May 21st 1949, CPR Man and young lad drown below Souris River Dam


It is our sad duty this week to record the deaths of Norman Douglas “Doc” Croll 45, and Raymond Harold Jacobson, 11 , who met death by drowning at the Souris dam at 7:45 on Saturday evening.

The two were occupants of a boat which capsized in the churning waters below the dam, while attempting to recover lost fishing tackle. Onlookers and fishermen in the vicinity were powerless to lend assistance as no boats were available for rescue work. Both victims were swept about 200 yards downstream in the swift current. According to eye-witnesses Mr. Croll was last seen treading the cold water with the Jacobson boy in his arms. He suddenly disappeared and it is presumed he sank from exhaustion.

Dragging operations commenced immediately and the man’s body was recovered an hour later close to where he was last seen. Artificial respiration was applied. The lad’s body was brought to the surface at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon.

When the news spread through the town that Norman Croll had met his death by drowning, it was pretty hard to believe, as he was noted for his aquatic skill. Being an expert swimmer, he had served as a lifeguard in time past at the Souris docks and had assisted several times in bringing bodies to the surface when bathers had gotten into difficulties.

Second son of Dr. and Mrs. H. A. Croll, Norman Croll was born in Souris on July 23rd, 1904. He attended the local Public School and Collegiate Institute and later entered the employ of the C. P. R.  At the time of his death he was a yard switch Foreman. He was a member of the Trainmen’s Organization.

He had an aptitude for electrical work and carried on the business of an electrical contractor as a sideline.

He was a Captain and Quartermaster, 12th Manitoba Dragoons, in militia, and Sergeant in the Second World War (Canada).

In his boyhood days he was associated with Boy Scout work and later was a member of the Souris Citizens band. He had a membership with the Game and Fish Association. In fraternal circles he was a member of the Masonic Order.

Besides his parents, who were to have celebrated their Golden Wedding this week, Mr Croll is survived by brother and sister. H. Murray Croll and Mrs. R. J. Alley (Eva), both of Winnipeg.

St. Luke’s Anglican Church was filled to overflowing for the funeral service on Monday afternoon, May 23rd. The large number of floral tributes were silent testimonies of the high esteem in which the deceased was held. Rev. George G. Morrison officiated. Active pallbearers were Harry W. Forrest, Lyall McMorran, Frank Stockden, Charles Lewis, George Kempthorne, J. B. Mitchell Jr., honorary pallbearers: Harold Fallis, Frank Mote, Harry Strawn, of the Canadian Legion; C. F. Cooke, John Stevens, James Strawn representing the Trainmen.

A Masonic service was conducted at the graveside and burial was made in Glenwood Cemetery.


Raymond Harold Jacobson was a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Jacobson. The family has resided here since the close of the Second Great War. Mr. Jacobson was stationed at the Souris Airport and later took up residence in Souris to follow his profession as photographer.

Raymond was born at Midale, Sask. Besides his parents, he is survived by two brothers and a sister, Jimmie aged 8, Roger, 5; Norma, 14. He was a Grade VI pupil at the Souris Public School. At the Empire Day exercises which were to have been held at the School on Monday May 23rd, Raymond was to have been presented with a first prize for Art work, given by Plum Creek Chapter I. O. D. E.

The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon, May 24th at 2:30 from St. Paul’s United Church. Rev. C. S. Matchett and Rev. G. S. Laggo conducted the service. Miss Lydia Williams of Brandon sang “Safe In The Arms Of Jesus.”  Pallbearers were Gwyn Griffiths, Harold Brown, Gerald Abrey and Richard Abrey.

Burial was made in Glenwood Cemetery.