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Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Posted: 1115550730000
Classification: Query
Thnaks to a very helpful lady called Stella,we have found that an ancestor John(Jack) E Henderson died on 2/12/56 in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

I have the death cert,but wondered if there might have been an obituary in the local Vancouver paper-giving us more info on the family.

This is from the death cert- the crash site was not discovered until the following May,and the inquest held in Sept 1957.So not sure when an obit would have been in the paper?

Name: HENDERSON, John Edward.
Place of Death: Mount Slesse B.C.
Address: #1 - 2003 Burrard Street,Vancouver B.C.
Sex: Male. Citizenship: Canadian. race: Scottish.
Place of Birth: Glasgow Scotland. Date of Birth: June 5, 1909. Age: 47

Occupation: Western Divisional Manager. Capital Carbon and Ribon Co. Ltd.
Last worked: December 8, 1956. Time at Occupation: 5years.
Spouse: Nan Cochran Smart.

Informant: Nan C. Henderson.wife Date: September 16, 1957
Date of Death: December 1956.

Cause of Death: Coroners Inquiry: Multiple instant severe injuries to head and body. Aircraft crash.
Place of Burial: Left on Mountain.
Glen McDonald Coroner. September 20, 1957.

Thanks for any suggestions or help anyone can give.
It's difficult to know what is available from over here in England.

All the best


Some related information on the Mount Slesse Air Disaster

Rocky (View posts)
Posted: 1115568055000
Classification: Query
Hello Carol and Stella....

I have some related information on the mount Slesse air disaster. You may have this information already but I am posting it here, in case others who are researching this disaster may gain clues too.

My humble respect is extended to the following names and surviving family members. The fragile nature of our lives from day to day, comes to light when one does a small bit of research on a disater like this. Kindest regards; Rocky Sampson.

The following information was collected of various sites from the WWW:

Ministerial Statement
Hansard -- Volume 20, Number 11 -- Monday, May 29, 1995:

Hon. A. Petter: It's my pleasure today to introduce to the House a group of about 30 members of the families of Slesse, including Andy and Karin Kleven, who are our guests for an announcement that we'll be making shortly on the future of Mount Slesse. Also present for this event from the Chilliwack forest district are Murray and Judy Sluys, Jim McMillan Murphy of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans' Association, and Morley Eldridge and D'Ann Owens-Baird of Millennia Research. I'd ask the House to please bid these very special guests a warm welcome.

R. Neufeld: On behalf of the member for Peace River South, I would like to introduce Mr. Jim Rose from Dawson Creek. He is also here to take part this afternoon in what the Minister of Forests talked about -- the Mount Slesse announcement. Please make him welcome.

Hon. A. Petter: I rise today on a matter of significance to British Columbia, to make a ministerial statement, one that concerns the final resting place of 62 people who perished in a plane crash on
Mount Slesse on December 9, 1956. This tragic event devastated families and friends of the victims and touched sensibilities in every part of Canada. When the scene of the crash was finally
discovered, the wreckage was found covering a vast expanse of rock and ice in a high mountain reach. The site was deemed so remote and inaccessible, and the devastation so complete, that no further attempt should be made to bring down the remains and that Mount Slesse should remain their resting place.

The course of time has belied the hope that Mount Slesse would remain a remote and inaccessible wilderness. It has also revealed that an important promise made at the time -- namely, that this place would be dedicated to the memory of the lives it had claimed -- was never actually carried out. This disturbing fact has renewed the distress of families who believed a special status had been conferred in recognition of their loss. All members of this House feel compassion for the anguish this has caused the families of Slesse. Today it is our privilege to fulfil a commitment that will give them comfort. On behalf of the province of British Columbia, I would like to acknowledge the oversight and say to the families of Slesse -- many of whom are with us in the gallery today -- that we share your wish that this place be dedicated to the memory of your loved ones.

I am pleased today to announce the creation of a Mount Slesse commemorative site covering approximately 582 hectares on the mountain's east face. The crash site and debris field are now formally recorded as a heritage wreck in the B.C. archeological site inventory and are thereby protected by statute from damage or desecration. Consistent with the families' wish that the site be managed for quiet contemplation of its grandeur, a protective zone is now placed around the debris field. Within this area, by means of orders-in-council passed under the Land Act and the Forest Act and by ministerial order under the Mineral Tenure Act, intrusive uses have been prohibited. At a future date modest signage will be placed to identify the nature of this special scene for the hikers and mountaineers who happen upon it.

