Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

Photograph of the Provost attachment on the original RCMP Guidon (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

April 23

1906 – The Alberta Legislature sets the provincial speed limit at 10 mph in cities and 20 mph in the country.

1913 – Honour Roll Number 39.

#4968 Corporal Maxwell George Bailey age 28 was killed at Grassy Lake, 40 miles west of Edmonton, Alberta while attempting to apprehend a man on a warrant.

36 year old Oscar Fonberg had become paranoid because of the discovery of silver on his property and believed his mine had to be defended, but after he took a shot at one of his neighbors an insanity warrant was issued for his arrest. Four members of the RNWMP lead by Corporal Max Bailey were organized and dispatched to apprehend Fonberg at his home at Grassy Lake 40 miles west of Edmonton. As the members approached the house, Fonberg took cover in a dug-out and yelled at the police to go away or he would shoot. When the policemen refused Fonberg began shooting, killing Corporal Bailey with a shot to the head.

The members returned fire and in the gun battle #5393 Constable Lambertus Stad was shot in the arm as he tried to pull the corporals body to safety and in the shootout #5535 Constable Samuel Whitley was shot in the groin. The gunman rushed from his position in the dugout and ran back to his house and continued to shoot at the policemen. #5288 Constable Reginald Tetley responded by tossing burning hay down his chimney and through a window in an attempt to smoke him out of the building. But the house caught on fire and as it burned to the ground Oscar Fonberg fled from the house and ran off into the bush.

The body of Cpl. Bailey was loaded onto a wagon and the men went to the nearby village of Tofield for medical help and there Cst. Tetley phoned the Edmonton Detachment for help. The next morning eight members and ten special constables arrived and began the manhunt for Oscar Fonberg. Speculating that he would return to his farm for supplies, the men waited in the dark and cold and when he showed up at 03:30 am shots were exchanged and the gunman was wounded but he managed to flee again into the bush.

While the posse continued their search for Fonberg, additional members’ began trickling in from other detachments including #4843 Constable A.C. McPhail who had traveled from his detachment at Fort Saskatchewan, over 60 miles away. As he rode to the scene he encountered a farmer driving his horse and wagon coming towards him, when they met McPhail found the wounded Oscar Fonberg sitting beside the farmer in need of medical attention and more than happy to be taken into custody.

Fonberg was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment. Constables Stad, Whitley and Tetley were granted $50 each from Fine Fund for their “good services in the attempted arrest of Fonberg.

Photograph of the RCMP

Photograph of the RCMP “Depot” Division’s Cenotaph with the name of Corporal Maxwell Bailey highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

Cpl. Maxwell G. Bailey a native of Piccadilly England had been in the RNWMP for five years. Following a large military funeral he was laid to rest at the 16th Street Cemetery in Edmonton.

1934 – Retired Sergeant #4608 H.U. Green of Dauphin Manitoba was awarded a bronze medal by the Natural Society of Manitoba for outstanding excellence in original research in natural history. Green became a well-known nature writer who published under the name of “Tony Lascelles” He received the award for his research on the Elk of Riding Mountain which was published in the Ottawa Field Naturalist in 1934.

1981 – The 35th Anniversary of RCMP Grumman Goose “C-FMPG”. The Grumman Goose a twin-engine amphibious flying boat that had a wingspan of 14.95 m (49 ft) was a truly unique airplane.

Only 345 G21A’s were built, and they could go nearly anywhere and was the ideal aircraft for use in the Pacific Northwest of British Columbia. CF-MPG “The Goose” was purchased by the RCMP from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1946 for $50,000. To celebrate the anniversary of “MPG” the Officer Commanding Prince Rupert Sub Division commissioned a lapel pin for members of the sub division to wear on their uniforms. The Goose was finally retired in 1995 (see September 29 1995) having achieved the status of having been used in continuous public use longer than any other Canadian aircraft.

