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Old 06-01-2011, 03:56 PM  
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Halifax Explosion V

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Survival stories

Eric Davidson
Main article: Eric Davidson (survivor)
Eric Davidson was two and a half at the time of the explosion. He was playing with his toy train on the sill of the living room window, when he, his mother and sister saw the smoke of the fire in the harbour. When the blast occurred, the window shattered in front of Eric's face, blinding him completely. Despite his disability from an early age, Davidson went to on be a mechanic for the City of Halifax until his retirement in 1980. At the time of his death in 2009, he was the second last survivor of the explosion to draw pension money related to injuries sustained in the explosion.
[edit]Ashpan Annie
Main article: Ashpan Annie
Anne M. Welsh (n?e Liggins) was 23 months old at the time of the explosion. Her house on north Barrington Street was ripped apart by the force of the blast, killing her mother Anne and brother Edwin. Annie was blown under the stove by the explosion, landing in the container of ash underneath the appliance. The still-warm ashes kept Annie protected against exposure to the December weather amidst the destruction, until she was discovered 26 hours later by a soldier named Private Henneberry. Her father was a soldier stationed overseas; her grandmother and aunt retrieved her from the Pine Hill Convalescent Hospital, where she had been cared for after being recovered from the wreckage. She died in July 2010.
[edit]Medical relief

Almost immediately following the blast, Halifax hospitals began to overflow with the dead and injured. Anybody with medical training and experience, both military and civilian, found themselves tasked with the treatment of thousands.
Halifax at the time had four public hospitals, four military hospitals, and seven private hospitals. The most important were Victoria General Hospital and Camp Hill Hospital, taking many of the critically injured while redirecting minor injuries to other sites and temporary facilities.
Victoria General Hospital was the largest civilian hospital in Halifax at that period. Three operating rooms ran non-stop after the explosion, treating the critically injured. The original structure no longer exists, as the current Victoria Building replaced it in 1948. However, the institution still exists today as the VG site, part of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, a 10 building group of facilities formed in 1996.
Located behind Citadel Hill, Camp Hill Hospital was a military hospital completed earlier the same year. It was built quickly in order to treat the large number of wounded returning from the war in Europe. It was completed only a few months before the explosion, and treated 1,400 wounded in the first 24 hours after the blast.
Archibald MacMechan, who collected many accounts of the disaster, describes Camp Hill Hospital as,
? a synonym for horror ... broken bones, scalds, burns due to the contact with stoves or boilers, contusions, maiming, internal injuries--but undoubtedly the most ghastly wounds were those inflicted by the flying glass. ?
Camp Hill Hospital was also administratively absorbed into the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and none of its original facilities exist today. Its grounds now comprise the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII, including the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building, the Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building, and the new Halifax Infirmary Building.
Also, the Hospital for the Insane, also known as Mount Hope helped handle the casualties on the Dartmouth side of the harbour. Having opened in 1859, Mount Hope was designed to support 250 patients when completed. It was renamed to the Nova Scotia Hospital in the early 20th century. It accommodated 200 patients following the blast. The hospital still exists today as part of the Capital District Health Authority, and is a fully accredited teaching facility affiliated with Dalhousie University.
Many of the emergency procedures involved eye injuries and removals, lacerations, or amputations, with operating rooms and medical wards working around the clock for several days. Medical students at Dalhousie University were enlisted to assist, even those who had just begun studying in September. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and Saint John Ambulance all focused their resources to the disaster, and away from the war overseas.
