Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

Photograph of the Canadian Medal of Bravery

 

 

 

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 Sgt. Larry Burden ( #35982) 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 larryburden8@gmail.com.

October 23

1958 – A coal gas explosion and rock surge in the Number Two Cumberland coal mine in Springhill Nova Scotia trapping 174 miners’ underground. On the first day of the disaster rescue crews were quickly assembled and were sent underground to look for survivors and bring 81 men up to safety. The search continued for several more days as the rescue crews tried to find their way to the bottom of the 14,200’ mine and 12 men are found alive on October 30th, and seven more are found alive on November 1st. The last body is recovered on November 6th bringing the total to 74 men perished in the deepest coalmine disaster in North America. The coalmine is never reopened.

1960 – While conducting a patrol for two career criminals who had been casing businesses at Whalley BC; #20015 Constable Robert William Rolph Smith, witnessed the suspects fleeing from the Legion at 04:15 am. He radioed for backup and then chased after the pair and found them hiding behind a bush, armed with a loaded handgun. Constable Smith, with revolver drawn, ordered the pair out, but one of the suspects ran off.

The second suspect was then placed against the side of a building, but he became edgy and Smith decided to handcuff him. When he holstered his revolver and proceeded to handcuff him, the man wheeled on him and being much bigger overpowered him, and began beating him about the head with his flashlight and handcuffs. Knocking the constable to the ground the suspect pulled his revolver from the holster and pointed the gun at Smith’s chest. As the attacker pulled the trigger, Constable Smith reached up and grabbed the revolver around the gun’s cylinder, preventing it from firing. The suspect then lost control of the gun and got Smith in a headlock and proceeded to ram his head into a brick wall. Though dazed and bleeding profusely, Constable Smith continued to fight and managed to grab his pistol that was suspended by a lanyard around his neck and fired a shot between the legs of his attacker forcing the suspect to surrender at gunpoint. Shortly afterwards a backup officer who had heard the shot arrived on the scene to assist. The second suspect was arrested later.

For his courage and determination, Constable Robert Smith was awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation.

Robert William Rolph Smith retired in 1984 having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

1966 – #23086 Constable Phillip Edgar Harrison Smith age 24 was posthumously awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for bravery and great devotion to duty in the attempted rescue of Oswald Schwanke on June 21, 1966 near Kelvington, Saskatchewan.

At 11:05 am Constable Smith was advised that a man had fallen into a well and when he arrived at the scene he discovered that 71-year-old Oswald Schwanke had been working in a 35 foot deep well when he was overcome by gas. Constable Smith descended into the well and found Schwanke still breathing, but as he tried to tie a rope around the man he became dizzy and called to the surface crew to haul him up. Ten feet from the surface he collapsed, but they managed to get him out and transport him to the hospital where he was revived and was released two days later.

Shortly after the attempted rescue, Constable Smith was killed in a hunting accident at his family home in Dutton Creek, British Columbia. He had been a member of RCMP since May 1963.

Photograph of the grave marker in the name of Constable Phillip Edgar Harrison Smith (Reg.#23086)

October 24

1917 – #3924 Sergeant Major Arthur Nevelson Nicholson was giving a demonstration of lance techniques from a horse at Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. While he demonstrating “tent-pegging” his lance slipped from his grasp. As he attempted to recover it, the butt of the lance stuck into ground, driving the point of the lance into his stomach, and throwing him off his horse. He died from the lance wound the following day.

Copy of newspaper

1917 newspaper article regarding burial of RNWMP Sergeant Major Arthur Nicholson. This clipping was discovered in the S/Major Tim Griffin’s papers (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

Sergeant Major Nicholson joined the North West Mounted Police in 1902 and served until his death and is buried in Battleford, Saskatchewan. He is not on the Honour Roll.

1945 – #13097 Constable Charles L. Delisle received a Commissioners commendation for completing a round trip dog sled patrol from Pond Inlet to Fort Ross after a year of travel. The 151-day journey was completed without mishap and covered a distance of 3,551 miles.

