Larry Burden – This Day In The RCMP


RNWMP Manual




The achievements and contributions of the Force have been built upon the individual contributions of many past Veterans. These contributions have largely been forgotten.





Veteran #35982 Sgt. Larry Burden who served in “E” Division for 20 years has spent over ten years researching and summarizing these achievements by specific date. Nearly every day, Larry sends out an email message with a selection from his work in progress manuscript “This Day In The RCMP” to individuals interested in these historical notes.

In an effort to share his research to a large group, Larry has agreed to permit us to develop a webpage on our website. Each webpage will post Larry’s historical notations over the past week.

If you wish to contact Larry Burden or provide additional information about his research, please email him at

The following are Larry’s latest “This Day In The RCMP” listings.

 August 7

1903 – Because of concerns from the Canadian Government over possible American territorial ambitions in the arctic The North West Mounted Police (NWMP) establish a detachment at Herschel Island Northwest Territory. For several years American whalers had used the location as a winter base so they didn’t have to make the long journey back to American waters. The new detachment staffed by #2218 / O.156 Sgt. Francis Fitzgerald (see December 21, 1910) and Constable F.D. Sutherland was nothing more than sod huts was which they had to live in until a detachment building could be constructed.

1920 – Honour Roll Number 43.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph with the name of Corporal Ernest Usher highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

#6096 Cpl. Ernest Usher, age 25 was killed in a shootout with two train robbers in a restaurant in Bellevue Alberta.

Three Russian men held up the Canadian Pacific Railways train number 63, on August 2, 1920. The trio jumped off the train and fled into the bush near Sentinel Alberta and a manhunt ensued shortly thereafter. It didn’t take authorities very long to identify the culprits as George Akoff, Alex Auloff and Tom Basoff who had come to Lethbridge from Great Falls Montana. When the trio was spotted in Coleman Alberta the combined force of Alberta Provincial Police, RCMP and deputized civilians closed in. On Saturday August 17th, the local Justice of the Peace, Joseph Robertson spotted two of the fugitives in the mining town of Bellevue. After grabbing his pistol and heading for the police office he encountered Cpl. Usher and Provincial Police Constables Frewin and Bailey.  The three officers then confronted the men in a local restaurant and a shoot-out erupted when George Akoff pulled a Lugar pistol out of his coat.

Corporal Usher and Constable Frederick Bailey and were shot as they backed out of the restaurant by Akoff even though Constable Frewin had emptied his revolver into him. Tom Basoff then came out of the restaurant armed with two hand guns and shot Cst. Bailey in the head at point blank range and fired several shots into Cpl. Usher until he was dead. He then put a bullet into his partner’s head to put him out of his misery and fled as the Justice of the Peace fired at him from behind a telephone pole.

Basoff’s escape was short lived and when Canadian Pacific Railway Police detectives arrested without incident four days later near Pincer Creek. He was tried and convicted for murder and hanged on December 22, 1924 in Lethbridge.

Alex Auloff was arrested in1924 and extradited back to Canada from Butte Montana and was sentenced to seven years in prison but died in April 1926.

Both policemen were buried in a joint military funeral at the Protestant cemetery in MacLeod Alberta. Corporal Ernest Usher joined the RNWMP on September 14, 1914. He was single and his closest family was his sister Maud, who lived in London England.

1943 – During WW2, many prisoners of war (POW) camps were established across Canada. Among them, Camp 132 at Medicine Hat and another at Lethbridge, Alberta. All POW camps had a hierarchy within them and the camps in Canada were no exception only it was the Nazis within the camps ruled the German prisoners and dished out their own punishments on those who did not conform. On this day August Plaszek was murdered by a mob of fellow prisoners because he was believed to be disloyal to the Nazi cause.  Before the war Plaszek had served in the French Foreign Legion and like all Legionnaires who returned to Germany in the 1930’s he was subjected to Nazi ideology and then forced into the German army. Because he was an ex-Legionnaire Plaszek was assigned to Erwin Rommels 361st African Regiment, which was nearly wiped out at Torbuk in 1943, resulting in his captured by the British.