April 24

1885 – After news of the massacre at Frog Lake on April 2nd reached General Middleton, he dispatched Colonel William Dillon Otter 1843-1929 to lead a column to relieve the NWMP garrison in the besieged town of Battleford Saskatchewan. After successfully relieving the town, Otter decided to take the fight to the Cree and Stoney Indians led by Chief Poundmaker. On May 2nd he engaged the enemy in what has become known as the Battle of Cut Knife Hill and he and his troops were soundly defeated by Poundmaker’s forces.

1963 – Honour Roll Number 120.

#17334 Constable James Walter Foreman died of injuries sustained, when struck by an automobile on the shoulder of the highway near Sangudo Alberta.

During a routine patrol Constable Foreman stopped to assist a friend, Mr. Irvin Purdy whose car had broken down on Highway # 43. The cars were placed face to face with emergency lights activated and Foreman was between the two vehicles pouring oil into Purdy’s engine when a car approached at high speed.

Mr. Purdy yelled but before they could move out of the way, the oncoming car smashed into the rear of Purdy’s car crushing them between the two-parked vehicles and then propelling them into the ditch. Constable Foreman was killed and Purdy later recovered from his injuries.
No charges were ever laid against the offending driver.

Photograph of the RCMP “Depot” Division’s Cenotaph with the name of Constable James Walter Foreman highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

Cst. James Foreman had served in the RCMP for over 11 years and left behind his wife Jillian and their two sons. He was buried at the Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Edmonton Alberta.

1977 – Constables #31022 R.J. Wyatt and #33160 Brian J. Donnelly were awarded the Royal Canadian Humane Association Certificate of Merit for rescuing a young boy, James Hill from the Red Deer River at Drumheller, Alberta.

April 25

1901 – At the completion of the Boer War several members of the NWMP were granted free discharges to join the South African Constabulary. Among them were; #619 Charles Allen, #3589 James Moore, #2543 Reginald Thompson, #3599 John Stewart, #3326 Percy Waddy, #3426 Wilfred MacPherson, #3534 William Judge, #3514 Walter Crockett and #3583 William Hughes.

1936 – Tragedy struck when #12537 Constable Charles Potter was boating New Brunswick’s St John River, with the son of #4958/O.229 Supt Ernest Salt when boat tipped over and Bruce Salt was thrown from the vessel and drowned.

1978 – Honour Roll Number 156.

Photograph of Constable

Photograph of Constable Thomas Brian King (Reg.#31915).

After checking a motor vehicle, at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan #31915 Constable Thomas Brian King was taken hostage and executed.

Many police officers have been killed in the line of duty but very few have been executed. Cst. Brian King had served in the RCMP as a radio operator from 1971 and converted to a regular member went the Force began accepting married men in 1974. After basic training he was posted back to Saskatoon.

On the night of his murder two local teenaged “cop haters”; Darrell Crook and Gregory Fisher decided that they were going to kill a cop. After smashing out the tail lights in their car, they went for a drive hoping to get stopped by the police. When they were first pulled over by two members at 10:30 pm they chose not to act because they were even numbered, so they bided their time.

Two hours later they were stopped by Cst. King on Highway #11. While King was dealing with the pair on the side of the road he was jumped and overpowered and restrained with his own handcuffs. After being forced into their car he was taken to a house in the city where they were turned away by the occupants when they saw that they had taken a policeman prisoner. The pair then drove to the Saskatchewan River and dragged him out of the car and after Darrell Crook pistol whipped Cst. King in the head with his own revolver, he shot him twice in the head and then the murderers tossed his body into the river.

While the execution was occurring the police found Cst, King’s abandoned police car and everyone was searching for the missing policeman. Ironically the Saskatoon Police pulled over the murders car because of the broken taillights that they had used to bait the police. Darrell Crook bolted from the car and fled but his accomplice was arrested. Under questioning Gregory Fisher revealed how Crook had executed Cst. Fisher. Shortly afterwards the RCMP captured Fisher at a roadblock in a car traveling with his older brother.

Crook and Fisher were convicted for murder and received life sentences with no parole for 25 years.

