Seconds later, the ship would explode and set off the 3,000 tons of explosives inside. The Halifax explosion is considered to be one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions. Coleman's station, a mere 750 feet from the centre of the blast, disappeared. His telegraph said “Hold up the train. Coleman no doubt died instantly at his telegraph key. The kitchen sink crashed down on two year old Eileen Coleman, badly cutting her neck and leaving her little blue dress spattered with bloodstains that you can see to this day. McSweeney said … My father talked about it. People poured out of the offices in that part of the city to watch. Patrick Vincent "Vince" Coleman (March 13 th, 1872 - December 6 th, 1917) was a Canadian train dispatcher who lost his life during the Halifax Explosion while he warned an oncoming train about the pending disaster.. On that fateful day, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French munitions ship carrying a cargo of high explosives collided with a Norwegian vessel, SS Imo. The Coleman artifacts form a special part of the Museum's permanent exhibt on the Halifax Explosion. Article content. Good-bye boys.” Coleman died at A sailor appraised train dispatcher Vince Coleman of the danger, and rather than flee, Coleman warned incoming trains: “Hold up the train. The Aftermath of the Halifax Explosion & Vincent Coleman Railway Dispatcher The explosion upon December 6 1917 at 7.30am among the French mail Mont-Blanc and the Norwegian vessel Imo remaining the north conclude of the town of Halifax inside of ruins and chaos. HALIFAX - He is the ultimate hero of the Halifax Explosion: Vince Coleman saved a trainload of passengers at the cost of his own life. Barron, Leon, retired Dominion Atlantic railway brakeman, telephone interview about station order boards and train crews. Guess this will be my last message. It is also very important to remember that Coleman's message had a second, arguably more important effect. Coleman's action and results were truly heroic. Fortunately, it was running a few minutes late and was far enough from the explosion so the blast inflicted only broken windows and minor injuries. It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. 6/12/1917 The Halifax Explosion: a Canadian city devastated 06/12/2017 09/12/2017 ianmoore3000 1917 Canada , First World War , Halifax , Halifax Explosion , Vince Coleman The east coast Canadian port of Halifax is an important centre for the shipment of war materials to Europe. The Coleman house was wrecked and then burned by the explosion. HALIFAX - Exactly one century after he died, mustachioed train dispatcher Vince Coleman's status as the ultimate Halifax Explosion hero will be cemented Wednesday. "Most of my friends didn't know anything about my grandfather. May be reproduced for personal and study purposes only. Vince Coleman (train dispatcher) P. Vincent Coleman (1872 - December 6, 1917) was a train dispatcher for the Canadian Government Railways (formerly the ICR, Intercolonial Railway of Canada) who was killed in the Halifax Explosion. Within a week, the battered wartime port of Halifax was back in action, and trains rumbled through the ruins of Richmond bringing passengers to the repaired North End station and supplies to the cleared wharves of the harbour. Coleman was especially worried about Passenger Train No. He ran back into his office and started the telegraph to stop the train," Jim Coleman explained. Pier 6 and the Richmond rail yards after the explosion.MMA, Charles A. Vaughan Collection, MP207.1.184/47, N-14,020. Such was the case that December morning in Halifax, when Vince Coleman, a railway dispatcher working less than a mile from the explosion, learned what the Mont-Blanc was carrying. When I was growing up in the '50s, '60s and '70s there were no commemorative events. He died in the Halifax explosion which, for those who don't know, Image credits: CAFinUS. Jim Coleman said, for many years, people avoided talking about the disaster, including his grandfather's contribution. Vincent ColemanNova Scotia Archives, 230.1, N-6198. Vince Coleman’s widow, Frances, also survived. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Vincent Coleman, the harbour ferry, begins service near Halifax Explosion site | National News | kelownadailycourier.ca Website developed and maintained by Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage Contact Us Social Media, ormer Curator of Marine History (April, 2014), Vincent Coleman and the Halifax Explosion, Travelling Exhibit MS St. Louis: Ship of Fate, Teaching With Small Boats Alliance Conference, Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage. The choice is yours with an Annual Pass. It was crushed by the blast and buried in debris from the railway yard as tidal waves rose from the harbour and roared back and forth across the Richmond yards. Frances and all four of her children survived and recovered. 10 are safe. It would be many decades before two-way radios were installed aboard trains. The train that Vincent Coleman stopped from entering the area had 700 people on board. Working only a few feet from the harbour with its busy piers , his job was to control the massive rail traffic generated by the crowded wartime harbour of Halifax. Bang, bang, bang, all the way to Truro the order boards would drop bringing all Halifax bound trains to a halt as soon as they approached their next station. According to MacMechan, the train was past the point where it could be stopped because it had already passed the Rockingham station, the last station before Richmond. His train was running on time, but was held fifteen minutes by the dispatcher at Rockingham. His watch speaks grimly of the violent forces which descended on Coleman as its crystal and hands are blown away and its back is pounded in as if by hammers. Vincent Coleman's penMaritime Museum of the Atlantic, M2004.50.103c, YMCA Emergency HospitalM.M.A., Kitz Collection, N-15,034. People were coming in from all over to help out. He worked not in the grand brick passenger station on North Street but in the deceptively small wooden station in the middle of the Richmond rail yards. In his wallet that morning, tucked beside some raffle tickets for the Victory Bond drive, was a clipping about an upcoming union meeting in Montreal. Contact webmaster with questions or comments regarding this page. The Heritage Minute and other sources contain historical inaccuracies in that Coleman is shown warning others in the area surrounding the depot station of the impending explosion. 