It is our sincere hope that by these actions we can finally lay to rest a troubling memory and thereby initiate a process of reconciliation that is long overdue. There will be an opportunity for members of the House to join with the families of Mount Slesse at a reception following question period in the Ned DeBeck lounge, and I invite members to do so.

W. Hurd: The opposition is pleased today to join with the government in endorsing this caring and compassionate decision to dedicate this as a memorial site for those 62 people who tragically lost their lives back in the 1950s.We know that in most cases every effort is made to recover the remains of victims of air disasters, but with the type of terrain we see in British Columbia and the inaccessible areas, that sometimes proves to be impossible. I know that the families will be comforted by the government's decision to make this special effort to dedicate the site as a reminder of the perils of air travel in British Columbia, but it is also a beautiful site at which to recognize the families and the people who lost their lives. We hope and know that the memory will live on. It's indeed a caring and compassionate move by the government.

R. Neufeld: On behalf of the Reform Party of British Columbia, we would like to join with the government and the families who are represented in the gallery today, in setting aside some 582
hectares as a heritage site for the crash that took place in the mid-fifties and took 62 lives. We agree with the government that there had to have been some kind of oversight, and we apologize
along with them and hope that what is done today will finally meet the needs and desires of those people who are here today watching.

Dec. 9, 1956: 62 killed when Trans-Canada Air Lines North Star disappears en route from Vancouver to Calgary. Plane discovered on May 13, 1957, on Mount Slesse, B.C., near Chilliwack.

An "unofficial" list of the 62 people killed at Mount Slesse, BC ,Dec. 9, 1956:

1.Mabel Florence Adams,Age:33

2.Maxwell Sheppard Bailey,Age:56

3.Melvin Howard Becket,Age:26

4.Denise Marie Beernaerts,Age:19

5.Dorothy Bjornson,Age:24

6.John Charles T Boon,Age:26

7.Marion Lewis Bright,Age:43

8.Eliza Duncan Burt,Age:68

9.Helen Gale Chapman,Age:27

10.San Chun Low Cheng,Age:24

11.Alan Jack Clarke,Age:35

12.Harold Cleven,Age:46

13.Karl Warren Collett,Age:58

14.Lothar Richard T Custer,Age:44

15.Mario Demarco,Age:29

16.Fred W Edwards,Age:58

17.Wilfred Emde,Age:26

18.Anthony Folger,Age:60

19.Yen Gar,Age:16

20.Philip Edwin Gower,Age:41

21.Jean Margaret Grant,Age:35

22.Christian Hamilton,Age:48

23.R Winslow Hamilton,Age:45

24.Audrey Cameron Harper,Age:39

25.Hashimoto Dong Hatsuko,Age:27

26.John B Hemming,Age:42

27.John Edward Henderson,Age:46

28.Donald Arthur Holden,Age:24

29.Calvin J Jones,Age:23

30.Georgina Kafoury,Age:50

31.Clarence Gordon Kennedy,Age:40

32.Song Kwan,Age:63

33.Kenneth Roy Laird,Age:41

34.Aline Litovchenko,Age:24

35.John David Lyall,Age:41

36.Ian Hamilton Macbeth,Age:41

37.James M Mackay,Age:35

38.Harold Clarence Mcelroy,Age:56

39.Ronald Mitchell,Age:23

40.Robert John M Muir,Age:47

41.John A Munro,Age:42

42.Edwin Stanley Pettitt,Age:29

43.Sarah Rose,Age:54

44.Patrick Rowan,Age:11

45.Susan Gail Rowan,Age:5

46.Walter Peter Rowan,Age:42

47.Yvonne Rowan,Age:41

48.Duncan Mackenzie Stewart,Age:39

49.Russell Smith Stratton,Age:52

50.John Struthers,Age:42

51.Gordon Sturtridge,Age:27

52.Mildred A Sturtridge,Age:27

53.Ray N Syrnyk,Age:22

54.Leslie Edward Webb,Age:33

55.E L Welch,Age:39

56.Arthur Lawrence West,Age:38

57.Joan Elizabeth Williams,Age:32

58.Fook Wong,Age:38

59.Yuen Wah Woon,Age:16

60.Frank John Wright,Age:28

61.Harold Edwin Wright,Age:56

62.Lee Wan Ying,Age:51


Some other links related to the 1956 air disaster at Mount Slesse, BC, Canada:

As the first decade ended, Hilltop players, officials and fans were saddened by the death of Ray

Syrnyk, who was among four Saskatchewan Roughriders who lost their lives when their plane crashed

in to the side of Mount Slesse in British Columbia on Dec. 8, 1956. Bob Arn called him "the

Greatest Linebacker, truly the outstanding one - he played the hardest." Johnny Babineau agreed

Syrnyk "was the most outstanding player we had with the Hilltops in the club’s post-war history."