He had started the journey from Pond Inlet on March 12th 1943 with two dog teams of 35 dogs and thirteen hundred pounds of supplies and equipment. Accompanied by Special Constable Angnatsiak and Inuit guide Ehaksak their primary task was to investigate a murder at Fort Ross on Somerset Island NWT, and visit several encampments to check on the welfare of the residents and then catch a ride back to Pond Inlet aboard the RMS Nascopie.

Photograph of the Hudson Bay Company's ship - Nascopie (Source of photo - Hudson Bay Historical).

Photograph of the Hudson Bay Company’s ship – Nascopie (Source of photo – Hudson Bay Historical).

The group covered the first 240 miles across the Arctic By to Baffin Island in -45 degree temperatures in only twelve days. After an arduous journey they arrived at Fort Ross. After some time to rest and hunt for food and dog feed Cst. Delisle sent his guides back to Pond Inlet with most of the supplies and equipment before the sea ice broke up. He then conducted the murder investigation he had been dispatched to. He located the 21-year-old female suspect “Mitkaeyout” who readily confessed to shooting her husband “Kookieyout” and leaving the body at the scene. After taking her into custody Cst. Delisle travelled to Thom Bay and recovered the frozen body from a cache of rocks. After putting the cadaver in a wooden box several friends and family members climbed onto the makeshift coffin and rode it down the slope and onto the sea ice like a toboggan laughing and giggling the whole way.

Unfortunately for him the heavy pack ice prevented the Nascopie from reaching Fort Ross for a second year in a row and the community did not get the much needed food and supplies she was carrying. When the ship failed to arrive, Delisle was faced with a choice of flying south on an American rescue plane or travelling back to Pond Inlet because the NCO in charge had gone south for medical reasons. He chose to return to the detachment by dog sled. He succeeded in hiring a local guide and wearing the summer dress he had arrived in they set out on October 19th 1943. Because the previous route across the sea ice could not be made until freeze up the following February they decided to take the much longer land route. Building igloos to sleep in and low on supplies they were forced to live off the land most of the trek eating what ever they could find or get from other Inuit they met along the way. Two days after leaving their campsite on the ice of Lancaster Sound where they had been held up by a storm, the ice bearing their igloo broke off from the shore and drifted away.

Despite all of the obstacles and hardship the air arrive in Pond Inlet on St. Patrick’s Day 1944. Commissioner Wood was so impressed with this outstanding patrol that he made special mention of it in his 1945 annual report and included a four and a half page detailed report of the patrol.

Constable Charles L. Delisle served in the Force from 1937 to 1959 and retired as a Corporal. He died in 2001 and is buried in Morrisburg Ontario.

1970 – Newfoundland members, #23887 Constables Raymond E. Roddick and #25808 / O.1473 and W. Ross Black responded to a complaint of a man with a rifle. Upon their arrival a shot rang out and Constable Black fell to the ground seriously wounded. Taking cover behind a car Constable Roddick raised his head above the vehicle to survey the situation when his partner cried out for help. Suddenly the gunman fired shots into the vehicle, splattering fragments that hit Roddick in the face. Though wounded, Constable Roddick was able to return fire and succeeded in wounding the gunman in the abdomen and arresting him. Constable Black was rushed to hospital where he later recovered from his injuries.

At a later ceremony Constable Roddick was presented a Commissioners Commendation “for courage and determination” by Commissioner W.L. Higgitt personally. Both men had full careers with Roddick retiring as a Staff Sergeant and Black as an Inspector.

1982 – While working in Montreal, #27557 Constable Joseph Andre Richard Beaudoin heard shouts for assistance from an elderly woman, and saw a man running away with a purse. Constable Beaudoin ran after the thief and chased him for three blocks before catching him. A struggle ensued as the suspect resisted arrest but Beaudoin succeeded in subduing him and holding him until the Montreal Police arrived. When the police opened the purse they discovered it contained over $500. which was promptly returned to Mrs. Bouchard. In recognition of his courage and commitment to duty Constable Beaudoin was awarded a Commanding Officers Commendation.

1990 – Commissioner Norman Inkster allows native members of the Force to wear braids on duty. The directive is in recognition of their traditional spiritual needs.

1990 – Honour Roll Number 189.

