Sunday, 12 June 2016

Reaping the Whirlwind: The Regina Tornado of 1912 part 6 of 6

What happened to Harold Chambers during the tornado? The Union bank escaped unscathed, so it would have been relatively safe to be there but it was Sunday so he wasn't at work. Was he at home on Smith Street when the tornado hit? Or had he ventured out, perhaps to Wascana Park or somewhere beyond the reach of the funnel clouds?

In 1912 Harold was rooming at 2152 Smith Street and Smith Street was on the main path that the tornado carved through the city. Very few buildings along the street's length escaped the wind's wrath. Being out and about that Sunday would have been a good choice. But even if Harold hadn't been at home, he would, no doubt, have ended up among the homeless.

What happened to Harold in the disaster? I like to think that he would have been one of the men called upon to help in the aftermath of the disaster. But maybe he was among the wounded. It remains to be seen what can be uncovered in local records. Whatever the immediate effect of the disaster, Harold's 1913 entry in Henderson's directory gives his location as the Union Bank, so he retained his employment in the aftermath of the disaster but it looks like it took a while before he had a permanent address again; maybe a common fate for the many homeless in the wake of the storm.

Is there any written record of Harold’s experience? I like to think that he at least wrote to his remaining relative, his uncle Charles Pratt Chambers who would have been fascinated by his nephew's experience as he had made a study of weather. Now if only I could find that correspondence.


Anderson, Frank (1980). Regina's Terrible Tornado, June 30, 1912. Surrey, BC, Heritage House Publishing Company

Bingaman, Sandra (2011). Storm of the Century: The Regina Tornado of 1912. Regina, Saskatchewan: Canadian Plains Research Center Press

Looker, Janet (2000). Disaster Canada. Toronto, Ontario: Lynx Images Inc.

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