Etc. -- West, Miller tragedy
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A lightly edited page 1 article from the 13 Feb 1919 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.
-- also see
Heroic Captain

Triple Tragedy at Port Dover


At Rest
Charles Edward (Teddie) West, born 13 Mar 1908
John (Jackie) West, born 20 Mar 1911
John Wilfred Miller, born 6 Oct 1908
Neighbors and playmates from infancy 
in death not divided.

Port Dover, 11 Feb 1919 -- A gloom was cast over this community Monday evening of this week when it became known that three bright little lads of our village had become victims of the treacherous ice on Lake Erie.

The three lads, in company with Lindsay Gunton, had gone to the lake to enjoy a short time skating. 

Jackie West broke through the ice which had formed over what had been open water the day before. Teddie went to his assistance but could not get him out. Johnny Miller plunged in to render assistance while Lindsay Gunton tried to attract the attention of some adult by calling as loudly as possible.

The plight of the boys had been noticed by Capt. John A. Macaulay who ran from Main street to the lake shore and out on the ice which was firm for a considerable distance from the shore.

When he reach the newly formed ice it gave way with him and precipitated him into the water at a considerable distance from the spot where the boys had now disappeared from view.

Although too weak to hold his weight, the ice was still strong enough to resist his efforts to break it with his fists, and he was forced to climb out on it to a section would give way beneath him, and repeat the process till over the spot when the boys had broken through.

Meanwhile help had arrived and as Mr. Macaulay brought a lad from the bottom to the surface he would [tie] the end of a line which had been thrown to him fast around the body of the little fellow who would be hauled tenderly  to firmer ice.

As soon as the third lad's body had been secured all three were hurried to Dr. Cook's office where he and Dr. [Toole] assisted by relays of willing workers tried to resuscitate the lads but their efforts proved unprevailing.

The West boys are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest West. Mr. West is on H.M.C.S. [Apprentice] at present at Halifax and has left for Port Dover but is not expected that he will be able to reach here before Friday.

Johnnie Miller is the youngest son of Mrs. Robert J. Miller.

The sympathy of the entire community goes out to the bereaved ones of both families in this their hour of affliction.

Captain Macaulay was carried home and got to bed as soon as possible. It was considerable time before he began to react from the severe chilling which his brave deed had entailed. Though still in bed this (Tuesday) evening the Captain is now thought to be out of danger of any complication following his prolonged immersion in the icy water.

Some years [ago] the Captain rescued the crew of a tug which was frozen in the ice on Lake Huron, off Southampton, by means of a ladder and a boat. The ice was in bad condition so he would push the ladder out as far as possible, walk to the end of it and then haul the boat along side. Where there was open water he would enter the boat and tow the ladder until ice as again encountered. As the tug lay three miles off shore, the magnitude of his his task in reaching the tug may be imagined. The return trip with the rescued crew was not so strenuous.

In November of 1914, Captain Macaulay rescued the crew of four of the disabled yacht "Luella" belonging to the Detroit Yacht Club of Kingsville, only to see [them] arrested as German spies because one of the party bearing a German name sported a moustache somewhat resembling that of Kaiser Wilhelm.

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