An outstanding research experience

An outstanding research experience

Sherman Peabody was a science major at Bishop’s University when World War II broke out. Leaving school without finishing his degree, he became a Lancaster-bomber pilot. On July 28th, 1944, while taking part in a raid on Stuttgart, his plane was shot down over Eastern France by a German night fighter. Two of his crew managed to bail out. The bodies of three more crew members were found at the crash site. Peabody and the seventh crew member, James Harrington Doe, were missing and have never been found.

In 2016 the family of Sherman Peabody commissioned the History Department to find out the truth about their fate. Three undergraduate students followed the trail of Sherman Peabody from the Old Library in McGreer, to National Archives in Ottawa, to the Public Record Office in London, to Cirey (pop. 48) in the Vosges Mountains of France. Their story connects a Bishop’s University student to Bomber Command, the French Resistance, the SAS, the Gestapo’s war crimes… and to a small French village where the wartime crash of an RCAF plane still reverberates today.

The Premiere of the film What happened to Sherman Peabody, will take place on January 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Bandeen Hall, in the context of Bishop’s University’s 175th anniversary.

The work of Bishop’s students Spiro Trent, Megan Whitworth and Sean Summerfield, on which the film What happened to Sherman Peabody is based, reflects the type of hands-on research, experiential learning opportunities, and knowledge mobilization in which undergraduate students at Bishop’s engage in their pursuit of academic excellence.

This 18-minute documentary film tells their story in vivid detail. The film screening will be followed by a Q-and-A session with the researchers and film-makers, and by a reception in the Bandeen lobby.

In addition to providing some closure to surviving family members of a young man from the Eastern Townships during World War II, What happened to Sherman Peabody, confirms that the strong sense of community engagement Bishop’s fosters in students, alumni, faculty and staff extends through time and across vast distances.

What happened to Sherman Peabody is a significant opportunity, as Bishop’s marks its 175th anniversary this year, to reflect on its mission and values and how they can be pursued now and in the future.