Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP





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

November 5

1939 – The National Research Council in Ottawa first broadcasts its official time signal at EXACTLY 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

1941 – Honour Roll Number 103.

During world war two the RCMP hired many special constables for use as guards at vital domestic installations. 58 year old #S/3185 S/Constable Joseph Henry Kent a veteran of the Great War was assigned to guard Bridge No.4 on the Welland Ship Canal, at St. Catharines, Ont. At approximately 11:50 pm, he was walking home at the end of his shift when he was run over by a 1930 Chrysler that had traveled 130 yards after jumping the curb. Hit from behind Constable Kent was knocked unconscious after receiving two broken legs and a cerebral hemorrhage. He was immediately transported to the nearby hospital in a patrol car driven by Sergeant E. Anstead, but died en-route. The driver; Harold Jacobs was charged with manslaughter.

Special Constable Kent had only been married for 8 short months and was buried in the Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines, Ontario.

1958 – The last body of the 74 miners killed in the Springhill Mine disaster that occurred on October 23 is finally removed from the mine.

1960 – Commissioners Commendations along with $25 grants from the Fine Fund were issued to nine members who were involved in a stakeout and gun battle at a farmhouse near Edmonton Alberta.

Police received a tip that a group of armed men planned to enter a farm house 30 miles west of Edmonton Alberta and rob the elderly residents of a large sum of money. The Edmonton General Investigations Section headed by #13382/O.537 Staff Sergeant Waldemer Werner Peterson had other plans for the robbers.

The elderly couple were removed to safety and replaced by #15225 / O.565 Sergeant Peter Wright, Corporals #14430 John D. Kennedy, #16915 / O.643 Thomas S. Venner,  #17484 / O.668 Victor G. P. Irving and Constables #17703 Allen S. Cedar, #17068 Harry P. Greaves, #17455 Dennis Norton and #18440 Derlin C. Dillabaugh.

When the three-armed men entered the building they were ordered to drop their guns by the waiting policemen. Instead of complying, the trio began shooting at the police officers. Constable Cedar was struck in the chest but his life was saved because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which was a rarity in 1960. Several shots were fired in the dark farmhouse and in the ensuing struggle two of the suspects were arrested. The third suspect managed to get outside where the gun battle continued and finally ended when Constable Norton was able to subdue and arrest him.

1981 – Two youths received commendations from the RCMP for assisting a constable who had been stabbed.

#30408 Constable Graham Holmes while assisting Calgary Immigration Officers went to search a home in Calgary Alberta for illegal immigrants. When the officers entered the residence one of the suspects fled. Constable Holmes caught him and in the struggle to arrest him, was stabbed with a knife.

Although he had been stabbed, Holmes continued to fight with the suspect in an effort to subdue him. Witnessing the struggle, brothers Keith and Ken Dussome age 15 and 17 jumped into the fray and assisted Holmes’s in handcuffing the suspect.

2001 – Police Dog handler #36090 Constable William Finney accompanied by #41257 Constable Roland Wallis were tracking a suspect in the mountains of the Hemlock Valley, near Mission BC when they became stranded on a mountain ridge in a sudden snowstorm. At the beginning of the search the two officers had no way of knowing that the pursuit of their quarry would lead them into the rugged mountain wilderness or that they would become stranded by the weather. They were not dressed for the severe winter weather and were in danger of perishing.

In spite of the extreme weather conditions, RCMP helicopter pilot #39446 Corporal Dwayne Harlem Jennings volunteered to transport a search team to the area to participate in a rescue his comrades.  After locating the two officers and their dog on a precipice, Corporal Jennings managed to skillfully maneuver his helicopter, so that the tip of one skid rested on the mountain face and the search members could exit the hovering helicopter. Corporal Jennings repeated the tricky maneuver three times, so he could off-load personnel and supplies.  And then repeated the process to reload the rescuers and the three stranded victims and then flew them back to safety.

Had Corporal Jennings not volunteered to fly in very adverse conditions, the two constables and their police dog could have perished.

For his bravery and outstanding flying ability, Corporal Jennings received the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery, the Treasury Board Award of Excellence and the Meritorious Service Medal.

November 6

1873 – Three days after the first recruits were sworn into the NWMP, Sir John A. Macdonald Canada’s first Prime Minster resigned and was replaced by Alexander Mackenzie.

1978 – The Royal Canadian Humane Society Bronze Medal is awarded to #25756 Constable Gerald Moen for helping Mr. Mel Dyck, escape from his burning car he was driving near Red Deer, Alberta.