BEERNAERTS, Denise - Born: 28 August 1937, Somerset, Manitoba, Canada - Died: 9 December 1956,

Mount Slesse(Accidently killed in a plane crash) near Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

Andere info: Memorial Service in the Belgian Sacred Heart Church, St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada on

13 October 1957, copie. Foto. Zoon/dochter van: BEERNAERTS Oscar en BEERNAERTS Alice. Zie "Onze

Boorouders", 4e jaargang nr.3 - juli 2001.
Mount Slesse near bottom of page. May not open, sorry.
Mount Slesse, 8002 ft (2439m)
Date:09/12/1956, Crash Site: Mount Slesse, Aircraft: Canada DC-4, Airline: Trans Canada Airlines,

Likely Reason for Crash as Reported:Engine Failure, Fatalities: 62
Disaster Database
This database contains details of more than 6,350 disasters and incidents around the world. The

information was compiled by Dr K C Hines, a BASICS doctor operating in the London area and Dr Hines

holds more information on many of the incidents listed.
Incidents are listed by type and then by country within those pages. To search for a specific

incident please use the box below - when you find the page containing the information you can

scroll down to it or use the 'find' facility on your edit menu.

Re: Some related information on the Mount Slesse Air Disaster

Posted: 1115569036000
Classification: Query

Thank you so much for going to so much trouble for me.
I did have some of it,but not the names-which was wonderful (and also very sad) to see.

I am suprised that it took the government until 1995 to properly dedicate the site to those who had died,and I wonder if any of John's ancestors attended the meeting.

That is my reason for wanting to find his obituary,whilst the death cert gives details of his wife-nothing is mentioned of his children? Possibly a daughter born c1940 called Georgia(or Georgina)and maybe more children?

So still keen to find any more info please.

Once again many thanks,

All the best


Images of the mount Slesse Memorial

Rocky (View posts)
Posted: 1115582133000
Classification: Query
Hi Carol...

One more link to the collection on Mount Slesse. This one is a Yahoo Geocities address, so you may want to print out any images soon as one never knows when it will fold.

Kind regards; Rocky Sampson

Re: Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Posted: 1115789591000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1135463494000
Surnames: HENDERSON,
Hi Carol,
I found the news story in the Vancuver Sun.December 10, 1956.
Have made some copies -Didn't read through the news stories at the library - although J. Henderson is listed as passenger. I can send the copies to you- you have my home e mail address.

I did search the Death Notices /Obituaries for all December - with 0 results [in the Vancouver Sun]. Searched Sept 1957 - since that is when the Coroner made his report. for obits - with 0 results. It is possible that I may have missed something - or - because of the event - there was no obituary published. Perhaps someone else will help you with the search - I will follow up - as time allows.-family/friends situations have become complicated again - and need my time.
Cheers, Stella

Re: Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Posted: 1115801568000
Classification: Query
Thanks again for your time Stella.

I have contacted you off message board.

All the best


Re: Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Ron Slivka (View posts)
Posted: 1121353754000
Classification: Query
I have some information for you regarding this crash, if you are interested. I can refer you to a book describing the incident, a very thorough story. E-mail me if you are interested.

Re: Some related information on the Mount Slesse Air Disaster

Ron Slivka (View posts)
Posted: 1121354718000
Classification: Query
Rocky, I read the Debate report, and am curious. No where does it indicate a vote, or resolution passed instituting the Commemorative status. Would this be located somewhere else?

Re: Died in a plane crash on Mount Slesse.

Posted: 1121944659000
Classification: Query
Hello Ron

I thank you for your continued interest in my Henderson/Mount Slesse research. This is to let you know that I would love to find out more about the crash,and to this end to let you know I did email you privately on 14th July.

Hope you got it okay?

All the best

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