Barry Bradley’s Old Newspaper Clippings

Photograph of playing cards (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)





Throughout his career in the Force (1960 – 1995), Veteran Barry Bradley developed a newspaper scrapebook containing notable news stories about the RCMP in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.



Each week, we will post three or four of these old newspaper clippings for the interest of Veterans and their families. This week’s webpage includes some interesting stories reflecting different aspects of activities in the RCMP. These stories would have been forgotten if not saved by Barry and to be shared with others.


Photograph of the old Guildford Mall sign at the corner of 152 Street and 104 Avenue.

Photograph of the old Guildford Mall sign at the corner of 152 Street and 104 Avenue.

Sept. 12, 1968 – (Vancouver Sun) – NEW WESTMINSTER – The young RCMP constable who was shot twice while capturing a burglary suspect Tuesday in Surrey didn’t even realize until later that he’d been hit.

“It wasn’t until 15 or 20 minutes after I discovered I’d been wounded,” said Constable W.E. Bells, 24 (Reg.#23063) , in an interview Wednesday at Royal Columbian Hospital, where he is in satisfactory condition.

“I sat in the police car and called in then I noticed the blood on my leg.”

Bel said that only after the excitement from the arrest had died down did his wounded arm and hip begin to stiffen up and hurt him.

The shooting occurred about 2:45 a.a. Tuesday when Bells and Constable J.A. Coombs (Reg.#23713) were on a routine property check at Guildford Town Centre’s lower mall.

According to RCMP, the two were suddenly confronted by a gunman who got the drop on them and took their guns.

Coombs managed to escape and call for help but while he was gone he heard four shots and returned to find Bells on the ground wounded, according to RCMP.

Coombs then went to the patrol car to call again for help. When he returned he found that Bells had grappled with the gunman and subdued him, said RCMP.

The accused assailant, William Edwin Mills, 26, of Vancouver, was remanded Wednesday without plea to Sept. 15 on charges of wounding with intent and breaking into two stores. RCMP said all four shots were fired from his gun.

Bells, who is assigned to the Whalley sub-detachment, said he did not even remember falling to the ground during the struggle.

The constable has been on the force for 4 1/2 years. he is married and has a son.

At first an operation had been ordered to remove the .38 revolver bullet fragments form Bell’s hip, but it was later announced the operations would not be necessary. Neither bullet lodged in his body, said hospital authorities.


Photograph of playing cards (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of playing cards (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

September 6, 1968 (Time Magazine) – The hottest action was in the blackjack game in the far alcove. Under the harsh fluorescent lights of the construction camp trailer, James Frederick (“TheOx”) Anderson was dealing, his beefy hands all but swallowing the deck of cards. Around him, construction workers from northern B.C.’s Peace River Dam project kibitzed as The Ox enjoyed a run of uncommon good luck, and raked in the $5 minimum bets. A squad of uniformed Mounties trooped into the trailer, and the confusion the player sitting on The Ox’s left, a black-haired, side burned character who looked like a bit player from Bonanza, grabbed the cards and slipped them into his pocket.

1965 - Photograph of Constable Bill Sedler taken while a member of RCMP Cloverdale Detachment (Source of photo - Steve Gibson).

1965 – Photograph of Constable Bill Sedler taken while a member of RCMP Cloverdale Detachment (Source of photo – Steve Gibson).

Only then did The Ox learn who the loser on his left really was: Constable William Selder, RCMP. Even the kibitzers had been infiltrated. The hangers-on included three other undercover Mounties led by Corporal Ron Sheppard, who wore a black Beatle wig to cover his giveaway crew cut. Down at the lab, the Mounties decided that the cards had been ‘juiced’ – the latest, simplest and cheapest way of card marking. All a cardsharp has to do is put a ball-pen refill upside down in a cup of rubbing alcohol. In a few minutes he has a mixture that to the casual glance is invisible when applied to the back of the card. But when the dealers blurs the image by looking at the cards with his eyes out of focus, the dime-sized markings are as obvious as a neon light.

Fleecing Ground. At many big construction sites in the wilderness, contractors provide recreation trailers so that the construction men may relieve the tedium – and each other of as much as $10,000 in a weekend gambling session. As long as there is no house rake-off, it is all perfectly within the law. Trouble is the construction campus provide a happy fleecing ground – which is where both professional cardsharps and the Mounties bunko squad come in. In British Columbia, Sheppard and Sedler have already brought seven cheating cases before the courts with sentences ranging from a $1,500 fine to a two-year jail term. The two-year sentence, however, was dismissed on appeal when the court ruled that cheating seems to be ‘an accepted hazard’ at construction camps, where ‘standards and morals are not the same as those of our better city clubs.”