Photograph of Constable

Photograph of Constable Gerald Vernon Breese (Reg.#30967).

#30967 Constable Gerald Vernon Breese age 37, died as a direct result of injuries sustained from an RCMP motorcycle accident, at Penticton BC.

Constable Breese was responding to a reported stabbing when his motorcycle was hit broadside by another vehicle. He suffered serious head injuries and died on October 24th 1990, five months after the crash, from complications related to his injuries.

Gerry had recovered physically but suffered significant personality changes and battled bouts of depression. After his death his wife Janelle Breese-Biagioni was inspired to write a book about the problems of brain injuries. “A Change of Mind” published by New Canada Publications.

Also see October May 19th

1995 – After responding to a domestic dispute complaint in Prince Rupert BC, #36381 Constable Dennis Bauhuis found himself face to face with a despondent man armed with a knife who was threatening to harm his innocent children. For over five hours Constable Bauhuis calmly spoke with the suicidal man and succeeded in negotiating his surrender. For his courage and presence of mind Constable Bauhuis was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation.

October 25

1927– The first commercial airplane to land in Whitehorse Yukon was the sister ship of the world famous “Spirit of St. Louis” that was flown by Charles Lindbergh.

The “Queen of the Yukon” was owned an operated by retired Corporal Andrew Cruickshank. Motivated by his experience as a young constable in the Yukon, Cruickshank decided to return to the north and found the Yukon Airways and Exploration Company. He had learned to fly while serving with the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars Royal Flying Corps in World War One and recognized the potential the Yukon had to offer men of adventure.

Prior to his discharge from the Mounted Police on April 4, 1927, he placed an order with the Ryan Aircraft Company of San Diego California to build him a monoplane.

In February 1927 Charles Lindbergh decided against trying fly across the Atlantic in a Bellanca airplane and approached Ryan and asked if he could purchase Cruickshank’s plane that was under construction. Corporal Cruickshank agreed and modifications were made to the aircraft and the planes name was changed to the “Spirit of St. Louis.” Cruickshank’s new aircraft incorporated many of the modifications that Charles Lindbergh made including increasing the wingspan and passenger capacity. On July 9, 1927 Andrew Cruickshank took delivery of his aircraft along with a good luck token – a one-dollar bill from Charles Lindbergh. Capitalizing on the fame of the “Spirit of St. Louis” he was able to raise the necessary funds to pay for the customs fees and shipping charges by introducing over 1000 people to flying on “Lindbergh’s Plane” at barnstorming events throughout California, Texas, and Nevada. After raising the funds he flew to Vancouver and the plane was dismantled and transported to Skagway Alaska aboard the deck of the SS Princess Alice. After reassembling the aircraft on the beach he took off just before the tide rolled in thereby preventing him from returning. He landed in Whitehorse an hour and a half later. Andrew Cruickshank was killed in a plane crash in 1932. In recognition of his pioneering contribution to Canadian Aviation history he was inducted into the Yukon Hall of Transportation Fame in 1997. In 1992 his daughter June Lunny published, “Spirit of the Yukon”

Photograph of the Arctic Medal with the 1944 Bar presented to all members of St. Roch who were on the trip from Vancouver to Halifax Nova Scotia.

Photograph of the Arctic Medal with the 1944 Bar presented to all members of St. Roch who were on the trip from Vancouver to Halifax Nova Scotia.

1948 – The crew of the RCMP “St. Roch” was presented with the Polar Medal at a ceremony at RCMP head quarters in Vancouver. The medals were in recognition of their historic voyages through the North-West Passage. Inspector Henry Larsen received the bar to the Polar medal and the Patron’s Gold Medal of the Royal Geographic Society for 1946. The three other crewmembers receiving the Polar Medal were; #12704 Corporal G.W. Peters (the bar to the medal), and Special Constables R.T. Johnsen and W.M. Cashin.

1970 – After arriving at the scene of an automobile crash near Quesnel British Columbia Constable T.J. Hearn found the driver pinned underneath the vehicle not breathing. He immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while others worked on lifting the car off of the man. After 15 minutes of resuscitation Constable Hearn succeeded in reviving the victim. In recognition of his efforts he was awarded the Priority Meritorious Certificate from the Mist Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

1982 – The Senate passes legislation officially renaming July 1st from Dominion Day to Canada Day.

