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MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR
AC1 STANLEY PEACOCK
13 OCTOBER 2021
St James Cemetery, Orillia, ON
AC1 Stanley Peacock's grave, St James Cemetery, Orillia
RCAFA 441 (Huronia) Wing Honours Royal Canadian Air Cadet
Air Craftsman 1st Class Stanley Peacock
AC1 Peacock gave his life in the service of Canada 78 years ago. He was 16 years old and a member of No. 99 (Orillia) Royal Canadian (Air) Cadet Squadron in 1943 while working as an Electrician’s Helper Apprentice at Hunter Boat Works in Orillia. He was helping build a Fairmile Anti-Submarine Patrol Vessel for RCN operations in the North Atlantic. A gas leak in the hold of the vessel caused an explosion which blew AC1 Peacock, badly burned, 100 yards into the waters of Lake Couchiching where he drowned. Three other men were severely injured in the accident.
A special Memorial Service, organized by 441 Wing member Raywin Raaflaub, a boyhood friend of Stanley Peacock’s, was held on 13 October 2021 at his grave site in St. James’ Anglican Cemetery, Orillia. Special guests in attendance were Councillors Pat Hehn and Jay Fallis of the City of Orillia, Inspector Coyer Yateman, Ontario Provincial Police; Acting Fire Chief Chris Ferry, Orillia Fire Department; Mr. Richard Purcell, RCL Branch #34 Orillia President, and Ms. Deanna Peacock, a relative of Stanley’s.
Led by 441 (Huronia) Wing Chairman Bill Sergeant, the moving ceremony included the 441 Wing Colour Party, which added to the pomp and ceremony of the service. It was led by Murray Conley with Les Ball, Wally Capsticks, Randy Rice and Andy Galton carrying the mock weapons, the Canadian flag and the RCAFA Standard. The service consisted of the traditional minute of silence, the Act of Remembrance, and the laying of a wreath in memory of Peacock by Orillia City Councillor Pat Hehn, escorted by Raywin Raaflaub and Deanna Raaflaub. A speech written by Raywin Raaflaub about his memories of his boyhood friend Stanley Peacock was read by Bill Sergeant. This was followed by a Closing Prayer by 441 Wing Padre Doug Crocker.
Fairmiles were originally built to serve as protection for transport and other vessels from submarine attacks in port and along the Atlantic shore. Eventually it wasn’t unusual for Fairmile crews to find themselves in convoys, taking part in commando raids, and even bringing troops ashore on D-Day.
Fairmiles had wooden hulls, were 112 feet long, armed with twin .303 machine guns for air defence, a small three pounder cannon, and depth charges. They had a maximum speed of 22 knots. Over half the 88 Fairmiles, similar to American PT boats, were constructed at small boatyards in Simcoe County, the rest in other small yards in Ontario and Montreal.