[edit]Naval Medical Relief
Military medical staff, mainly from British naval vessels in the harbour such as HMS Highflyer, HMS Knight Templar and HMS Calgarian[29] provided some of the first response teams searching for and treating survivors. Medical staff from these British Navy ships set up an improvised hospital ship aboard the coastal passenger ship SS Old Colony,[30] which was enroute from the U.S. to Britain for naval conversion, and which had been tied up in Halifax for repairs. In the afternoon the USS von Steuben,[31] a seized German liner turned troop transport, and the USS Tacoma (CL-20), a Protected Cruiser that was returning to the U.S. from Convoy Duty across the Atlantic arrived to assist.[32]
[edit]Relief Trains
Relief trains with doctors, nurses and supplies first arrived from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick towns within hours of the explosion and continued throughout the day and into the evening. The first outside relief train arrived via the Intercolonial Railway from Truro, Nova Scotia, 95 kilometres (60 mi) away, at about noon, followed by a Dominion Atlantic Railway relief train from Kentville, 100 kilometres (60 mi) away.[33] By nightfall, about a dozen trains had brought help from across the Maritimes, a day and a half ahead of American relief trains, including trains from Amherst (200 kilometres / 120 miles), Moncton, New Brunswick (260 kilometres / 160 miles) and New Glasgow, Nova Scotia (160 kilometres / 100 miles). These trains not only brought medical staff and supplies but also evacuated wounded to hospitals outside Halifax in towns such as Truro.[34]
Later, American support was strong, particularly from Massachusetts, with support trains bringing doctors, nurses, orderlies and much needed supplies to the effort. A relief train left from Boston, 1,100 kilometres (700 mi) away, at 10:00 PM on the day of the explosion. Relentlessly chugging through wintry terrain, it was delayed by heavy snowfall but reached Halifax a day plus a few hours later, at 3:00 AM on December 8, unloading much needed food, water, medical supplies, and some aid workers to relieve the Nova Scotia medical staff, many of whom had worked without rest since the morning of the explosion.

Memorial Bell Tower was erected in Halifax as a memorial to the lives lost or changed forever by the Halifax Explosion
The canonical novel Barometer Rising (1941) by the Canadian writer Hugh MacLennan is set in Halifax at the time of the explosion and includes a carefully researched description of its impact on the city. Following in MacLennan's footsteps, journalist Robert MacNeil penned Burden of Desire (1992) and used the explosion as a metaphor for the societal and cultural changes of the day. MacLennan and MacNeil exploit the romance genre to fictionalize the explosion, similar to the first attempt by Lieutenant-Colonel Frank McKelvey Bell, a medical officer who penned a short novella on the Halifax explosion shortly after the catastrophic event. His romance was A Romance of the Halifax Disaster (1918), a melodramatic piece which follows the love affair of a young woman and an injured soldier. There is also a young adult fictional story in the Dear Canada series, named No Safe Harbour, whose narrator tries to find the other members of her family after the blast.
More recently, the novel Black Snow (2009) by Halifax journalist Jon Tattrie followed an explosion victim's search for his wife in the ruined city,[40] and A Wedding in December (2005) by Anita Shreve has a story-within-the-story set in Halifax at the time of the explosion. The explosion is also referred to in some detail in John Irving's novel Until I Find You (2005) as well as Ami McKay's bestselling The Birth House (2006). Ami McKay includes a passage in which protagonist Dora Rare travels to Halifax to offer her midwifery skills to mothers who go into labour after the explosion. In the 2009 novel, Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, the shadowy schooner Golden Fang is revealed as a re-outfitted Preserved, a vessel said to have survived the explosion.
