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The Ship Wreck Ithaca!
And It's
Connection With The Canadian Provost Corps

Article submitted by former member of the Canadian Provost Corps
LCpl Earl J. Forestell

image of the ship wreck Ithaca in Hudson Bay, MB. Whenever we have extremely cold weather in North Bay, Ontario, I always tend to think of serving on the Military Police Detachment (1st,September, 1960 to 1st, September 1962) at Fort Churchill, Manitoba (it was really cold there). At that time, our Detachment Commander was Tony MacAskill (Outstanding Commander and Gentleman).

A few years ago my wife and I attended a General Motors meeting in Cancun, Mexico. We met a couple at the meeting from Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and the subject of the Ithaca Shipwreck was discussed.
  • From Lloyds Maritime Information Service:
    The British flag steamship Ithaca of 2057 tons gross, built 1922, registered at the port of Nassau, Bahamas (which was a British colony), was wrecked on September 14th, 1960, shortly after leaving the port of Churchill. The 38 year old ship, which was listed under the registered ownership of Ithaca Shipping Company, of Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas departed from Churchill on September 14th, 1960, bound for Rankin Inlet, NWT, carrying 30 tons of equipment that included two generators and pre-fab (plywood) panels for the Canadian Department of Transport. She was soon driven aground off Bird Cove, 10 miles east of Churchill, at Latitude 58-46-42N and longitude 93-53-24W, after her rudder broke during an 80 mph gale. Badly holed, lying on a boulder strewn beach with her machinery space flooded and her rudder torn off, she was abandoned and settled as a constructive total loss by her insurers....
Succinctly put, I had occasion to board the Ithaca twice after the investigation. The first time was with Gregory Stevens (a fellow Provost) and we removed the Ithaca's auxiliary steering wheel and the second time I was with another Provost colleague, Stanley Draus and we removed the backup auxiliary steering wheel. Both wheels were identical. Gregory Stevens kept one auxiliary steering wheel for his personal collection and the second auxiliary steering wheel was donated to the Canadian Provost Corps School, CFB Borden, Ontario. C Pro c members Reginald High and Tony Cannons handled the administration aspect of getting the auxiliary steering wheel transported from Fort Churchill Detachment to the Canadian Provost Corps School.

Serving in Churchill was a great experience and many fond memories and friendships resulted from my time serving in this Northern community.

Web Master's Note:
Major (retired) Tony MacAskill of Halifax, NS advised me that he has fond memories of his days in Churchill, MB and clearly remembers Earl who was a close associate of Tony Cannons. Earl now resides in North Bay, Ontario and sent along this article following his surfing of this web site and reflecting on his past experiences as a member of the Canadian Provost Corps.

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