Within the pecking order of the POW camps the Nazis despised the Legionnaires because they felt they didn’t fight hard enough for the Fatherland. In addition, they were suspected of being the leaders of the communist sympathizers. The camp lead believed that the ex-legionnaires group was planning to overthrow of the camp leadership so they decided to interrogate four of them. After one of the men was interrogated he made a dash to the warning wire and was taken into custody by camp officials. Having escaped a mob of nearly 600 POW’s the angry men forced their way int the interrogation room and dragged August Plaszek out and took him to the recreation hall where they severely beat him and then hanged him.

Because he was fluent in German, #8281 Sgt. George Krause was transferred from Stony Plain Detachment to work in the Intelligence section and assigned to the case. His 26-month investigation resulted in the two Nazi ringleaders; Werner Schwalb and Adolf Kratz being tried and convicted of murder. Kratz avoided the hangman’s noose by having his sentence commuted but Werner Schwalb was hanged for his role in the crime. When asked if he had any last words, Schwalb said, “Mine Furher I follow thee.” He was hanged on June 26, 1946 at Provincial Gaol, in Lethbridge, Alberta.

His skills in investigating POW murders were call upon again in 1945 (see December 18, 1946) when POW Dr Karl Lehmann was murdered by hanging in Camp 132.

George KRAUSE served in the Force from 1919 – 1954 and died in 1989.

1948 – Honour Roll Number 106.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division and the name of Constable Henderson highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

#14890 2/Cst. James Boyd Henderson drowned in the St. Lawrence River near Gananoque Ont.

Twenty-three-year-old Constable James Boyd Henderson joined the RCMP on May 1, 1947 and was quickly transferred to Marine Division. He was assigned to the 50’ Patrol Vessel “Carnduff” in Kingston Ontario patrolling the St Lawrence River under command of #12866/ O.472 Corporal Kenneth Creaser. While returning from a regatta at Gananoque Ontario, Cst. Henderson’s career and life were suddenly cut short. As the boat, neared Howe Island under full throttle and in calm sea conditions, Cst. Henderson went aft to dump some garbage from a pail. A couple of minutes later the skipper, Cpl. Creaser looked back from the wheel and realized that the pail was on the deck but Cst. Henderson was missing. He immediately turned the vessel and retraced its route to where he found the floating garbage and searched the area for several hours until dark. The area was searched for several days to no avail, ten days later his body was found on the banks of the St. Lawrence.

Cst. Henderson’s body was returned to his parents in Oshawa Ontario where he was buried in the Union Cemetery. The cause of his death was never determined, but he is believed to have lost his balance and fallen overboard possibly striking his head on a boom at the stern of the vessel.

August 8

1941 – As a result of Japan’s involvement in the second world war Federal Minister Ian Mackenzie declares that because it is a national security matter under the War Measures Act he orders the RCMP to begin registering all Japanese Canadians in British Columbia. At a later date all of them are moved inland to detention camps.

1958 – #16087/O.610 Corporal Hugh Feagan was awarded the St John Meritorious Certificate after he saved the life of Earl Carl in Kamloops BC. Cpl. Feagan rushed into a smoke filled service station where he located the body of the unconscious man and dragged him from the burning building and then performed artificial respiration until the fire department arrived on scene.

August 9

1926 – #9754 Constable Herbert Lee had been sent north to establish detachments on Ellesmere and Bylot Islands. On this day in 1926 #4314 / O.194 Inspector Charles Willcox officiated at opening of the Bache Peninsula Detachment on Ellesmere Island opening the most northerly Detachment Mounted Police ever established.

1970 – Commercial fisherman Cyrille Dugay would likely have drowned in hold of a vessel after it overturned near Shippegan, New Brunswick had it not been for #27105 Constable E.A.M. Arsenault coming to his rescue. Cst. Arsenault was awarded the Royal Canadian Humane Society Award of Merit.

