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

SOURIS RIVER CLAIMED TWO LIVES WHEN BOAT CAPSIZED IN ROUGH WATER BELOW DAM   (Edit­ed clip from Souris Plain­deal­er of May 25, 1949)

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.