1984 – Former Saskatchewan cabinet minister Colin Thatcher is found guilty of murdering his ex-wife Joanne because he was angry that he had to pay her $820,000 in a divorce settlement. Initially he tried to hire someone to kill her but when that failed he smuggled a gun into Canada and shot her himself. He was sentenced to life in prison.

November 7

1874 – After being ordered to return to Winnipeg, Commissioner French and “D” Division arrived back at Fort Garry having marched 1,959 miles across the prairies and back.

1886 – The “last spike” completing the Canadian Pacific Railway is driven in at Eagle Pass near Craigellachie BC, by Donald A. Smith, later Lord Strathcona (1820-1914). The president of the CPR W. C. Van Horne gives a fifteen-word speech: ‘All I can say is that the work has been well done in every way’. Smith’s first spike bent and was replaced; it was rescued and is now in the Glenbow-Alberta Institute in Calgary. The following day, the CPR special transcontinental train arrived in Port Moody BC 4,800 km it’s start in from Montreal.

1958 – Honour Roll Number 81.

Photograph of Constable John Terrence Holy (Reg.#20307).

The first Mountie killed in Newfoundland.

On this day #20307 Constable John Terrence Hoey age 21 was shot and killed at Botwood, Newfoundland. Constable Hoey had graduated basic training in Regina only three weeks earlier.

A waitress at the Harbourview Cafe in Botwood, contacted the police to report that the cafe she worked at was unexpectedly closed when she had reported for work. Third Class Constable Hoey and #19393 Constable Amadee Arthur ‘Red’ Bowen drove to the scene to investigate but could get no response from within. The officers knew that the owner Tom Ling lived inside and when they could get no response from inside, they returned to the detachment to discuss the matter with senior constable L. Robert Healy.

The three officers then returned to the café and getting no answer to their knocks and fearing that something had happened to Mr. Ling, they climbed inside the building through a window. After they had entered the building they discovered that the door to the residence had been barricaded and could hear incoherent talk from within. Then suddenly and without warning a shotgun blast was fired through the door hitting Constable Hoey in the chest killing him instantly. Then a second shot was heard, Mr. Ling had committed suicide.

The deranged man had cut short the life and career of Constable Hoey who had graduated from basic training in Regina only three weeks earlier. His body was returned to his family, where he was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, in Peterborough, Ontario.

1976 – Commanding Officers Commendations are issued to #29050 A.H. Arsenault and #32509 Stephen M. Harrison after they disarmed two men who had gone on a shooting spree in Pelican Narrows, Manitoba The two suspects had fired over 28 rounds into five occupied houses and six other buildings.

1983 – #27229 Constable Peter G. Sharp and #21644 Sergeant Glenn Madsen attended to a complaint involving a suicidal man in North Vancouver BC. The man who was suffering from physical illness and depression had been drinking and was armed with a .37 and .3030 caliber rifle. After a considerable amount of time Constable Shrap managed to talk his way into the apartment and when he gave the man a cigarette he succeeded in jumping him and both he and Madsen disarmed him. Constable Sharp’s patience and courage was acknowledged by the awarding of a Commanding Officers Commendation.

2002 – #36517 Constable Glen Beattie of the Kamloops BC detachment spotted the suspect from a Williams Lake, home invasion and when he attempted to stop the suspect, a criminal pursuit ensued. The chase ended at Savona, 28 miles west of Kamloops when the suspect wrecked his vehicle going through a roadside ditch. The suspect then pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and threatened to kill him. Constable Beattie calmly talked the gunman into dropping the weapon and surrendering. On November 4thConstable Beattie was issued the Commanding Officer’s letter of appreciation and on November 1st 2005 he was presented the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery.

November 8

1902 – Doukhobours were Russian peasants who abandoned the Orthodox Church and were named “douko-borets,” meaning “spirit wrestlers.” Their Christian beliefs led them to adopt principles of pacifism, communal living, the sharing of the possessions, the rejection of church and state authorities, and vegetarianism. 8,000 Doukhobors had migrated from Russia to Canada in 1899 and settled in Saskatchewan. Not long after arrival, they were advised by the Canadian government that titles to their settled lands would be granted only upon their signing of an oath of allegiance to the Crown of British Empire. Most of them refused to sign the oath.

In 1900, the Doukhobors presented a petition to the Canadian government, demanding exemption from the law: along with their intent to disobey Canadian laws. In addition they stated that they would refuse to individually register their lands, decline to register marriages and divorces or report births and deaths. In 1902 they began to march in protest hoping to convince the government to cede to their demands with the intention of converting the world to their faith and finding a new Promised Land

When six hundred members decided to do a pilgrimage to the east they were met on this day in Minnedosa Manitoba by a contingent of Mounties. The marchers refused to disperse and return to their communes in Saskatchewan, so physical force had to be use to load over 450 Doukhobor men and women into railroad cars. They were then transported under guard back to Yorkton, Saskatchewan, where they were made to return home on foot.

