|Mont-Blanc Explosion - Halifax|
On 6 December, 1917 a French vessel named S.S. Mont-Blanc was leaving Halifax harbor with a load of high explosives bound for France. It collided with the S.S. Imo, a Norwegian ship, in the narrows of the bay catching fire and ultimately exploding. Around 2000 people in the area were killed and another 9000 were injured from flying debris. Nearly all the structures in a half mile radius disappeared, including the entire town of Richmond.
Five days later, my great grandfather on his way to France to fight in World War I, docked there aboard the R.M.S. Tunisian. He saw relief parties still digging among the snow and ice left from a blizzard still trying to rescue survivors. Many soldiers offered to go ashore and help search but their offers were denied since the convoy of boats was subject to leave at anytime. For two days until they left, the men could only watch. Also in the convoy of boats was the S.S. Tuscania which would be torpedoed two months later by German UB-77 sending 210 soldiers to their deaths.
In a letter home from France, my great grandfather would write, "I hope I may never see such a devastated-looking place again."
|My Great Grandfather|