Brian King left behind his wife and three young daughters and was buried with full military honours at the RCMP Cemetery in Regina.

April 26

1875 – During the “march West” a section split off from “A” Division and headed north to establish a new post.. The men who established Fort Saskatchewan were #O.2 Inspectors William Jarvis, and #0.20 Severe Gagnon, along with #5 Sergeant Major Samuel B. Steele, and Sub Constables #7 Richard Steele, #30 Thomas LaBelle, #18 Edward Carr, #107 J.S. Beaulieu, #17 Phineas Brunette, #195 Peter Coutts, #20 Patrick Curran, #244 Neil McIntyre, #264 Jean Dartigue, #289 George Elliott, #185 Joseph Halpenny, #354 James Murray, #40 Walter Ross, #313 John Ridley, #47 Samuel Taber, #301 Edward Thomson and #50 William Walsh.

1935 – Honour Roll Number 55.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division with the name of

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the name of Corporal Michael Moriarity highlighted in red. (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

#6352 Corporal Michael Moriarity age 48 was murdered, while attempting serve a summons at Rosebud, Alberta.

David Knox had never been in trouble with the law before and he had been living on his farm by himself on a pension he received from the Great War, but when a bailiff who came to residence to serve him with an eviction notice Knox grabbed his rifle and threatened the bailiff. After reporting the matter to the police Cpl. Moriarity and #11811 Cst. Albert R. “Jeekie” Allen went to the Knox farm with a Summons. When Cpl. Moriarty got out of his police car to open the gate to the property, he was shot in the back by Knox. While under fire Constable Allen pulled to him to safety and sped off to the Doctor’s, but Moriarity died on the way. Cst. Allen then contacted the detachment and soon three additional constables; #10561 Richard Fenn, #11300 Douglas Forrest and #11468 John Skelton arrived accompanied by several armed farmers.

Shortly thereafter Knox was seen running across a field and the posse chased after him in their cars and attempted to corner him, but he retreated to a granary and began firing at them. The group returned fire and a two hour standoff ensued. Finally Knox stopped firing at the posse and after a lull, a member using his car as a shield, drove by the granary and saw that Knox had committed suicide.

Moriarity was born in Ireland and had served with the Glasgow City Police and had been a British Bobby before he immigrated to Canada and joined the RNWMP in 1914. He initially served for three years until he left to join the Saskatchewan Provincial Police in 1917 where he served for one year and then joined the Alberta Provincial Police in 1918. He returned to the RCMP in 1932 when the Alberta Force was absorbed into the RCMP and served to his death. Having no family in Canada, the RCMP agreed to his brother’s request and had his body buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna, New York.

1959 – RCMP members provide VIP security for Cuban President Fidel Castro on his visit to Montreal.

1971 – While on patrol in Burnaby BC #25458 Constable Maurice Riou received a general broadcast of robbery that had just occurred. Shortly thereafter he found himself chasing a car that was traveling at a high speed when it suddenly stopped. A man jumped out and yelled that the driver was having a having heart attack and needed assistance. As Constable Riou approached the vehicle, the man produced a .357 magnum handgun and shot at him. Riou shot back, killing the suspect and apprehending the driver. He was awarded a Commanding Officers Commendation for Bravery.

1988 – Corporals, #28733 W. Randy Munro and #28876 Melvin W. Trekofski were conducting surveillance on two robbery suspects in downtown Vancouver. When the suspects put on disguises prepared to rob a branch of Canada Trust, the two officers intervened and arrested them. For their quick action and presence of mind the men were awarded Commanding Officers Commendations.

April 27

1877 – #401 Constable Andrew Elliott had his career literally cut short when he froze his feet on patrol. Elliott had joined the NWMP in 1876 and required the amputation of one of his big toes and was subsequently medically invalided out of the Force on June 5th 1877

1896 – Honour Roll Number 20.