Keith Ross Leckie scripted a mini-series entitled Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion (2003), which took the title but has no relationship to Janet Kitz's acclaimed non-fiction book Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion and the Road to Recovery (1989). The mini-series follows soldier Charlie Collins through a romantic affair and his recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder. The movie exploited computer technology in order to achieve impressive special effects on a budget. However, the film was panned by critics and criticized by historians for distortions and inaccuracies. One aspect which was criticized was the representation of German spies in the city. Jim Lotz's The Sixth of December (1981) also toys with the fictional idea that Halifax was home to a network of enemy spies during the war.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:12 PM  
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Halifax Explosion VI

Medical Lessons
The lack of coordinated pediatric care in such a disaster was noted by a surgeon from Boston named William Ladd who had arrived to help. His insights from the explosion are generally credited with inspiring him to pioneer the specialty of pediatric surgery in North America.[35]

The North End Halifax neighborhood of Richmond received the brunt of the explosion. In 1917, Richmond was considered a working class neighborhood and was excluded from basic city services such as weekly garbage pick-up or paved roads [36] After the explosion, the Halifax Relief Commission approached the reconstruction of Richmond as an opportunity to improve and modernize the city?s North End.[37] English town planner, Thomas Adams, and Montreal architect, George Ross were recruited to design a new housing plan[38] for Richmond. Adams, inspired by the Victorian Garden City Movement, aimed to provide public access to green spaces and to create a low rise, low density and multifunctional urban neighborhood.[39] The planners designed 324 large homes that each faced a tree- lined, paved boulevard. Ross and Adams specified that the homes be built with a new and innovative fire- proof material, blocks of compressed cement called Hydro-stone.[37] The two planners designed the construction of over 300 new homes using Hydro-stone for the hundreds of North End residents who had been rendered homeless after the explosion.
Once finished, the Hydrostone neighborhood consisted of homes, businesses and parks, which helped create a new sense of community in the North End of Halifax. Adams and Ross were revolutionary in their enlightened approach to the reconstruction of the working-class, poor neighborhood. The construction of this new and cutting edge urban neighborhood was criticized by many upper- class Haligonians who thought the Hydrostone was too extravagant for its working class residents.[37] Nevertheless, the Hydrostone remains a unique neighborhood and continues to serve as a valuable example of a modern urban- planning concept.
[edit]Popular culture
In 1918, Halifax sent a Christmas tree to the City of Boston in thanks and remembrance for the help that the Boston Red Cross and the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee provided immediately after the disaster.[41] That gift was revived in 1971 by the Lunenburg County Christmas Tree Producers Association, who began an annual donation of a large tree to promote Christmas tree exports as well as acknowledge the Boston support after the explosion. The gift was later taken over by the Nova Scotia Government to continue the goodwill gesture as well as to promote trade and tourism.[42] The tree is Boston's official Christmas tree and is lit on Boston Common throughout the holiday season. Knowing its symbolic importance to both cities, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has specific guidelines for selecting the tree. It must be an attractive balsam fir, white spruce or red spruce, 12 to 16 metres (40 to 50 ft) tall, healthy with good colour, medium to heavy density, uniform and symmetrical and easy to access.[43]
For the Christmas tree extension specialist the "tree can be elusive, the demands excessive, and the job requires remembering the locations of the best specimens in the province and persuading the people who own them to give them up for a pittance." Most donors are "honoured to give up their trees... [and] most will gladly watch their towering trees fall" since everyone knows the reason it is being sent to Boston. The trees don't often come from tree farms, but from open land where they can grow tall and full. It is so important to the people of Nova Scotia that "people have cried over it, argued about it, even penned song lyrics in its honor."[44]
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:20 PM  
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Halifax Explosion References

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^ Several locations have been attributed to this image but comparisons of direction, land elevation and the foreground vessel mostly strongly suggest Bedford Basin Joel Zemel, "The Anatomy Of A Disaster: An Analysis of Two 1917 Halifax Explosion Blast Cloud Photographs"
^ a b "CBC - Halifax Explosion 1917". Cbc.ca. 2003-09-19. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ a b Jay White, "Exploding Myths: The Halifax Explosion in Historical Context", Ground Zero: A Reassessment of the 1917 explosion in Halifax Alan Ruffman and Colin D. Howell editors, Nimbus Publishing (1994), p. 266
^ "CBC - Halifax Explosion - Disputes over Time". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy John Armstrong, University of British Columbia Press, 2002, p.10-11.