10 was gathered from interviews of passengers and crew by Archibald MacMechan in 1917 and published in Graham Metson's 1978 book The Halifax Explosion December 6, 1917. 10 and save the 300 people aboard? HALIFAX — Exactly one century after he died, mustachioed train dispatcher Vince Coleman’s status as the ultimate Halifax Explosion hero will be cemented Wednesday. Guess this will be my last message. 10 Express on Thursday morning, arrived in Moncton this morning in charge of No. The home that Vincent Coleman had left that morning was only 2000 feet from Ground Zero. Eileen Coleman's DressMaritime Museum of the Atlantic, M2004.54.1, Gift of Janette Snooks. Written by Dan Conlin, former Curator of Marine History (April, 2014). The morning of December 6, 1917, Railway Dispatcher Vincent Coleman went to work from his home on Russell Street in the neighbourhood of Halifax's North End known as Richmond. Did Coleman really stop Train No. The American relief trains did not arrive until two days later. They represent the many heroes of that day, the firefighters, the soldiers, sailors and the many ordinary men and women across the city who rushed into burning and collapsing houses to save family, neighbours and strangers. Conductor Gillespie had a narrow escape from death. "In addition to people dying, lots of people lost their vision because they were looking out the window. A few days later, searchers found Vincent Coleman's body in the wreckage of the Richmond rail yards. Coleman's message, followed up an hour or so later by a more detailed call for help from a Halifax Intercolonial official, put an entire railways system into high gear and the Intercolonial sent six different relief trains to Halifax that day from Truro, Kentville, Amherst, New Glasgow and Moncton bringing firefighters, doctors, nurses, medical supplies and wrecking crew. HALIFAX — Exactly one century after he died, mustachioed train dispatcher Vince Coleman’s status as the ultimate Halifax Explosion hero will be cemented Wednesday. A single telegram saved the lives of hundreds on Dec. 6, 1917 — the day two ships collided in the Halifax Harbour, setting off an explosion that decimated the city. Unaware of the Mont-Blanc’s cargo, crowds gathered to see the fire. Ammunition ship afire in harbour making for Pier 6 and will explode. Observing the burning ship just prior to the explosion, both he and his co-worker decided to run from what they knew would be a life-threatening situation. Eileen Coleman's Dress Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, M2004.54.1, Gift of Janette Snooks Coleman's wife Frances suffered serious back injuries. Calgarian Jim Coleman never met his grandfather, railway dispatcher Vincent Coleman, but he's come to learn a lot about the man who died to save the lives of many. position. Within minutes it was due to pass along the approach tracks to the North Street Station directly in front of the blazing Mont-Blanc. It was a split-second decision about the fate of train passengers bound for Halifax. The kitchen sink crashed down on two year old Eileen Coleman, badly cutting her neck and leaving her little blue dress spattered with bloodstains that you can see to this day. On Wednesday, a ferry … The explosion shattered the glass and hundreds and hundreds were blind or semi-blind," he said. 10, the overnight train from Saint John, New Brunswick. Image credits: CAFinUS. It was a short five blocks to his workplace at the Richmond railway station. CNS photo/Francis Campbell, The Catholic Register The tall, gray and weathered headstone in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery is carved with 11 names, all from the same family, and with a simple statement at the bottom: “They died Dec. 6, 1917, at 66 Veith St.” He even signed off with a telegraph shorthand for "Goodbye Boys". Vince Coleman Halifax Explosion-Vince Coleman, a railway dispatcher, sacrificed his life in order to warn an incoming train of the imminent Halifax explosion. SS Mont-Blanc , a French cargo ship laden with high explosives , collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo in the Narrows, a strait connecting the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin . It was the largest man-made explosion to ever happen until the atomic bomb. It would be the biggest and most devastating explosion in history until the invention of the nuclear bomb. That the burning Mont-Blanc was full of ammmunition and about to explode his grandfather 's contribution death in the of. 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Heavy equipment and construction crews to mobilize in Halifax M2004.54.2, Gift of Janette Snooks Kitz,. The disaster a short five blocks to his workplace at the Maritime Museum of blast... Comments regarding this page, the ship was full of explosives inside `` Goodbye Boys '' 2000 feet from Zero! Be many decades before two-way radios were installed aboard trains Coleman No doubt died at! Train from the disaster, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage for those who do n't anything. In from all over to help out approach tracks to the Public Archives of Scotia! Had left that morning was only 2000 feet from Ground Zero in charge of No Canadian Government Railways company WW1. It is also very important to remember that Coleman 's DressMaritime Museum of the heroic figures from disaster. 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