Posts tagged #glacier

Matthew Sainsbury

Dates: b. Portsmouth, England, 17 July 1886 d. July 1928

Cemetery Location: Block E, Row 3, Plot 22


The town of Revelstoke was deeply affected by the news of the death of three of its residents, Matthew Sainsbury (Stanbury), William Clay and Maurice Roger, in an engine explosion in July 1928. The explosion occurred near Glacier, caused by a water shortage in the boiler of the train engine. An incident inquiry did not find the cause of the water shortage, and the engineer had not reported engine defects before the ill-fated train began its journey.

Matthew Sainsbury was born in England in 1892, coming to Canada in his early teens and joining the Canadian Pacific Railway as a wiper in 1920. His entire Canadian Pacific Railway career was served on the Revelstoke Division.

During World War I, Matthew enlisted with the 54th Kootenay Battalion, proceeding overseas with one of the first drafts from this battalion. He was then transferred to the 7th Battalion, British Columbia Regiment, and served with distinction until the end of the war. Matthew was wounded several times and before the accident had coughed up a fragment of shrapnel that had been embedded in a lung since 1916.

He was married in London, England, in 1917, to Miss Eva Marie Davis and they had four girls: Rita, Donna, Eileen and Joan.

Returning from overseas, Matthew resumed work with CPR as a fireman and at the time his death had recently passed his engineer examinations. He was an exceptionally powerful man and prominent in boxing and wrestling circles.

Matthew was 42, Maurice, 43 and William, 42 years old when their lives were tragically cut short.

Lemuel & Nellie Viers


Nellie Viers: b. 1923 d. 26 August 1936

Lemuel Viers: b. 24 April 1861 d. 4 April 1951

Cemetery Location:

Nellie Viers: Block E, Row 5, Plot 15

Lemuel Viers: Block E, Row 5, Plot 15


Lemuel Viers was born in Ohio in 1861, the year of the Civil War.  He moved to Ponoka, Alberta in 1901 and then to Revelstoke in 1920, where he worked as a labourer for Canadian Pacific Railway and Government Roads. Lemuel and his wife, Sarah Agnes Viers, had five children: Clarence, Clara, Mrs. W. Johnson, Charlie and Albert.

A tragic accident at Glacier took the life of Lemuel’s granddaughter Nellie Viers (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Viers) in August 1934. The 13-year-old was with a group of people berry picking, when she lost her footing stepping off a bridge and fell into a creek bed, striking her head on a rock. The injured girl was taken to Revelstoke by train, but never regained consciousness.

In June 1947, a search party discovered the mangled remains of Lemuel’s son, Clarence, after the young man failed to return from a hunting trip in the Big Bend area. It is believed a Grizzly attacked him at his cabin not long after he went up to his trap line in November 1946. His remains were buried near the cabin where he was found.