Photograph of the RCMP "Depot" Division Cenotaph with the name of Constable Oscar Alexander Kern's name highlighted in red (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the RCMP “Depot” Division Cenotaph with the name of Constable Oscar Alexander Kern’s name highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

#3100 Constable Oscar Alexander Kern age 23 had been out on patrol and drowned attempting to ford Short Creek near Estevan Saskatchewan. When his horse returned to Estevan detachment soaking wet without him, a search party was sent out and several days later using grappling hooks found his body in Short Creek near the spot he attempt to cross. The native of London England was buried in the local cemetery at Estevan.

1929 – Mountie flushes out suspect.

When a mentally deranged man who was armed with a rifle retreated to the cellar of his farm house near Onion Lake, Saskatchewan and refused to come out. #10389 Constable John McCallum decided the best way to get him to come out of the cellar was to flood it. So he built a makeshift chute attached it to the trap door to the basement and then pumped water into the cellar until it filled and the suspect surrendered.

1938 – Chappy’s Back!

After traveling over 3653 kilometers by dog sled Corporal Marcel Chappuis (Reg.#10418), known as “Chappy” to friends and foe alike arrived back at Cumberland House Detachment 360 km Northeast of Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Chappy had left on January 11, 1938 and patrolled from Cumberland House to the Lac du Brocket area. He was renowned for his long distance dog sled patrols and completed a three month patrol a year later covering a distance of 3280 kilometers.


1921 – Photograph of Coproral Marcel Chappuis (Reg.#10418) with an unknown native (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection),

Chappy joined the RCMP after serving in the Saskatchewan Provincial Police from 1918 to 1927. Ironically he was discharged because he was a single man whereas the RCMP wouldn’t let men get married until they had enough money in the bank and had enough service. He joined the RCMP on May 25 1928 and served until October 22 1945 when he was medically pensioned.

1969 –The Dudley Do-Right Show aired on ABC-TV on this day and continued every Sunday morning for over a year when it was cancelled September 6, 1970 after 39 four-and-a-half-minute episodes. But our hero could not be deterred and he has continued to try and catch his arch nemesis the dastardly Snidely Whiplash ever since in syndication. While he thwarted Whiplashes criminal deeds, poor Dudley was trying to win the heart and the attention of the love of his life, the lovely Nell Fenwick, the daughter of his boss Inspector Fenwick. No matter how hard our hero tried to catchthe eye of Miss Fenwick she only had eyes for Dudley’s uniformed horse (named Horse).

Image from the Dudley Do-Right show.

Image from the Dudley Do-Right show.

This classic Mountie cartoon was the brainchild of writer Jay Ward who first introduced Dudley Do-Right in 1948 in the “Comic Strips of Television” that he test-marketed with Crusader Rabbit. In 1961 Dudley Do-Right was incorporated into the Bullwinkle Show, along with other Ward cartoon characters such as “George of the Jungle”, “Tom Slick”, “Super Chicken” and “Peabody’s Improbable History”, all of which became cult classics. Sadly Dudley Do-Right was made into a movie in 1999 starring Brendan Fraser (whose great grandfather was a member of the RCMP) and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Though the movie was a flop, the voices of June Foray as lovely Nell Fenwick, Bill Scott as Dudley Do-Right, Paul Frees as the Narrator and Inspector Nathaniel Fenwick and Hans Conried as dastardly Snidely Whiplash continue to live on in TV re-run land.

1976 – Five members of the Squamish, BC Detachment responded to a complaint from a woman whose husband was drunk and threatening to shoot someone. When Corporal A.D. Douglas, and Constables #30639 S.W. Lyons, J.E. Riddell, L. Flath, and Jim Porteous arrived at the scene the frantic woman showed the policemen where she had hidden her husband’s weapons in the bushes. Before they could react the man appeared holding a rifle and began threatening to shoot the police. The members pulling their guns rushed for cover behind their cars as the gunman continued to shout at them. Constable Lyons being the closest member to the assailant began talking to the man and encouraging him to drop the rifle. The deranged man repeatedly demanded that the police officers shoot him because he had nothing to live for. Instead of shooting, the policemen let Lyons continue to talk to the gunman, who eventually dropped the weapon and surrendered.