1985 – In an attempt to escape from the police and avoid arrest a suspect fled into the frigid water at Seabright, Nova Scotia. #31222 Ken J. Hansen tried to convince the suspect to give himself up and come out of the water because he was in danger of hypothermia from the 8 C degree water. The suspect refused and when Constable Hansen proceeded to get to the suspect in a boat he saw the victim slip beneath the surface. Hansen then dove into the water and made two attempts to locate the victim but could not find the body. For his courage and presence of mind, Constable Hansen was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation.

October 26

1979 – The St. John Meritorious Certificate was awarded to #33497 / O.1801 Cst. Andrew S. Latham after he discovered two intoxicated youths unconscious in a car in Fort St John, BC. Constable Latham quickly realized that the pair had been overcome by carbon monoxide and with the assistance of Mr. Brian Stubbs performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation on the victims and succeeded in saving their lives.

1980 – With the sanction of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, #15949 / O.822 Inspector Ian Barry Smith was invested into the Order of St. John as a Serving Brother.

1994 – Many members of the RCMP are posted to United Nations duty in war torn countries where they use their skills to help stabilize the country by training local police and assisting in a variety of investigations.

Photograph of a United Nations member with the background of a Canadian flag

Photograph of a United Nations member with the Canadian flag in the background.

On this day in 1994, #25709 Staff Sergeant James Charles Beaver of Gloucester, Ontario, #36341 Constable Joseph Hervé Alain Millette of Regina, Saskatchewan and Corporals #34247 Gilles Brunet of Orleans, Ontario and #31969 Louis-Paul Woods of Nepean, Ontario were on a routine reconnaissance mission in Haiti when they came upon a serious motor vehicle accident involving an overturn truck with many injured passengers. Complicating the situation was the fact that fuel was spilling from the wrecked truck and a large number of onlookers were crowding the scene, many of which were smoking and posing a real fire hazard for the victims and rescuers.

The four policemen immediately assessed the situation and took action to secure the scene and drive the crowd back. Having no radio contact, two of the men rushed to a nearby hospital for medical help, only to find that there was little emergency assistance available and then had to maneuver their way back through the congested traffic. Having used up all of their first aid supplies the men commandeered a flatbed truck and transported the critically injured back to the hospital. In recognition of their commitment to duty and the honour they brought to Canada all four men were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal on September 10th 1999.

October 27

1982 –Three members of the Vancouver BC drug squad earned the Commanding Officers Commendation for saving the life of a drug dealer they had arrested.

#27220 Corporal Michael Humphries, and Constables #30041Barry Bennett and #32570 John Dykstra had been conducting several hours of surveillance on a known drug trafficker in New Westminster. When the men moved in and arrested him, the suspect began to fight with the policemen and then suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing. The men finding no pulse began CPR but discovered that the victim’s airway was obstructed. Constable Bennett then probed the victim’s throat and retrieved three balloons filled with drugs lodged deep in the back of his throat. He removed the balloons and the three policemen continued to perform CPR and succeeded in reviving him before the ambulance arrived. When the balloons were opened they found a quarter gram of heroin wrapped in foil in one, and nine gelatin capsules of heroin and ten grams of bulk heroine in the other two balloons. In November 1982 the suspect pleaded guilty to trafficking and received a three-year sentence.

1983 – Honour Roll Number 173.

Photograph

Photograph of Constable Daniel Keough’s gravestone marker (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

#28754 Constable Daniel Lincoln Keough age 33 was killed in a police motor vehicle accident, at Anglin Lake, Sask.

At approximately 07:30 am, Constable Lincoln Keough responded to a motor vehicle accident on Highway #2 when he lost control of his vehicle in a sharp curve and collided with an ambulance that was coming from the accident. Tragically, as he was being cut out of his vehicle with the “jaws of life” his wife Deborah, who was on her way to work with two of their three children arrived at the scene. Constable Keough was transported to the trauma unit at University Hospital in Saskatoon but died six hours later of internal injuries.

