Major Cyril Burton North, A Canadian Engineer at Ypres

A lady wrote in about her WW1 Royal Engineer Major father who commanded the 1st Canadian Tunneling Company near Ypres Belgium from 29 May 1916 to 18 Sep 1917

Cyril Burton North was a Canadian mining engineer from Nova Scotia who enlisted in Sep 1914 with Canadian Engineers and went over seas. He spent some time with the Royal Engineers before June of 1916 when he was assigned as OC 1st Canadian Tunneling Company. It appears he remained a Royal Engineer Major until July of 1917. He fired what was known as the St Eloi Crater near St Eloi Belgium a few miles S of Ypres on June 7 1917 Here`s what it looked like. Here`s an excellent map by a group that studies this topic. This link tells you all about the WW1 use of underground mines. The mines they planted were all detonated as shown above on 7 June 1917. This was part of the Messines Offensive which led to the 3rd Battle of Ypres and ended at Passchedaele in November 1917   After the 7th June blast the Tunnelling Companies turned more to surface operations and road building.

95,600 pounds of explosive in the mine he built Link here mentions  95,600 pounds of explosives

A photo of it today

Walking up to the pond where the crater is today 29 May 1916 to 18 Sep 1917

St Eloi Crater 7 June 1917 2

St Eloi Crater 7 June 1917Maj North went on to a distinguished career in mining. One of his last projects was supervising the removal of the Ripple Rock Hazard to navigation near Campbell River BC. CBC Background and Video  showing what the St Eloi Crater firing might have looked like.

Youtube video below from

Wings Over Canada – Campbell River, BC

 

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