Last fall, the Mounties conducted a seminar in Edmonton for 50 of their men, under the guidance of Card Experts Frank Garcia of New York and Martin Nash of Burnaby, BC. The slim-fingered Nash, who favours a pencil-thin must ache and flowered silk vests, is a convention lecturer on card tricks, and claims to spend eight hours a day shuffling cards. He watches television all the while ‘So I don’t look at what my hands are doing.” For four days, Nash and his fellow expert instructed the Mounties in such devious arts as the Crimp (the dealer squeezes the deck just above the loin where he wants it to be cut), the Pull-Through (in which the cut cards wind up back on top of the deck) and the Second Deal. This last is a sleight-of-hand technique that allows the dealer to save a valuable top card for himself and give the second one down to the unsuspecting sucker.

Underforgivable Sin. When the Peace River raid was staged, Corporal Sheppard was convinced he had caught The Ox Anderson dealing seconds. Last week, before Prince George Magistrate Douglas McNeill, he even accused The Ox of the unforgivable sin of the cardsharp – being so clumsy that he almost dropped the second and had to do it over again. Magistrate McNeill peered carefully as Sheppard demonstrated the art of dealing seconds. But he found the evidence unconvincing. Even when directed, the judge was unable to detect the markings on the juiced deck, and he was troubled even more that the Mountie kibitzers couldn’t agree among themselves. Two testified that they spotted The Ox dealing seconds, but the two others had noticed nothing. “From the whole of the evidence,” concluded McNeill: “I don’t get an abiding conviction of guilt. Case dismissed.”

At that, The Ox gave Sheppard, who has testified in three dozen card sharping cases in the West in the last three years, an ironic bow. The Mountie responded with a prefessional card player’s sense of detachment. Shrugged Shppeard: “Win one, lose one.”


1969 (Vancouver Sun) – Promotion of 29 officers in B.C. was announced today by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Moved up from sergeant to staff sergeant were: D.A. Knight of Vancouver; W.L. Maguire of Langley, and K.H. Katzalay of Fort St. John.

Promoted from corporal to sergeant were: F.J. Denis; L.J. Hok and D.M. Kendall, all of Vancouver, A.J. Levitt of Richmond, W.R. Todd of Burnaby and W.A. MacKenzie of Prince George.

Promoted to corporal were: P.H.M. Church, E.A. Ackerman, L.L. Doyle, G.A. Ripley,
T.S.K. Brown, HJ.R. Chase, I.B. Lambert, an Arnold Blueshke, all of Vancouver;

R.G. Brookbank and R.A. Flowers both of New Westminster; D.G. Rowett of Richmond; R.L. Marshall of Surrey; D.R. Wilson, D.G. Creally and K.W. Pitt all of Victoria;

D.J. Nicholson of Prince George; W.L. Weldon of Terrace; W.R. Lee of Campbell River; E.S. Dandy of Kelowna, and G.M. Tyndall of Salmon Arm.


Photograph of Corporal George Hawkins (Reg.#

Photograph of Corporal George Hawkins (Reg.#19758) (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly Magazine (Volume 34,  Number 2 – page 31)

June 11, 1968 (Vancouver Sun) – An RCMP corporal who died of inflammation of the brain and pneumonia after he was bitten by a wood tick was described by one of his former commanding officers as a ‘tremendous policeman – one of the best.’

Cpl. George Hawkins (Reg.#died in Brandon, Man.

“Hawkins was a tireless police officer. His health broke down in early 1965 because he worked so hard,” said RCMP Sub-Inspector W.R. Morrison of Cloverdale.

Hawkins was considered an expert dog master when stationed in Cloverdale, said Morrison. He was transferred to Brandon about a year ago.

He played a major role in three of British Columbia’s worst rockslides and a man hun in which his dog Prince is credited with flushing out a police killer.

Prince and his master were sent to the mammoth Hope-Princeton highway slide Jan. 10, 19656, where four persons were killed. The dog recovered two of four bodies.

Less than a week later Hawkins and Prince were sent to Ocean Falls where mud slides damaged a considerable part of the settlement, killing seven persons. Prince recovered all the buried bodies.

Mid-February of the same year, at the end of the Portland Canal in Northern B.C. then to the Granduc Mine where 26 men were killed in an avalanche.

All bodies were recovered with the help of Prince directed by Hawkins.

Hawkins headed one of the largest manhunts in B.C. when police killer Russell Spears was captured at Westbank, near Kelowna on Lake Okanagan.

Photograph of RCMP Dog Services handler - Constable George Hawkins from Cloverdale Detachment (Source of photo - Vancouver Sun Newspaper).

Photograph of RCMP Dog Services handler – Constable George Hawkins from Cloverdale Detachment (Source of photo – Vancouver Sun Newspaper).

As Hawkins rushed to disarm Spears, the killer shot himself. Spears previous shot and killed RCMP Constable Neil Bruce while investigating a complaint that a man was holding a girls in his cabin against her will. The girl was wounded in the chest.

Hawkins is survived by his wife and one child.