August 10

1881 – Canada’s fourth and youngest (age 33) Governor General of Canada, John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll commonly known as the Marquis of Lorne, met in council with the Blackfoot Confederacy at Blackfoot Crossing during a tour of the Northwest Territories. The Commisioner had only been informed of the Vice Regal tour a few weeks before the event was set to occur and that an escort of North-West Mounted Police would be required. #O.37 Superintendent William H. Herchmer was appointed to command the escort that required assigning additional men from headquarters. In addition, supplies of forage, and food and other supplies had to be delivered along the 1,229-mile long route. The Vice Regal tour was of special significance to residents and Natives of region and for his wife, Princess Louise, the daughter of the Great White Mother herself, Queen Victoria. Several councils were held with native Nations at Fort Ellice, Fort Qu’Appelle, Fort Carlton, Battleford, Blackfoot Crossing, and Fort Macleod. During the meeting at Blackfoot Crossing Chief Crowfoot (Isapo-Muxika) of the Blackfoot First Nation addressed the Governor General and his entourage and held up an empty tin cup to symbolize the destitution of his people as he pleaded for him to do something about their plight. Nothing was done about the deplorable conditions resulting in several First Nations joining the Métis rebellion in 1885 but Crowfoot and his people were not among them. In 1887, artist Sydney Prior Hall depicted the meeting in one of his sketches.

1890 – Honour Roll Number 14.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division in Regina with the red highlight indicated the location of

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division in Regina with the red highlight indicated the location of Sgt. Albert Earnest Montgomery’s name (Reg.#487) (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

#487 Sergeant Albert Ernest Garland Montgomery age 28 was killed when his horse stumbled on August 7th, 1890 and he was thrown to the ground hitting his head.

Life as a schoolteacher was too dull for this adventurer who had joined the fledgling NWMP on September 22, 1880. He saw service in the North-west Rebellion and became an expert horseman. Ironically he lost his life during a routine mounted drill practice at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan after he stopped to help #2186 Constable Henri Gravel who was having trouble remounting his spirited horse. After climbing back on his own steed that he had been riding for six years, Montgomery proceeded back to his unit when suddenly his horse stumbled and fell, throwing the Sergeant head first into the hard ground. He never regained consciousness and died three days later.

Sgt. Albert Ernest Garland Montgomery was buried in the St. Mary’s churchyard in Prince Albert Saskatchewan.

1913 – Two prisoners escaped from the Moosomin jail on August 1st 1913, and were re-captured across the border in Westhope, North Dakota by two RNWMP Constables. #5114 Richards of Carnduff Detachment and #5434 Wheeler of Lampman Detachment picked up the fugitives track at Butler, Manitoba, and what the local newspapers dubbed an exciting chase, eventually captured the fugitives on the railway track at Westhope. Inspector George. L. Jennings the officer commanding Regina District, was so impressed he penned a letter of congratulations to the two members, expressing his appreciation along with a newspaper article about the capture.

1984 – #33631 Constable Michael Buday of the Terrace British Columbia Detachment faced down a deranged man who was pointing a loaded shotgun at him. After a lengthy period of negotiations Buday overpowered and disarmed the gunman. The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police posthumously awarded him a commendation for bravery on November 27, 1986. Michael Buday was killed on duty a year before. (See March 19, 1985)

1985 – While relaxing at home on his day off in Ottawa, #36729 Constable Pat Egan notice a commotion in his neighbor’s yard. When he went over to investigate he discovered that their infant child was in convulsions and turning blue. Eagan immediately took control and sent the panicked parents to call an ambulance. He then began CPR and successfully revived the child. He later received a Commanding Officers Commendation for his actions.

August 11

Photograph of the RCMP Gravemaker for Sergeant Major Edwin Tutin (Reg.# 7576) in the “Depot” Division cemetery in Regina. (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

1934 – The Commissioner promoted Constable #7576 Edwin Tutin to Lance Corporal in recognition of his conspicuous courage and tenacity of purpose, for his role in apprehending two men in Ottawa who had stole Senator Murphy’s car. Daniel Nigra and Maynard Richardson stole the car and then held up Blairs Drug store and made off with cigarettes and $50. Constable Tutin was patrolling the Island Parkway on his police motorcycle, when he recognized the stolen car approaching him at a high speed. When he began to follow the suspects rolled down the rear window and began shooting at him, one bullet grazed his left breast pocket and passed between his arm and left side. Constable Tutin then drew his revolver and fired at the fleeing vehicles rear tires hitting one and rendering the tire flat. The suspects then bolted from the stolen car and fled into the woods. Ottawa Police later captured them.

Tuntin continued to serve and was eventually promoted to Sergeant Major and served with the Provost Corps in Europe during the Second World War.