Photograph of two unknown RCMP members stationed at Squamish Detachment

Photograph of two RCMP Constables stationed at Squamish Detachment.

In recognition of his actions Constable Lyons was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation.

April 28

1964 – After the RCMP provided enough evidence to show that Ottawa based Vasily Vasilievich Tarasov a correspondent for Soviet newspaper Izvestia was actually spying for the Soviet Union, he was ordered expelled from Canada.

1988 – Four year old Matthew Fedor died this day. He was the first Canadian to receive a bone-marrow transplant from the newly created Red Cross pilot program, the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry.

Photograph of RCMP Constable Bruce Denniston.

Photograph of RCMP Constable Bruce Denniston.

In November 1987 Powell River BC Constable Bruce Denniston was diagnosed with chronic myelocytic leukemia as well, but none of his family members were a suitable match for a transplant. At the time the registry only had 1500 names recorded and none were matches for Bruce. With the support of friends and co-workers the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society was created with the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to the Registry so that it could expand and give Bruce and all patients like him a second chance at life. Unfortunately by the time a suitable match was found, cancer had ravaged Bruce’s body too much and he died in 1989. Bruce may have passed on but the society that bears his name continues to raise funds to support the work of the Canadian Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry and has saved numerous lives since. You can help by contacting:

The Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society
P.O. Box 157
Powell River, BC
V8A 4Z6
phone 604-485-8488
toll free 1-877-485-8488
fax (604) 485-0052

April 29

1903 – #3495 Constable Robert Leard was one of the lucky survivors when a 90 million ton wedge of limestone slid off Turtle Mountain onto the coal-mining village of Frank at 4:10 am. The slide buried the mine entrance and killing at least 70 people in only 100 seconds. The slab of limestone was 1,300 ft high, 4,000 ft wide, 500 ft thick. Seventeen men who were trapped in the mine managed to dig themselves out a day later. The town of Frank near Crowsnest Pass Alberta was permanently evacuated.

1966 – A man escaped from the Riverview Mental Hospital in Kamloops after being admitted on April 8, 1966 and showed up a few days later at the home of David Terry on the Bridgewater Indian Reserve.

While Terry was sitting at his kitchen table a shot rang out of the dark grazing his chest and arm and smashed into his table lamp. As the prowler rushed into his house Terry grabbed his rifle and shot back at the gunman and then ran out of the house and fled to a friend’s house, two miles away. When they returned the following day they discovered that the prowler had stolen two rifles and some ammunition. After reporting the matter to the police and that Terry had recognized the voice of the gunman as the man who had been committed to the institution the police spent the next six days searching for him in the back country between Ashcroft and Clinton BC.

On April 29th the search team consisting of Conservation Officer J.A. McCabe, #15885 Corporal Robert M. Crookshank and Constable #18962 Norman R. Harvey-McKean heard from Billy Spoonemore a cowhand on the Reynolds Ranch that the suspect was seen walking towards the Big Bar Ferry on the Fraser River.

McCabe rushed on ahead in an attempt to intercept the suspect at the ferry while the policemen and Billy Spoonemore tracked him on foot. When they men spotted the gunman Constable Harvey-McKean borrowed the cowboy’s horse and outer clothes and rode up to the suspect and pretended to water his horse. He then began a conversation with the gunman but the suspect became suspicious and when he grabbed for his rifle the constable leaped from his horse, and knocked him to the ground and wrestled him for the rifle. In the struggle the rifle discharged and the shot passed under the Harvey-McKean ‘s arm. He was successfully subdued and taken into custody and returned to the hospital.

1967 - Photograph of C

1967 – Photograph of Constable Norman R. Harvey-McKean (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly 1962 (January edition).

For his bravery and great presence of mind the eleven-year veteran Constable Harvey-McKean was awarded a Commissioners Commendation.

