I threw my coat around the girl and then I saw other people were hurrying down to help, so I decided to see this young woman who was injured looked after. A man came along in a car and helped me lift her into it. She was the first patient at our hospital, and until that time the hospital had not known of the crash. I heard she was an Amprior girl, and while she seemed quite seriously hurt she tried to tell me her name.

Immediately after we put her in the hospital, the man with the car, whose name I do not know, and I went right back to the scene of the crash and did what we could. When the engine of the train which hit the standing train stopped it was right close to me. There were splinters of wood and glass flying through the air, and I think I was lucky not to be hit. The sides of one of the passenger cars just fell down, one on each side of the track.

I am very pleased to hear that someone has said the people of Almonte acted as coolly and as bravely as people acted In the air raids in England. We just all tried to do our best. John Reid Almonte

Train Wreck January 21, 1969– Almonte Gazette

Fred Gauthier Survivor — 6 Months 1 Day –1942 Almonte Train Wreck – Vern Barr

Miraculous Escapes– Almonte Train Wreck

  1. Cpl. James H. Clifford and Miss Marion  McMillan-Survivors of the Almonte Train Wreck
  2. Linda’s Dreadful Dark Tales – When Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling — Our Haunted Heritage
  3. Survivor still affected by 1942 Almonte train wreck
  4. 55 years ago–One of the Most Tragic Accidents in the History of Almonte
  5. Did You Know About These Local Train Wrecks?

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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