1943 – Prime Minister Mackenzie King welcomes English Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the opening of the Quebec Conference.

1981 – Honour Roll Number 167.

Photograph of Constable

Photograph of Corporal Ole Roust Larsen (Reg.#25876) Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly).

#25876 Corporal Ole Roust Larsen was shot and killed, at Climax, Sask.

Two days before he was murdered Cpl. Ole Larsen had attended a family dispute involving Keith Sipley and his estranged wife Jamie. After a lengthy argument, an angry and distraught Sipley was removed from the home and sent on his way. Everyone assumed it was the end of the matter.

Larsen was in charge of the two-man detachment in Climax Saskatchewan, a quite rural farming community located 14 miles north of the Montana border. Two nights after the domestic dispute at approximately 11:40 pm, Keith Sipley drove by Cpl. Larsen’s home and made a number of squealing power turns in front of the house in an effort to draw attention to him. Larsen recognized the vehicle and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt got into his police car and went out to confront him. Unfortunately Larsen was unarmed. Initially Keith Sipley ignored the Larsen’s attempt to stop him as he raced through town with the patrol car’s siren and emergency lights flashing, but then he stopped suddenly in front of the local Climax Hotel.

As Larsen exited his patrol car, Sipley armed with a .22 caliber rifle, exited his vehicle and shot him several times at point blank range. Severely wounded, Cpl. Larsen staggered back to his vehicle to call for help, but the gunman calmly walked over to the wounded officer and in front of two witnesses shot him two more times.

After shooting Cpl. Larsen, Sipley returned to his car and fled towards the United States. Traveling cross-country through backfields to avoid the border crossing, in the process he damaged his vehicle’s transmission and his car broke down. Sipley then walked across the border and into a farmer’s yard, where he stole a pickup truck. Instead of simply leaving the farm unnoticed he began driving erratically around the farm yard waking the owner, Scott Anderson from his sleep. Anderson jumped in his car and began to chase after his stolen truck, and when the vehicle eventually stopped he found Sipley sitting with his head back, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to his forehead.

Before killing himself, Keith Sipley recorded a rambling message on a portable tape recorder, stating that he didn’t know why he killed the Mountie and that he wished to God it hadn’t happened.

Ole Larsen died in the local eight-bed hospital as the medivac airplane was landing to transport him to hospital in Regina.

Larsen was born in Varde, Denmark and his family had immigrated to Canada when he was 13 years old. He was raised in Galt Ontario and had joined the RCMP on July 12, 1967. He left behind his wife Lindsey and their two young daughters Kristen and Karen. Cpl. Ole Roust Larsen was buried in the RCMP cemetery in Regina with full military honours.

August 12

1883 – A large crowd cheered as the first Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) construction train puffed into the settlement of Calgary. At the time Calgary was nothing more than a tent city whose only permanent structures were the barracks of NWMP Fort Calgary and the stores of the Hudson’s Bay and the I.G. Baker trading companies.

1979 – While working at the Cavendish PEI Summer Detachment, #33758 Constable John .M.G. Trickett, helped save the life of a swimmer. Nearby Mayfield resident, Preston Simpson was swimming in the frigid waters off of Cavendish Beach when he nearly drowned. Trickett along with some members of the public rushed to his aid and rescued him. Constable Trickett was awarded the Red Cross Life Saving Award at the 15th annual presentation at Government House in Charlottetown.

1998 – Honour Roll Number 194.

Photograph of Consta

Photograph of Constable Graeme Cumming (Reg.#37348) (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly).

#37348 Corporal Graeme Charles Cumming age 37 was killed when a drunk driver crashed into his police car while he was investigating an accident near Kipp, Alberta.

What started out as a relatively normal day for Cpl. Graeme Cumming and truck driver Daniel Entz resulted in both of them being killed in a fiery crash caused by a drunk driver. Entz was driving in the left lane of divided highway #2, when his load of hay shifted and began spilling onto the roadway. Cpl. Cumming attended to the scene and had positioned his police car behind the spilled hay with his emergency lights on along with a flashing arrow to direct traffic to pass on the right. While he was in the process of issuing a traffic ticket to Mr. Entz who was sitting in the police car with him another tractor trailer came upon the scene and without warning smashed into the back of the police car as it attempted to pass. The force of the impact demolished the police car, which burst into flames killing both men instantly.

