1920: First Mounties To Ottawa


Photograph of RNWMP recruits at Depot Division in 1919

We have recently received some old photographs belong to the late William Pirie – Regimental Number 8584.

William joined the RNWMP on August 8, 1919 and did his basic training at “Depot” Division in Regina.

Shortly after completing his basic training, the name of the Force changed from the Royal North-West Mounted Police (RNWMP) to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).  With this change, the headquarters of the RCMP shifted from Regina to Ottawa.

To provide a RCMP presence in Ottawa, a 160 man mounted squad was transferred to Ottawa.  This squad were based at the newly established ‘N’ Division but were first billeted at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa.

In in 1921, members of this squad put on the first RCMP Musical Ride  in Ottawa.

With his personal camera, Constable Pirie took many photographs of his time in Ottawa.  Some of his more noteable photographs are provided below for your viewing.  William Pirie left the Force on August 8, 1922 to seek experience in other endeavours and passed away on August 24, 1992.

Photograph of RCMP Sandy Hill camp in Ottawa

1920 Sandy Hills Ottawa - RCMP field kitchean

1920 Sandy Hill, Ottawa - RCMP Horse near the Ottawa River

Photograph of RCMP members shovelling horse droppings at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa

Photograph of RCMP members practicing for their first Musical Ride demonstration in 1921 in Ottawa

Photograph of the first RCMP Musical Ride demonstration in 1921 at the Landsdowne Park in Ottawa

Photograph of RCMP Cst. William Chisholm who participated in the first Musical Ride in Ottawa at the Landsdowne Park

Photograph of 1921 Landsdowne Park: RCMP members finishing up their white wash fatique duties

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