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​Lest We Forget

November 14, 2023

If you have driven along Bruce Beach Road behind the cottages, you may have noticed the pavilion (below) with its sign telling you it is Pollock property. There may be cars parked under the trees indicating that family members are enjoying a day at the beach. Time spent there always has a special significance.

We have talked about John Pollock who settled on these lots north of Concession 8 and brought up his large family in a log house on the top of the hill. His youngest sons, Wesley and Alfred, became owners of his lots on his death in 1902.

Before long, the land along the lake became a popular spot for the construction of summer cottages by folks from places as far away as Michigan. Among them, were the Clarke families of Detroit. They soon became good friends with the Pollocks who furnished them with milk and other needed supplies. They even had sons who shared the same name. This relationship has continued over the years.

Moving on to the 1940s, we find that the two eldest sons of Uncle Wes and Aunt Mamie, Norval and Arthur, have enlisted, along with their Pollock and Walden cousins and other boys in the neighbourhood, including Joe Elliott whose story you have already read.

Ernie Pollock’s sons, Mel, Clarence, Lorne and Dawson, who lived on the corner of the 10th Concession and the Ripley Road (the 15th), were not only Pollock cousins but their mothers were sisters: so they were double cousins. Some of you will know their sister, Lucille Fischer, whose house is across the road from the pavilion. Leroy and Carl Walden from the farm on the corner of the 10th and Highway 21 were also John’s descendants.

Then there was another Norval Pollock, also Norval E., a descendant of John’s brother, Edward, who lived in Ripley with his parents, Charlie and Annie. I am sure there were more enlisted men in this line to be added to the Pollock list as well.

England, 1943: Arthur John Pollock (left), 1923-1944, A105264; Norval Edwin Pollock, 1919-2009, B110195

At the close of the Second World War, three of these Pollock boys did not return - Arthur, Lorne and Norval, son of Charles. Arthur and Lorne had been in the Army and Norval in the RCAF.

Hugh Clarke’s family joined the Pollocks in their sorrow. As a tribute, they gave back a plot of land to the Pollock family and built the pavilion on it. A plaque on the wall memorializes the boys who gave their lives.

Each day that the Pollocks and their friends gather here, they are reminded of the dedication of these young men.

Arthur was just a few months older than Aunt Evelyn, so they were good friends. I’m sure the private phone line between the two houses heard lots of adventures being organized.

Although an ordinary, lively boy, Arthur dealt with a challenge. He stuttered. In those days, there were no speech pathologists to treat this affliction. On his departure for overseas, he urged his mother not to feel too badly if something happened to him. Some challenges would not be more difficult than the one he faced daily at home.

Here is what is recorded elsewhere for history:

-- November, 2023
Ruth Anne Hollands Robinson

Note: Lynn Farrell tells me that he remembers Norval E. (Charlie’s son) working in McLaughlan’s garage in Kincardine before he joined the RCAF.

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