Remembering the Gunnery School: romance, adventure and tragedy in Fingal

Remembering the Gunnery School: romance, adventure and tragedy in Fingal

Presenters: Blair Ferguson, Andrew McGill, and Paul Anderson

October 12 at The Archives, 178 McKellar St, Glencoe from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

This is a hybrid event: Zoom AND in person! Arrive at the Archives at 6:45 p.m. so we can visit and welcome our online guests.  Start at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 833 7114 4079

Passcode: 814970.   (More number below)

Blair Ferguson, local author of Southwold Remembers: The #4 Bombing and Gunnery School.  Blair Ferguson is an authority on this training facility which was located at the Fingal Wildlife Management Area during WWII. His book is filled with stories about the people who worked there. Special price $20.


Andrew McGill – local photographer and farmer. Andrew will present his family’s personal connection to the Gunnery School.  We’ll pay tribute to his grandfather, Blake, who was a hardworking member of the Glencoe & District Historical Society in its early years (Est. 1978).  Blair and Andrew are presenting in person. 


Paul Anderson, author of Eric Stirling – The Missing Son – A Recollection of His Life, published privately , New Zealand.  Paul is joining us from his home in New Zealand via Zoom.  

Paul Anderson has published the wonderful letters his uncle wrote to family back in New Zealand. Young Eric Stirling joined the airforce and like so many young guys from the Commonwealth, he was trained in Canada at the #4 B&G School. He never made it home.

The young men were SO young. The movies cast actors in their 30s so we forget that WWII was the first adventure off the farm for many young soldiers. Eric was 24. Many were not even 18.

Please join us to learn about what went on over in Fingal during WWII.  It was a very exciting time! 

October 12, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.


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Meeting ID: 833 7114 4079

Passcode: 814970

Eric Stirling graduating from the gunnery school
“Flagship Erie” Plaque Unveiling near Lawrence Station

“Flagship Erie” Plaque Unveiling near Lawrence Station

Article written by Ken Beecroft:

Lawrence Station, ON: On Sunday September 9th at 2 p.m. there was an unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the site of the area’s most serious air disaster. Although a cold, windy and blustery day, at least 200 people were on hand for this solemn occasion.

On October 30, 1941, while on route across southwestern Ontario from Buffalo to Detroit, American Airline’s DC-3 “Flagship Erie” suddenly fell from the skies just east of the rural Elgin County hamlet of Lawrence Station, on the Southwold Township farm of Thompson and Viola Howe. In all, twenty American citizens on board perished. Local citizens along with fire, police, military, and media respondents along with many more were remembered for their efforts. Inquiries by Canadian and American officials never determined the cause of the crash. In 1941, there was a designated landing strip in nearby Mosa Township at the corner of Longwood’s Road and Old Airport Road, southwest of Glencoe, that could have provided refuge. They never made it there. This awful disaster lead to the development of flight data recording technology.

To most people passing by, this has always been another farmer’s field, as time has eroded memories. We can now acknowledge that this place holds a significant place in Southwold Township history. The plaque recognition Project is a combined venture by Greenlane Community Trust, Southwold Township History Committee, S.S. #12 Southwold School Alumni, along with many others…..Well done Southwold !!!