C/S/Major George Frederick Griffin

Photograph of Tim Griffin



One of the most colourful and noteable Corps Sergeant Majors was ‘Tim’ George Frederick  Griffin.

He was born on February 3 1883 at Everton England.

At the age of 16,  he joined the Imperial 18th Hussar and served in this regiment for 12 years.  At the time of his discharge, he had gained the rank of Sergeant.

With his skills as a horseman, he was encouraged to join up with the Royal North West Mounted Police on August 12, 1912 and was assigned the regimental No #5426.   Only after being in the Force for three months, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and then to Sergeant 2 months later.  The following year, he was promoted to Sergeant Major on April 1, 1914.

In World War I, he served in the “A” Squadron Cavalry Draft to France as Canadian Expeditionary Force and was assigned the Canadian Army serial number 2684291.

While is was off in Europe, the Force was authorized to create “B” Squadron at the end of August 1918.  “B” Squadron sent 6 officers and 184 men as a component of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force to Russia to support the White Russian’s battle with the Bolsheviks.

With the sudden need for horses for this new squadron, Tim Griffin’s trick horse was assigned to “B” Squadron.  It was unfortunately that his horse died as the Monteagle arrived in Siberia with the majority of the “B” Squadron members.  Tim’s horse was given a fitting burial on a hill overlooking the Vladivostok harbour.

In a book entitled “Member of the Clan – Rutherford”, James Ewart Rutherford (Reg. #11953) described his time at Depot in 1932.  In the book, he made reference to Sergeant Major Time Griffin.  Rutherford stated “our riding instructor Sgt./Maj. Tim Griffin, claimed that you were not a rider until you could drop your reins, cross your arms, cross your stirrups across the front arch of your saddle, put a fifty cent piece between each knee and the saddle skirt, then take your mount over the jumps without losing either of the coins.  He was right in one respect, when you could do that, you were a rider.  The horses were an excellent leveler, and they did something in the training of discipline, which was difficult to accomplish in any other manner.   Personally, I was sorry to see them go from the training school.”

As Riding Instructor, he made several tours with the Musical ride, including the International Horse Show in London, England in 1930 and the tour to St. Louis, Missouri in 1936.  In his last year of service, he was given leave of Absence to Hollywood, California as “Technical Advisor” on the movie “North West Mounted Police“.  The movie held its premiere at Regina.

Photograph of post for the North West Mounted Police Movie

Tim Griffin had the rank of Sergeant Major until December 1, 1938 at which time he was promoted to the position of Corps Sergeant Major.

For the majority of his service in the Force, he was stationed at Rockcliffe and Depot Division.  He remained in the Force until his retirement on August 11, 1941.  After leaving the Force, he moved to Surrey, B.C. where he died on April 9, 1977.

He was buried in the Force Cemetery at Depot Division –  BLK B ROW 8 PLT 256.

photograph of C/S/M Tim Griffin's grave marker