Posts tagged #rogers pass

Christopher & Joseph Daem

Christopher Daem c.1930.

Christopher Daem c.1930.

Joseph Daem. c.1930.

Joseph Daem. c.1930.


Christopher Daem: b. Revelstoke, 1908 d. February 1933

Joseph Daem: b. Revelstoke, 1909 d. February 1933

Cemetery Location:

Christopher Daem: Block J, Row 27, Plot 19

Joseph Daem: Block J, Row 27, Plot 21


Brothers Christopher and Joseph Daem set out on a ski trip through Duchesay Pass, between Banff and Field, on 24 February 1933, but failed to return.

According to the local newspaper, a number of search parties were mobilized but they were unable to find any sign of the men.

“As a result of their recklessness a number of men are risking their lives and the Canadian Rockies are liable to receive a bad name. Expert skiers claim, however, that skiing is perfectly safe in the Rockies, providing normal precautions are taken. There is no such evidence that the lost men took such precautions.”

After several months, the bodies of Christopher and Joe were discovered by Swiss guides in June, 1933. They had been buried under avalanche debris.

Christopher was 25 and embarking on a writing career and Joe, 24, was a graduate in engineering from Queen’s University.  Joe had undertaken survey work in Rogers Pass for several years, was an experienced climber and like his brother, familiar with the terrain through which their last journey was made.

The Daems were a well-known Revelstoke family and the incident deeply affected the town’s residents. The brothers left behind their parents, Joseph and Rose Daem, two brothers, Joris and Frank, and two sisters, Joan and Alberta.

Frank Alfred Ford

Saint Peter's Anglican Church and rectory, Revelstoke.

Saint Peter's Anglican Church and rectory, Revelstoke.

Dates: b. 1868 d. 27 January 1899

Cemetery location: Block C, Row 6, Plot 17


Frank Ford was the vicar at St. Peter’s Anglican Church from 1897 until his death in 1899. He had come to Canada from Plymouth, England.  At the end of January 1899, he traveled by train to Rogers Pass to visit some parishioners there. On the way back the train stopped briefly at Albert Canyon and Rev. Ford stepped off to speak to someone on the platform.  As the train started to pull away, Rev. Ford ran to board the train, but slipped and fell under the wheels. He was brought to the private hospital at the top of Douglas Street, but did not survive. 

The parish was devastated by his death and created memorials to him, including the marker in the cemetery, and a memorial plaque in the church.  A photograph in the museum reveals this gravesite used to have picket fence around it.

Daniel Edward Jackson

Dates: b. 1870 d. 14 January 1912

Cemetery Location: Block H, Row 19, Plot 16


Daniel Edward Jackson was born in Montreal in 1869, moving to Revelstoke to work as a machinist for the Canadian Pacific Railway around 1900. He was killed in an avalanche at Rogers Pass on 14 January 1912, at the age of 42.

According to the Mail Herald newspaper, Daniel was hurrying to help a derailed eastbound train when the avalanche struck the train he and the other rescuers were travelling on, two miles east of Rogers Pass.

Daniel had worked for the CPR in Revelstoke for 13 years. He was also a prominent member of the Machinists Union and served for one year on the Executive of the Conservative Association of Revelstoke.

He and his wife Rose had seven children: Frank, Alexander, Grace, Tannis, Arthur, Florence and Vivian. After the accident, the family moved east around 1916.

Railway Accidents of January 1929


Orville Thompson: b. 1905 d. 27 January 1929

Alfred Abrahamson: b. 1906 d. 27 January 1929

Bert Woodland: b. 1884 d. 28 January 1929

Jeffrey Griffith: b. 1909 d. 28 January 1929

Cemetery location:

Orville Thompson: Block F, Row 1, Plot 44

Bert Woodland: Block F, Row 1, Plot 48

Jeffrey Griffith: Block F, Row 1, Plot 40

Alfred Abrahamson: Block C, Row 12, Plot 28


There are three graves in one section of the cemetery, of three or four people who were killed in two separate railway accidents, one day apart.

On 27 January 1929, Orville Thompson, aged 24, and Alfred Abrahamson, aged 23 (son of contractor O.W. Abrahamson), died in a head-on collision between two freight trains at Lauretta, 17 miles east of Revelstoke. Visibility was poor due to a curve in the track.  Both men were head-end brakemen on their trains.

One day later on 28 January 1929, Jeffrey Hoban Griffith, aged 20, and Bert Woodland, aged 45, with a wife and family, died when the bridge over Surprise Creek (east of Rogers Pass) collapsed and their engine plunged into the ravine.

It was extremely cold, with temperatures of –40 F in Rogers Pass.  Fireman Griffith and engineer Woodland were in a pusher engine behind Engine 5779 with engineer Doug Fraser. Fraser got the head-end engine over the bridge, then felt a severe tug. When he felt both engines should be clear of the bridge, he went back to investigate. Firstly Fraser could only see clouds of steam, but farther down the ravine the pusher engine was visible.  He sent his fireman to Sturdee to have the operator report the accident, before he set off down the side of the ravine, but could not get close to the engine due of the heat. He climbed up the other side of the ravine through deep snow, back to the main line, and set off fuses as he trudged to Stoney Creek.