1933 – A Commissioners Commendation was issued to #11347 Constable William H.A. Hanna after he attended to a complaint of a man who was threatening his family with a shotgun. When he arrived at the suspect’s residence in the Scapa District near Hanna, Alberta he was confronted by the man wielding the shotgun. Constable Hanna then wrestled the weapon from the gunman’s hands and promptly arrested him.

Ten years later Corporal Hanna became the first Mountie to travel the Alaska Highway in his own car. He had been transferred from “K Division” (Alberta) to “M Division” (Yukon) and the1500 mile trip took five days to complete.

1955 – RCMP seize 16 kg of pure heroin on a freighter at Pointe-au-Père.

1966 -A Commissioners Commendation for Bravery was issued to #16586 Constable Rodney Vallance Alcock While on patrol in Prince Rupert BC he checked Karlo Hegedus, a suspect in a break and enter. Alcock invited the suspect into his police car and was questioning him as he drove through town. Suddenly the suspect jumped out of the moving car and ran off. Constable Alcock left his vehicle and chased after the suspect who suddenly turned around and fired a .455 caliber revolver, narrowly missing him. Alcock then pounced on the suspect and with the help of two teenagers, Mario Paolinelli and Ivan Rhyno he wrested the gun from him and placed him under arrest. Karlo Hegedus received a four sentence for “intent to wound.”

1990 – Commanding Officers Commendations were issued to Constables #33931 C.D. Seafoot and #38504 Douglas J. Wasylenki for arresting an armed man after six hour stand-off in a domestic dispute, in the remote community of Janvier, Alberta.

November 9

1942 – On this day during World War II a Nazi secret agent named Werner Von Janowski came ashore near the Gaspé town of New Carlisle after being delivered by submarine U-518. Within twelve hours he was captured due to his strong accent and out-of-place possessions.

Photograph of

Photograph of Werner Von Kanowski shortly after being captured. (Source of photo – RCMP Archives).

After being captured the RCMP decided to “turn” him and become their first double agent. With the passage of time, it appeared that he may have been a triple agent and that was the German plan in the first place. In 1996 author Dean Beeby published Cargo of Lies: The true Story of a Nazi Double Agent in Canada in which he detailed the events surrounding this story.

1970 – Surrey B.C. members responded to a domestic disturbance where a mother had reported that her distraught son had fled her house with a rifle after he threatened to kill his wife and himself. As the supervisor #15736 Sergeant Arnold McPherson left the house the suspect drove by honking his horn at the police. The sergeant then followed the man in his car and 100 yards down the road the suspect stopped and jumped from his vehicle and aimed the rifle at the policeman.

After a tense standoff the gunman jumped back into his car and sped off and shortly thereafter fled from his car on foot into the bush. After a search of the area with a police dog failed to locate the man, constables #27665 John W. Clarke and #27842 K. L. Smith were sent to his house and they hid inside to await his return. Shortly thereafter the man kicked in the door to his house and threatened to shoot Constable Clarke with the rifle. As he stepped forward, Constable Smith grabbed the barrel of the rifle and the two officers subdued him. He received a six-month sentence for pointing a firearm. Both constables were later awarded Commanding Officers Commendations for bravery.

1973 – Commendations for bravery were issued to #18887 / O.959 Victor Edwards along with #20064 Dennis Roberts and #25458 / O.1646 Maurice Riou after they arrested an armed man who had shot and wounded Constable Roberts and two civilians at Williams Lake, BC.

1976 – #23101 Corporal Robert C. Henderson and Constable #28498 Richard A. Bourgoin (Honour Roll Number 175) saved a man from a smoke filled room in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Both men and were awarded St John Ambulance Meritorious Certificates.

1979 – A gunman went into the Caisse Populaire (Credit Union) in the New Brunswick village of St. Basile and after firing a warning shot into the ceiling, demanded money. He then made his escape in a getaway car driven by his accomplice. An hour and a half later the pair ran a police roadblock near the village of Green River. #22674 Sergeant L.H. Armstrong then pursued the culprits in a high-speed chase at speeds exceeding 110 miles per hour. During the criminal pursuit the bank robber crawled into the back seat of the car and began shooting at Armstrong with a high-powered rifle. The pursuit continued until the suspect vehicle skidded into the ditch. As Anderson brought his vehicle to a halt 75 feet away the gunman fired three more shots at him before the pair began to run towards the bush. When Sergeant Armstrong ordered the men to stop, the gunman turned and took aim at him with the rifle. Before the suspect could shoot, Armstrong fired his revolver twice and wounded both men. The wounded men were then arrested and transported to hospital. On June 17, 1980 Sergeant L.H. Armstrong was awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery.