The driver of the second tractor-trailer, Darren Roderick Buckley, was charged with two counts of impaired driving and impaired driving causing death. Adding to the tragedy was the fact that Buckley, was wanted in British Columbia for an earlier impaired driving offence.

Buckley was convicted on April 13, 1999, and sentenced to a 32 month jail term and received a 5 year driving prohibition.

Graeme Cumming was born at Glasgow, Scotland, and joined the RCMP in November 1981. He served most of his 17-year career in Alberta, with postings in Gleichen, Medicine Hat, Fairview, Fort MacMurray, Airdrie and Lethbridge. His wife of twelve years and a member of the RCMP, #38594, Cst. Marina A.F. Cumming, survived him. Hundreds of peace officers from across Canada and the United States attended his funeral on August 18th in Lethbridge Alberta.

Photograph of

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division and the red rectangle indicates the name of Constable Graeme Cumming (Reg.#37348) (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

1999 – Family disputes always have the potential to become dangerous and this dispute was nearly deadly.

Constables #42239 Joel MacKown, #45392 David Gerrard and #35790 Douglas Mylie attended to a family dispute in the town of St Albert, Alberta. When the police arrived on scene the suspect opened fire on them with a shotgun and Constable MacKown was hit in the back of his legs by the gun blast. Cst. Gerrard and the wounded officer then returned fire as Cst. Mylie helped MacKown find cover from the gunman.

Shortly after the shooting began two more members, #37331 Cst. David Halbach and #35891 Cst. Kenneth Fitzgerald arrived and helped contain the scene while Constable MacKown was taken to the hospital where his wounds were treated. After the emergency response team arrived on the scene the gunman surrendered and was taken into custody. Constable MacKown recovered from his wounds and later returned to active duty.

August 13

1954 – While stationed at Nakusp British Columbia, Corporal Donald A. Pye (Reg. #16406) and two companions, Robert McGilvray and Jack Molyneux departed from the community of Arrowhead around 7:30 pm, in a 16 foot boat for a 40 mile trip on the Upper Arrowhead Lake back to Nakusp. Cruising at over 25 miles per hour, Molyneux unexpectedly moved from his position in the stern of the small craft and the sudden shift in weight caused the boat to heel heavily and tossed McGilvary into an enclosed window, causing it to shatter and allow water to violently rush into the boat. Shortly thereafter the boat filled with water and capsized spilling the trio into the lake. Cpl. Pye, being the only swimmer in the trio assisted the other two men by pulling them to the overturned boat where they tried to climb onto the hull. Unfortunately the capsized vessel could not support the combined weight of the three men due to the weight the heavy engine attached to the stern and their gear that was still strapped inside the hull. Cpl. Pye made repeated attempts to retrieve some life jackets that were stored inside the forward cabin but he could not reach them. He then attempted to right the craft, but the weight of the boat was too great for him turn. While he attempted to turn the boat over the two non swimmers lost their hold on the boat and began to drift away. Pye managed to pull the men back to the boat and then made a desperate attempt to unfasten the outboard engine from the stern. While he was underwater struggling with the engine, a cold and tired Molyneux lost his grasp on the hull and drifted away. When Pye surfaced he saw his friend struggling some 20 feet away and began to swim to him. But before the exhausted rescuer could reach him, Jack Molyneux slipped below the surface and descended in over 800 feet of depth. After the loss of Molyneux, Cpl. Pye held onto the hull for over two hours because the boat could only support one man. As his legs began to cramp, Pye realized they were in serious trouble decided to go for help and try swimming to shore over a mile and a half away, while his friend McGilvary rested on top of the keel. Miraculously Pye eventually made to shore and then shouted encouragement to his friend in an attempt to keep his sprits up, and then he attempted to walk to the small settlement of St. Leon. Due to his high level of exhaustion and exposure he wasn’t able to progress very far through the heavy forest undergrowth and eventually collapsed into unconsciousness.

He eventually awoke and continued to yell encouragement to his marooned friend until the sun came up the next morning. Shortly after sunrise a search party who had set out from Nakusp to search for the overdue boaters found the pair. The body of Jack Molyneux was never found due to the extreme depth of the lake.