Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

Photograph of RCMP Depot Division Volunteer Band Base Drum (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).





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

March 9

1873 – Sir John A Macdonald’s Conservative government proposes the establishment of a Mounted Police force for the North West Territories; the act is passed on May 23.

1942 – Several members of the RCMP were transferred to military service in 10th reinforcement draft to Provost Corps including #14051 Constable Mack Fewster.

Photograph of the Canadian stamp dedicated to Commissioner George French - NWMP Commissioner.

Photograph of the Canadian stamp dedicated to Commissioner George French – NWMP Commissioner.

1973 – Three postage stamps honouring the centennial of the RCMP are released.

The eight cent stamp depicts the first permanent commissioner of the NWMP Sir Arthur French.

The ten cent stamp depicts a spectrograph representing the science and technology utilized in the RCMP Crime Lab.

The fifteen cent stamp depicts a member of the Musical Ride.

March 10

Photograph of the book cover "Cop In The Closet" by RCMP Veteran Jack Fossum.

Photograph of the book cover “Cop In The Closet” by RCMP Veteran Jack Fossum.

1932 – Jack Fossum author of “Cop In The Closet” and “Man Catcher” joins the RCMP.

1937 – Honour Roll Number 60.

#11818 Constable George Edward Horan age 25 was killed in police car accident.

While driving from Belleville to Deseronto, Ontario Cst. Horan met an approaching Cities Service oil truck at a bridge three miles east of Deseronto. The truck sideswiped Horan’s police car flipping it over and killing him instantly. William Hopping, the unlicensed truck driver was found at fault for not dimming his headlights and for not having any clearance lights on his vehicle. He received a fine of $6.00. Cst. Horan was only the second member of the Force to be killed in a police car collision. He had only been in the RCMP for four and a half years. This was the second fatal police car accident in history of the Force. Constable Horan was buried in the Gillis Cove cemetery near his hometown of Orangedale Novas Scotia.

1952 – A new Detachment was opened at Kitimat, B.C. by #15302 Constable James Smythe. He served from 1947 to 1972 and retired a Sgt. The author arrived in Kitimat fresh from Depot as a wide-eyed rookie on December 29 1980.

1959 – RCMP and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary are called in to clear picket lines in the International Association of Woodworkers Union strike that began on Jan 1, 1959. The union had been decertified by Premier Smallwood government. In the clash with striking loggers 24 year old Constable William Moss of the RNC is hit in the head with a pulp log and dies two days later in hospital in Grand Falls.

1960 – Native Indians received the right to vote in federal elections.

1974 – Commanding Officers Commendations are awarded to #22097 George Batt, #25212 Alexander Steeves, #25490 Robert Baird, #27633 Clarence Fidler, #28949 James Crawford & #29571 James Estey.

The policemen responded to a Break and Enter at a residence in Antigonish, N.S. The thieves got the jump on one of the members and was holding him at gun point and shot at one of the police cars. The thieves then fled to nearby house and took woman hostage. After a standoff one of the thieves was shot by police and the second assailant surrendered.

March 11

Photograph of the RCMP Centoph at "Depot" Division. Red circle denotes Sub-Constable J. Nash (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division. Red circle denotes Sub-Constable John Nash (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

1896 – Honour Roll Number 1.

#135 Sub Constable John D. Nash age 27 was accidentally killed while on duty near Fort MacLeod. Cst. Nash was hauling logs be used in the construction of buildings at Fort Walsh by horse and wagon when the load of logs fell on him.

Nash was one of the original members of the famous March West and was from Halifax Nova Scotia. He was not the first member to die on duty in the NWMP but was the first attributed to being killed in a duty related incident. There is little known about Cst. Nash because his service file was lost when the west block of the Parliament buildings burned in 1897. He was buried in the in the Protestant plot of the Union Cemetery at Fort MacLeod, in grave 3, row 1.

1969 – The last RCMP Dog Sled Patrol is conducted at Old Crow Yukon.

1978 – Upon arriving at a hotel in Yorkton, Saskatchewan Staff Sergeant Parchomchuk and three other civilians removed the lifeless body of Raymond Hofer from the bottom of the swimming pool. Through their efforts in performing CPR Hofer was revived and taken to hospital. Staff Sergeant Parchomchuk and the other three citizens were awarded the Meritorious Certificate from Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

1982 – 35-cent RCMP constable on horseback postage stamp is released. It is a reproduction of the first Canadian postage stamp depicting a member of the Mounted Police that was originally released in 1935. To this day nobody knows who the Mountie was that posed for the photo that was used for the stamp image.

1993 – #38439 Constable Brent Harold Veefkind, age 33 was killed on duty in a motor vehicle accident near Bezanson, Alberta.

Constable Veefkind was posted with the Grand Prairie Municipal Detachment, Alberta at the time of his death. He is one of several members of the Force who are not included in the Official Honour Roll due to a change in policy regarding criteria for inclusion in the Honour Roll.

March 12

1943 – #13097 Constable Charles DeLisle departed on a 151 day dog sled patrol from Pond Inlet to Fort Ross and back a gain covering a distance of 3,551 miles.

2002 – Honour Roll Number 198.

Photograph of Constable Christine Diotte (Reg.#   )

Photograph of Constable Christine Diotte (Reg.#45279)

#45279 Cst. Christine Elizabeth Diotte age 35 was killed while investigating a single motor vehicle accident near Banff, Alberta.

Christine and her husband Mario had been transferred to Banff in July of 2001 and she was assigned the responsibility of field training a new recruit in December 2001. Four months later she and her recruit Constable Dave Davis were driving back to the detachment on very icy roads when a report of a roll over motor vehicle accident on the Trans Canada Highway was received. Constable Diotte decided to tag along with Davis and give him a hand instead of being dropped off at the detachment. The constables made their way to the scene and discovered that the vehicle had lost control on the curve of the icy road and slid into the ditch. They confirmed that there were no injuries and called for a tow truck. As the two members were removing traffic cones from the trunk of their car Constable Davis proceeded to walk over to the occupants of the roll over vehicle when a Ford Explorer came around the curve and lost control and slammed sideways into both police officers. Constable Davis was knocked unconscious and thrown into the ditch while Diotte was crushed between the Explorer and the back of the police car. Both officers were transported by ambulance to the Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff but Christine Diotte could not be revived.

Christine Elizabeth Diotte (nee Fish) was given a full regimental funeral attended by over 600 police officers including her husband Mario. She was buried in the military section of the Canmore Cemetery. Constable Davis spent several months recuperating from his injuries and eventually returned to full duty.

March 13

1916 – Manitoba becomes the first province to vote for prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

Photograph of a RCMP Commissioner's Commendation For Bravery.

Photograph of a RCMP Commissioner’s Commendation For Bravery.

1968 – Commissioners Commendations and grants from the Benefit Trust Fund for $100 are awarded to #16665 S/Sgt Peter Blake Payne and #23801 Constable Murray Donovan Charlton for the arrest of armed and dangerous man in Richmond, B.C.

1971 – FLQ terrorist Paul Rose receives a life sentence for the non-capital murder of Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte who was kidnapped during the October Crisis of 1970. His brother Jacques Rose, and associates Francis Simard and Bernard Lortie were also sentenced. In November, Paul Rose receives an additional life term for kidnapping Laporte. He was granted full parole in 1982.