Lincoln and Debbie were originally from Kinkora, Prince Edward Island and had been high school sweethearts. He had joined the RCMP in 1971 and they had been married for ten years.

Constable Lincoln Keough was buried in the Catholic Church graveyard in Seven Mile Bay Prince Edward Island.

October 28

1888 – Nellie Webb’s House of Prostitution in Edmonton Alberta was disrupted when two drunken off duty Mounties attempted to force their way into the establishment. Not the kind of woman to be pushed around by anyone, Nellie grabbed her trusty shotgun and shot one of the members in the thigh. She was subsequently arrested and charged.

1914 – During the Great War the Canadian Government War Cabinet orders the registration of all “alien enemies,” living in Canada particularly Austrians and Germans. Included in the cabinet order is the direction for establishment of ‘concentration camps’ to house internees and their families. The detainees are required to work by performing task such as clearing bush and cutting lumber in national parks.

1938 – While unmooring a dory from the Jetty at H.M.C. Dockyard in Halifax Nova Scotia, #12296 Charles H. S. Graham a Marine Section cook accidentally capsized the boat and fell into the frigid water. Fortunately for him #12318 Able Seaman R.O. Newman, saw his mate, a non-swimmer, struggling in the water. Newman dove into the harbour fully clothed and swam to Graham’s location but by the time he arrived, he had gone under. Constable Newman then swam to the bottom and retrieved Graham’s body and brought him to the surface and revived him.

On Jan 23rd 1939 Able Seaman Newman was awarded the parchment of the Royal Canadian Humane Society. He retired from the RCMP as a Staff Sergeant in 1963.

Photograph of the RCMP St. Roch vessel

Photograph of the RCMP St. Roch vessel (Source of photo – RCMP Veterans’ Association – Vancouver Division’s Photo Collection).

1954 – Henry Asbjorn Larsen 1899-1964 and the crew of RCMP patrol vessel ‘St. Roch arrives in Vancouver completing the last voyage of the first ship to circumnavigated North America. The St. Roch eventually becomes the focal point of the Maritime museum in Vancouver.

1967 – Two constables in Kitimat, BC responded to a complaint that Siegfried Newitsch had threatened a tenant. When they arrived on scene #22148 / O.1370 Douglas Ewing and #23865 Brian Mitchell were confronted by Newitsch who was armed with a rifle. Constable Mitchell was sent for help while Ewing calmly talked to the gunman and waited until he was distracted. When the opportunity presented itself Constable Ewing jumped Newitsch and wrestled him for the rifle. While they were wrestling for control of the gun, back-up arrived and the policemen subdued the suspect. In recognition of their bravery they received commendations.

1970 – #S/160 Special Constable Lazarus Kyak of Pond Inlet, Numavut is invested an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his three decades of service to the Inuit as a special constable in the RCMP.

1970 – Honour Roll Number 143.

Photograph of Sergeant

Photograph of Sergeant Jim O’Malley (Reg. #15190) (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly magazine July 1971  edition – page 15)

#15190 Sgt. James Aldridge O’Malley age 41 drowned in the Kettle River near Gillam, Manitoba, when his boat capsized, while searching for the victim a drowning.

In October 1970, a civilian had drowned in Kettle River, and after a month of searching a line boom that had been constructed down stream to try and catch the body. A rope had been strung across the river so that the boom could be checked on a regular basis by personnel pulling themselves along in a boat.

On this date #15190 Sergeant James A. O’Malley and #27235 Constable J.G. Eichenlaub went to the river to check the boom, and as they proceeded across the river the current capsized their boat and both men wearing heavy clothing and rain slickers were thrown into the swift flowing river. Constable Eichenlaub managed to cling to boom until he was rescued, but Sergeant O’Mally was pulled under by the current and drowned. Extensive searches were conducted using dragging equipment and a helicopter, but his body was not found for five years.

In July 1975 his skeletal remains were located and identified by dental records. His remains were interred at the RCMP cemetery in Regina after a formal funeral was held at the RCMP Chapel.