^ "The CBC Halifax explosion site". CBC.ca. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
^ "Countdown to Catastrophe". CBC.ca. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
^ "The Halifax Explosion". UBC.ca. Retrieved 2008-09-17.[dead link]
^ "Damn Interesting - The Halifax Disaster". DamnInteresting.com. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
^ "The Canadian Encyclopedia - The Halifax Explosion". TheCanadianEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
^ David Simpson and Alan Ruffman, "Explosions, Bombs and Bumps: Scientific Aspects of the Explosion", Ground Zero: A Reassessment of the 1917 explosion in Halifax Alan Ruffman and Colin D. Howell editors, Nimbus Publishing, 1994 p. 288
^ Chaplin, Charmion (2006-06-14). "The Royal Naval College of Canada Closes". The Maple Leaf (Forces.gc.ca) 9 (23). Retrieved 2009-12-06.
^ Ibid., p. 288
^ a b MacMechan, Archibald; Metson, Graham (1978). The Halifax explosion: December 6, 1917. McGraw-Hill Ryerson. p. 143. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
^ "HELMSMAN OF SHIP THAT HIT MONT BLANC, HELD AS SPY". The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.): p. 1. December 14, 1917. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
^ Armstrong, John Griffith (2002). The Halifax explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: inquiry and intrigue. UBC Press. p. 113. ISBN 9780774808910. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
^ "Elements Still Scourge Desolated City of Halifax, 1050 Bodies at Morgues; All Germans Being Arrested". The Gazette (Halifax, N.S.) CXLVL (295): p. 1. December 10, 1917.
^ Macdonald, Laura (2005). "Appendix A: Accident or Sabotage?". Curse of the Narrows. London: HarperCollins. pp. 284, 342?341. ISBN 0-00-200787-8.
^ Donald Kerr, "Another Calamity: The Litigation" in Ground Zero, edited by Alan Ruffman and Colin Howell, Nimbus (1994)
^ ""Halifax Explosion Infosheet", ''Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax''". Museum.gov.ns.ca. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ "Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management - Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book". Gov.ns.ca. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
^ Source: Maclean's, 07/01/99, Vol. 112 Issue 26, p24, and
Government of Nova Scotia, Canada.
^ "Personal Narrative Dr. W.B. Moore", The Halifax Explosion December 6, 1917, Graham Metson, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1978, p. 107
^ "Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance". Gov.ns.ca. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ Michelle Hebert Boyd, Enriched by Catastrophe: Social Work and Social Conflict after the Halifax Explosion (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing 2007)
^ *Dan Conlin, "Vincent Coleman and the Halifax Explosion", Maritime Museum of the Atlantic web page
^ "Halifax Explosion". Histori.ca. 1917-12-06. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
^ ""Stella Maris", ''Ships of the Halifax Explosion'', Maritime Museum of the Atlantic website". Museum.gov.ns.ca. 2003-10-17. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ ""Ships of the Halifax Explosion", ''Maritime Museum of the Atlantic''". Museum.gov.ns.ca. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ "SS Old Colony Data". Museum.gov.ns.ca. 2004-03-08. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
^ The Interned German Passenger Liner SS Kronprinz Wilhelm that was seized when the US entered the war.
^ John Armstrong, The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy, (UBC Press, 2002) page 67.
^ Dan Conlin, "How Kentville and Wolfville helped a Stricken Halifax in 1917", Kentville Advertiser, Dec. 6, 1993, page 3A
^ Metson, Graham The Halifax Explosion McGraw Hill Ryerson, 1978, page 42
^ Goldbloom, Richard B. (May 1986). "Halifax and the Precipitate Birth of Pediatric Surgery". Pediatrics 77 (5): 764. PMID 3517802.
^ Robert Noble, Dorothy Clemens, Maudie Upham. "What I Think of the Hydrostone".
^ a b c Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Digital Archives. ?Halifax Today, Clip 10,? http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/..._war/topic/971. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
^ "A Vision of Regeneration, Reconstruction After the Halifax Explosion, 1917-1921, blueprint, August 10, 1918", Viewpoint Media Player, published 2003. Retrieved January 25, 2009.