1982 – Former FLQ terrorist leader Yves Langlois returns to Quebec from exile.

1983 – #29714 Corporal Rick W. McKillican received a Commissioners Commendation for outstanding service for working undercover and pretending to be a high-level drug trafficker gaining the trust of psychopathic murder suspect. He was so convincing that over time he won the confidence of the suspect who eventually took him to where he had buried the victim.

1986 – Special Constable Denis Chausse’ a member of the Executive/Diplomatic Protection Section, earned a Commissioners Letter of Appreciation for his role in apprehending two armed men in a shopping mall in Hull Quebec. Chausse’ was off duty when he noted the two men flee from a store and though he was unarmed, he confronted the pair, identifying himself as a peace officer and ordering them to stop. The pair split up and ran off in different directions, so with the help of mall security he chased after the men and arrested them.

November 10

1896 – Honour Roll Number 21.

#857 Sergeant William Brock Wilde was killed by, fugitive murderer Charcoal, near Dry Forks, on the Kootenai River, N.W.T., while attempting to arrest him.

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant William Brook Wilde (Reg. #857) (Source of photo - Page 68 of "In The Line Of Duty" by Robert Knuckle).

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant William Brook Wilde (Reg. #857) (Source of photo – Page 68 of “In The Line Of Duty” by Robert Knuckle).

A Blood Indian named Charcoal went on a murderous rampage after he caught his wife having an affair with another Indian. When they refused to stop the affair Charcoal killed his wife’s lover. “Medicine Pipe Stem” and appeared to go crazy afterwards. He shot and wounded a former farm instructor and on November 2, 1896 shot Sergeant W. Armer while he was watering his horse at the Detachment at Cardston. He continued to brag to his people that he was going to kill the local Indian Agent and Chief Red Crow. A posse was organized and the hunt for Charcoal led to him being spotted near Pincer Creek. On November 5th Sergeant Wilde the local Detachment Commander joined the posse and five days later they closed in on the fugitive. As the posse comprised mostly of local Natives closed in on him, Charcoal yell to them that he had no quarrel with his own people and the men stayed back as Sergeant Wilde rode up to him alone. With revolver in Hand the sergeant rode up to him an ordered him to stop, when he was eight feet away Charcoal turned and fired his rifle that was concealed beneath a blanket hitting Sergeant Wilde in the chest and knocking him from his horse. The murderer then stood over the wounded policeman and shot him again in the stomach. Leaving the dead man in the snow, Charcoal rode off on the policeman’s horse.

Two days later Charcoal arrived at his brother’s home and unbeknown to him they had promised the police that hey would turn him in. The brothers and their wives jumped him and tied him up and then turned him over to the authorities. On March 16, 1897 Charcoal a.k.a. Bad Young Man a.k.a. Johnny Dried Meat was sent to the gallows and hanged.

Sergeant Brock Wilde a ten-year veteran of the British Calvary had joined the Mounted Police to seek adventure. He had served only three years before his murder. He was buried at the Protestant Cemetery at For MacLeod Alberta.

1918 – One hour before the doctor arrived and his son Arthur was born #4091 Sergeant Robert White died of the Spanish Influenza. He was one of many victims of the great flu epidemic of 1918.

1969 – An extensive ground search was conducted by three Dogmaster’s for the occupants of a private aircraft that had crashed into a mountaintop on Roderick Island midway between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy BC.

Mr. Edward Hadgkiss, and his passenger Katherin Rheaume, were flying in his from Whitehorse to Vancouver when they survived the crash of his Harvard (CF-XEN ) airplane. Instead of staying with the wreckage to wait for a rescue, the two decided to try and hike down to the coastline. When search and rescue personnel located the crash scene and found evidence that the pair had left the wreckage dog master’s #19000 Dale Marino, #20836 Laurie Marshall and #27147 Brian Boleen were brought in to search for the survivors. The trio conducted extensive searches of the area and found equipment the survivors had being carrying as they tried to walk to the beach. But despite their efforts, no remains of either victim were ever found. The 1989 book “Missing in Life” by Jane Gaffin recounts the mystery.

1992 – RCMP Commissioner Norman Inkster is elected to a four-year term as President of Interpol, the international police organization.