James Aldridge O’Malley had been in the RCMP for 22 years and served in seventeen different locations throughout Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Manitoba. He left behind his wife Marjorie and three young children. In 1988 his only son, Michael John O’Malley was sworn in to the RCMP as #39559 and in August 2005 was commissioned as #O.2270 as an Inspector.

1975 – Honour Roll Number #151

Photograph of Constable

Photograph of Constable John Brian Baldwinson (Reg.#25163).

#25163 Constable John Brian Baldwinson age 29 was killed in a police motor vehicle accident, in Surrey BC.

At 1:35 am, eight year veteran, Constabe John Baldwinson was working in plain clothes and driving in an unmarked police car south on the Pacific Highway in Surrey, when he passed another police car driven by #28553 Darrel Graves. Suddenly his car disappeared in a cloud smoke and sparks as it careened out of control into a drainage ditch and a pile of steel pipes as he was thrown some 30 feet through air. He was transported to hospital in New Westminster, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Investigation into the crash revealed that he had hit a horse that had escaped from its pasture and wandered onto the highway. The force of the impact sent the horse through the windshield into Constable Baldwinson and through to the back window.

Constable John Brian Baldwinson was buried at Valleyview Cemetery in Toronto Ontario. He had a wife and two young children.

1977 – Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau confirms to the House of Commons that members of the RCMP entered a Montreal office in 1973 without a warrant to copy the membership lists of the Parti Québécois.

1981 – The first of two Medals of Bravery is earned by #34680 Constable Thomas Richard Hansen, for his part in rescuing a girl from submerged car near Squamish, BC.

In the early morning hours of October 28th 1981, an 18-metre section of the “M” Creek Bridge, on the Sea To Sky Highway near Squamish was destroyed by a rockslide because of several days of continuous rain. Before emergency services could respond to the scene, four vehicles plunged over the edge of the washed out road and careened into the creek bed below. All but one of the vehicles was swept down the creek and into several hundred feet of water of the adjacent fiord.

Shortly afterwards Cst. Thomas Hansen, a member of the Squamish Detachment, and Lt. Gary Robson of the Squamish Fire Department arrived on the scene and saw an overturned van in the creek. It was nearly covered in mud and has a large boulder nearly one-third the size of the vehicle, lying on top of it.

Armed with flashlights Cst. Hansen and Lt. Robson waded into the rushing water and deep mud to check for survivors, and heard faint cries for help from inside the van. Unable to pry open the door, Lt. Robson cut through layers of metal and plywood to create a small opening into the van. Inside he found a sixteen-year-old girl who was nearly submerged in mud and debris. Despite the fact that another slide could occur at any moment and sweep the vehicle into the sea, Lt. Robson entered the van in an attempt to dismantle a fridge that was preventing the girls escape. When Lt. Robson realized he could not free the victim because she was trapped, Cst. Hansen entered the vehicle and, submerged himself in the mud, to free her ankle. Then the two rescuers pulled the exhausted girl from the van and moved her to a waiting ambulance. On December 9, 1983 both men were awarded the Medal of Bravery.

Photograph of the Canadian Medal of Bravery

Photograph of the Canadian Medal of Bravery as would have been worn by Constable Thomas Hansen..

On November 21, 1988 Constable Thomas Richard Hansen MB earned his second Medal of Bravery.

In 2002 Staff Sergeant Hansen retired from the RCMP after 25 years service.

October 29

1895 – Honour Roll Numbers 19, 22, 23.

#605 Sergeant Colin Campbell Colebrook age 33 was murdered near Kinistino, N.W.T, by Almighty Voice, a Cree Indian prisoner who had escaped from the detachment cells. Subsequently #3040 John R. Kerr age 29 and #3106 Charles H.S. Hockin age 37 were killed while attempting to capture Almighty Voice and his accomplices at Minchinass Hills in 1897.

Photograph of Almighty Voice.

Photograph of Almighty Voice.

In October 1895, a twenty-two year old Cree Indian known as “Almighty Voice” or “Jean Baptiste” and a companion killed and butchered an Indian Department cow which led to his arrest on the One Arrow Reserve near Batoche, Northwest Territories (now Saskatchewan). The offence itself was not considered that serious, earning Almighty Voice a sentence of one month’s imprisonment. But his escape that night, resulted in a 19-month manhunt and the deaths of three policemen and a civilian.