^ Ernest Clarke, ?The Hydrostone Neighborhood?, in The Halifax Explosion, December 6, 1917, ed. and comp. Graham Metson (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1978), 170.
^ "Jon Tattrie". Pottersfield Press. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
^ Beam, Alex (2005-11-29). "Tree's roots get lost in this flap". The Boston Globe (Boston.com). Retrieved 2009-12-06.
^ Mark Campbell, "Tree Expert Picks Province's Annual Gift to Boston", Nova Scotia Magazine, November 1993, p.12
^ Hana Janjigian Heald (December 15, 2006). "Nova Scotia's Christmas Tree gift to Boston has a Dedham connection". The Dedham Times 14 (51): p. 3.
^ Keith O'Brien (November 26, 2006). "Oh! Christmas tree". The Boston Globe.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:26 PM  
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Halifax Explosion - Further reading

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Beed, Blair (2002). 1917 Halifax Explosion and American Response. 2nd Edition. Dtours Visitors and Convention Service. ISBN 0-9684383-1-8.
Mac Donald, Laura M. (2005). Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Explosion 1917. Walker Books/HarperCollins Ltd. ISBN 0002007878.
Explosion in Halifax Harbour: The illustrated account of a disaster that shook the world, David B. Flemming, Formac Publishing, 2004.
The Halifax Explosion: Surviving the Blast that Shook a Nation, Joyce Glasner, Altitude PRess, 2003.
The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and Intrigue, John Griffith Armstrong, UBC Press, 2002.
Ground Zero: A Reassessment of the 1917 Explosion in Halifax Harbour, Alan Ruffman and Colin D. Howell, eds., Nimbus Publishing, 1994.
The Halifax Explosion: Realities and Myths, Alan Ruffman, 1992.
The Survivors: The Children of the Halifax Explosion, Janet Kitz, Nimbus Publishing, 1992.
Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion and the Road to Recovery, Janet Kitz, Nimbus Publishing, 1989.
The Halifax Explosion December 6, 1917, Graham Metson, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1978.
Miracles and Mysteries: The Halifax Explosion, December, 1917, Mary Ann Monnon, Lancelot Press, 1977.
The Great Halifax Explosion, Dec. 6, 1917, Joan Horwood, Avalon Publications, 1976.
Catastrophe and Social Change: Based upon a sociological study of the Halifax Disaster, Samuel Henry Prince, AMS Press, 1968.
The Town That Died: The True Story of the Greatest Man-Made Explosion Before Hiroshima, Michael J. Bird, 1962.
Barometer Rising, Hugh MacLennan, Collins Publishing, 1941.
A Bolt of Blue, Joseph Sheldon, Cox Brothers Halifax, 1918.
Heart Throbs of the Halifax Horror, Archibald MacMechan and Stanley K. Smith, G.E. Weir Halifax, 1918.
Too Many To Mourn - One Family's Tragedy in the Halifax Explosion, James Mahar and Rowena Mahar, Nimbus Publishing, 1998.
[edit]External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Halifax Explosion
CBC Halifax Explosion Web Site a large interactive web site about the explosion
The Halifax Explosion - CBC Archives with video clips
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax Explosion web page
The Nova Scotia Archives Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance, a database of victims with 1,950 names
A Vision of Regeneration, the explosion and reconstruction by the Nova Scotia Archives
Halifax Regional Municipality Halifax Explosion webpage and list of monuments
Halifax Explosion Web Page - Library and Archives of Canada
HalifaxExplosion.org a web page created by Prince Andrew High School students and Saint Mary's University
Photographs of the memorial to the Unidentified Dead, Halifax Explosion
The Boston Christmas Tree
Halifax Firefighters Museum
Watch the NFB documentary, Just One Big Mess": The Halifax Explosion, 1917
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