November 11

May 1918 - Photograph of Cavalry Draft RNWMP members on the parade square in front of both "A" and "B" Blocks (Source of photo - RCMP Historical Collections Unit - "Depot" Division).

1918 – WWI ends. When the war to end all wars began the Canadian Government granted permission to the RNWMP to allow 200 members to transfer to the Canadian Expeditionary Force where they were organized into “A” squadron a cavalry unit that saw action in France and Belgium. – Check the four part article on “A” Squadron RNWMP here.  It is the first in-depth article about this Squadron.  In addition, you are encouraged to check out the six part article on “B” Squadron RNWMP.  This Squadron was deployed to Siberia during the Russian Revolution.  Check out these articles here.


At least five members were killed in action during the war:

#6886 Everett Kirkpatrick

#7171 Vernon Ward

#7273 William Alexander Pearson

#7501 William John Henderson

#5818 James Edge

#5065 (CEF # 58085) former Constable Frederick Joyce who had served briefly in the RNWMP in 1910 was killed in action on the final morning of the war. He is buried at the British Cemetery, in Auberchicourt France.

1936 – #11456 Sergeant R.H. Purdy was awarded the St. John Ambulance Society Certificate of Merit for saving three people from drowning in the Little Smoky River on May 31, 1936.

With regards to Force members volunteering for World War I, you may wish to check out the RNWMP Volunteerism  & Patriotism In World War I webpage here.

While off duty, picnicking with friends, Sergeant Purdy swam to the aid of three individuals who were attempting to rescue Miss Loreen Hunt who had stepped into deep water and had been carried away by the current. After rescuing the victim and one of the exhausted rescuers, he recovered the body of a third rescuer and then revived him by performing artificial respiration. Unfortunately the father of the victim drowned attempting to rescue her and his body was recovered a few days later.

1980 – Commanding Officers Commendations were for bravery was earned by Constables #25686 Ronald Wagg and #35793 S.R. Ivany after they responded to a family dispute complaint in Lower Northfield, Nova Scotia. Upon their arrival they found a woman holding onto the barrel of the shotgun her husband was pointing at her. Constable Wagg rushed in and wrestled the weapon away from the gunman and then assisted by Constable Ivany who had only been out of basic training for12 days had to defend themselves from other family members who turned on the police officers.

November 12

1894 – #3063 Constable Samuel Knight is brought up on charges of neglect of duty and then summarily dismissed from the Mounted Police by the Commissioner. Constable Knight’s crime was, allowing a barrel of beer to be stolen while he was in charge of the guard. His career was brought to an abrupt end after only seven months of service and resulted in a dry spell in the canteen!

1971 – Brandishing 54 sticks of dynamite and a shotgun, Paul Joseph Cini hijacks an Air Canada flight over the prairies, but is subdued and arrested.

1979 – Honour Roll Numbers162 and 163.

Twenty-six year old #30749 Constable Gordon Alfred Brooks and # S/623 Special Constable Ningeoseak Etidloi age 41 drowned near Cape Dorset, Baffin Island N.W.T.

Photograph of the gravemarker for Constable Gordon Brooks (Source of photo - RCMP Gravesite database).

Photograph of the gravemarker for Constable Gordon Brooks (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

Constable Brooks along with Special Constable Etidloi set off from Cape Dorset in a twenty-four foot freighter canoe powered by a 50 hp engine, accompanied by Inuit hunters in four other freighter canoes. Brooks was going to conduct an investigation while Etidloi and several other Inuit hunters were going to hunt walrus. Later in day, the weather turned bad and the canoes became separated in the rough sea, when they tried to regroup they discovered that the canoe with the two constables and two Inuit hunters had capsized in the storm. Searchers found the capsized canoe along with several pieces of floating gear and evidence that they had succeeded in getting a walrus. An extensive search of the area only located the bodies of the Cst. Brooks, Special Constable Etidloi’s body and the two Inuit hunter’s bodies were never found.

Gordon Alfred Brooks joined the RCMP in 1973 he was married and had a seven-month old daughter. He is buried in the Eagle Valley District Cemetery at Sicamous, British Columbia.

Ningeoseak Etidloi joined the RCMP in 1972 and was married with two children.

1992 – Auxiliary Constable S.I. McCormack of the Souris PEI Detachment was honoured with a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for his observation skills. McCormack observed suspects fleeing from a break and enter in the nearby community of Montague. The resulting arrest of the suspects led to the solving of 85 unsolved crimes in the area.

On June 25th, 2004 the Governor General of Canada, presented the trio with the Medal of Bravery.