A few days after the escape, Sgt. Colebrook received a tip from a jealous Native, on the whereabouts of Almighty Voice and a 13-year-old girl called “Small Face”. Colebrook and Scout, Francois Dumont then tracked “Almighty Voice” to Kinistino, fifty miles east of Prince Albert. When they caught up to the fugitive, they found him on foot leading a horse ridden by Small Face. As Sgt. Colebrook approached the pair, Almighty Voice who was armed with a double barrel shotgun yelled out in Cree to “go away”. As Colebrook advanced with one hand in the air, calmly calling out to him to stop, Almighty Voice raised the weapon and shot Colebrook, knocking him from his horse and killing him instantly. Francois Dumont then spurred his horse and rushed back to Duck Lake for help.

Almighty Voice went into hiding and all attempts to locate him failed, in spite of the fact that a $500 reward was offered for information. It was later discovered that he had been hiding out at his mother’s home on the One Arrow Reserve, living for several months in a dugout, accessed by a tunnel from under his mother’s bed.

On May 28th 1897, Corporal Bowridge and Scout Napoleon Venne were investigating another case of steer killing and encountered Almighty Voice and two other Indians. In the shootout, Scout Venne was seriously wounded. The pair rushed back to Duck Lake to advise the detachment of the location of Almighty Voice.

Photograph of

Photograph of NWMP Sgt. Charles Raven (Reg. #1126) (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

The subsequent search lead by Inspector John B. Allen and Sergeant C.C. Raven and eleven men culminated in a standoff at a heavily wooded bluff, at Minchinass, 17 miles from Duck Lake. Fearing that Almighty Voice and his accomplices “Going-up-in-the-Sky” and “Little Salteaux” would escape again, the policemen charged into the woods. In the barrage of gunfire Inspector Allen was shot in the arm, Sergeant Raven was shot in the thigh and Corporal Charles Hockin took a bullet in the lung. As Hocking lay bleeding, Constables John R. Kerr and Andrew O’Kelly rushed the fugitives and Kerr was shot in the heart and killed instantly. Hockin was pulled from the battlefield but he died the next morning.

At sundown the squad of men pulled back and kept the area surrounded and waited for 26 additional reinforcements armed with two cannons. At dawn the area was raked by the seven and nine pound guns and after some sporadic gunfire from the fugitives were found dead lying in a pit.

Sgt. Colebrook, was born in London England, and had joined the NWMP at Fort Qu’Appelle, when he was nineteen years old. He had 14 years service when he was killed. #3106, Corporal Charles Hockin had been a Captain in the Imperial Service in England and was the son of a British Admiral. Canadian born #3040, Constable John Kerr was from Barryville Ontario where he had worked as a farmer prior to joining the Mounted Police. All three men were buried in the police plot at the St. Mary’s Church near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Photograph of entry in the RCMP's Book Of Honour for

Photograph of entry in the RCMP’s Book Of Honour for Corporal Chas Hokins (Reg. 3106) (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

1923 – The leader of Russian Doukhobor sect, Peter ‘The Lordly’ Verigin was killed by a bomb that had been planted in the railroad coach he was traveling in.

1964 – Retired Superintendent Henry Asbjørn Larsen the captain of the RCMP Schooner St. Roch, died after a brief illness. He was buried in the R.C.M.P. cemetery at Regina, Saskatchewan.

1976 – Air Division pilot #21932 Staff Sergeant Dale Gillespie earned a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for rescuing a lost pilot.

At approximately 8:30 pm S/Sgt. Gillespie was contacted by the Whitehorse Tower advising him that a Cessna 172 was lost in a snowstorm, somewhere between Watson Lake and Whitehorse Yukon. The plane became lost, when its radio compass failed, so the pilot, Mr. Doug Schildwatcher climbed to 13,500 feet and requested assistance from the Whitehorse Airfield. By 9:15pm Staff Sergeant Gillespie accompanied by Cpl. Gabb, was airborne in the RCMP airplane CF-MPL and in radio contact with Schildwatcher. Using a VHF direction finder, Gillespie located the Cessna, and then turned on his landing lights, which reflected off of the snow, providing a visual beacon for Mr. Schildwatcher. With the RCMP plane as a guide, the Cessna was successfully escorted back to Whitehorse, preventing an inevitable crash and saving the lives of the pilot and his three passengers.

1991 – Canada Customs personnel and four civilians were taken hostage and locked in a room, by two heavily armed Americans at the Rykerts border crossing in British Columbia. The prisoners managed to escape and called the Creston Detachment to report the crime.

Constables #38419 Lee Anne Gregor and #43398 Mark N. Plessis encountered the fugitives as they entered the town of Creston and began a criminal pursuit. During the chase the fugitives pointed a machine gun at the police and were eventually boxed in on a dead end street. The passenger armed with the machinegun jumped out of the car and threatened to shoot the constables. The pair remained calm and the gunman fled into the bush. The driver was arrested at the scene and was found to be in possession of a live grenade. The gunman was arrested the following day. In recognition of their bravery, and calm actions, both constables were awarded the Commanding Officer’s Commendation.

October 30

1915 – Canada’s 6th Prime Minister, Sir Charles Tupper died at Bexley Heath, Kent England. He was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia and had been a medical doctor prior to entering politics. As Premier of Nova Scotia (1864-1867) he was one of the Fathers of Confederation in 1867. Though he only served as Prime Minister for three months (May 1 to July 8, 1896), he was a highly regarded and respected politician who held many key positions in government. Though his term as Prime Minister of Canada was short his marriage to Lady Frances Tupper lasted 65 years.

1917 – 29-year old Acting Major George Randolph Pearkes, VC, PC, CC, CB, DSO, MC, CD (1888-1984) earns the Victoria Cross at the battle of Passchendaele, Belgium.

Photograph of ex-RNWMP Constable George Randolph Pearkes (Reg. #5529) (Source of photo - RCMP Historical Collections Unit - "Depot" Division)

After serving two years in the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (RNWMP) Constable Pearkes resigned from the RNWMP where he was working in the Yukon to serve in the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. He was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving in the 5th

His citation for the Victoria Cross stated “On 30 October 1917 near Passchendaele, Belgium, Major Pearkes, although wounded in the right thigh, continued to lead his men with the utmost gallantry, despite many obstacles. It was entirely due to his determination and fearless personality that he was able to maintain his objective with the small number of men at his command against repeated enemy counter-attacks. His appreciation of the situation and the reports rendered by him were invaluable to his commanding officer. He showed throughout a supreme contempt of danger and wonderful powers of command and leadership.”

He was wounded five times in WWI and received numerous awards and citations.

Pearkes never returned to the mounted police. Instead he had an illustrious career as a soldier retiring as a Major General, and then in 1945 he entered politics and was elected to represent Nanaimon, British Columbia and was appointed the Minister of Defence in the Diefenbaker government. In 1967, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada and in 1968 he became the 20th Lieutenant Governor of the Province of British Columbia. One of the many honours accorded Pearkes was the naming of a 53’ RCMP Patrol Vessel (MP90) after him in 1973.

He died at the age of 95 in 1984 and was buried at Section 4 – West, Holy Trinity Cemetery, West Saanich, Sidney, Victoria, British Columbia.

1976 – The first woman to be sworn in as a Constable in the RCMP, 19-year old Mary “Heather” Ann PHYLLIS (Reg.#31805) hyllis  (Souva) (1955-2013) resigned this day to get married. Phyllis had joined the Force on September 14th 1974 and resigned two years later to start a family. She died at the age of 58 in Winnipeg. Her ashes were scattered in Scotland.

1987 – Constable Renald Gosselin, a member of the Petticodiac NB Detachment is invested as a Serving Brother of the Order of St. John by the Governor General of Canada, Jeanne Sauve’ at a ceremony held at the Notre Dame Basilica in Ottawa.

1992 – While in Iqaluit NWT, Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon signs the accord with the Inuit, to finance the creation of a 2.2 m sq km Eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. With the accord the Inuit people gain clear title to 350,000 sq km, of land and receive $1.15 billion in grants over 14 years.

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