2000 – Medal of Bravery earned in Kosovo

While serving in Kosovo on a United Nations mission, #43027 Konrad Lionel Shourie along with S/Sgt. Jones, and Cst. Nagy found themselves in the middle of civil unrest in the community of Mitrovica. A fellow UN police officer had his vehicle attacked by a mob and he was dragged from his vehicle and assaulted. Seriously injured the officer managed to flee and had taken refuge inside a building and radioed his position to the area police station.

S/Sgt. Jones, Cpl. Shourie and Cst. Nagy, and other members of the international contingent, formed a rescue team and armed with shields, rushed to the scene to rescue their comrade and eleven other people who were also trapped in the building. Despite sporadic gunfire and exploding grenades, the team advanced into the mob, as the rioters pelted them with debris, rocks and bottles. The team succeeded in pushing their way to the building and then barricaded themselves in the stairwell. After the team located their colleague, French military armoured vehicles arrived at the scene and were able to provide medical care to the wounded victim and transported the group back to the safety of their police station. For his actions in the rescue, Cpl. Konrad Lionel Shourie was awarded the Medal of Bravery.

2003 – Constables #33996 Mike O’Brien and #41852 Jason Derry were awarded The Lifesaving Society Certificate of Appreciation for rescuing a young girl trapped on bridge footing, PEI. (now ‘L’)

April 30

1938 – Commendation issued to #11297 Sergeant John (Jack) Fossum for his investigative work at Wynyard, Saskatchewan.

Born November 19, 1905 at Rennebu, Norway, Fossum had a very interesting career from when he joined the RCMP on March 10, 1932 and served until September 5th 1953, having served in ‘F’ ‘K’ & ‘E’ Divisions. His varied career included being in the Musical Ride working undercover, conducting surveillance during the Doukhobor protests and a detachment commander He was named Kitimat BC’s Citizen of the Year in 1966 and in 1981 he authored his first book about his exploits “Cop in the Closet” and followed up with a second “Mancatcher” in 1990. He died December 7th 2004 at Black Creek, B.C his proudest achievement being the fact that he had drawn a RCMP pension for 41 years!

1942 – Republic Pictures releases the feature length movie “The Yukon Patrol” starring Allan Lane as Sgt. Dave King. The movie is a shortened version of the 12 part serial “King of The Royal Mounted” released two years earlier. (See September 20, 1940)

1943 – Honour Roll Number 74.


Photograph of RCMP Constable James Harvard Bedlington (Reg.#13205) (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly Magazine (Volume 12, #2 – page 117).

#13205 Constable James Harvard Delamere Bedlington age 28 was killed in a motorcycle accident while training with the Provost Company in Scotland.

Constable Jim Bedlington joined the RCMP in 1939 and prior to volunteering for the reinforcement draft to the Number 1 Provost Company he served in detachments in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In May 1942 he was transferred overseas and began his motorcycle training as a military policeman. A year later his unit assigned to the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was moved to Scotland in preparation for the assault on Sicily. While there he was traveling in a convoy and crashed his motorcycle and was killed.

He was buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England.

1981 – Corporal #26716 R. Marcel Jacques was in the Royal Bank at La Salle, Quebec in plain clothes when two masked men robbed the bank of $25,000 and shot and wounded a customer. As they attempted to flee from the scene he drew his revolver and ordered them to stop. When they attempted to escape on motorcycle, Jacques shot out the rear tire and the chased the pair as they fled on foot. As they ran away, they split up and one of the men began shooting at the Corporal as he took refuge in an apartment building. When the local police converged on the scene the suspect shot himself instead of surrendering. The Montreal Urban Police captured his partner later. On August 25 1981 Corporal Jacques was awarded the Canadian Bankers’ Association Gold Medal for his bravery in the apprehension of the bank robbers.

1987 – In recognition for noticeable initiative, enthusiasm and teamwork #22791 Sergeant Fred J. Erler of the Lethbridge, Alberta Commercial Crime Section and #24802 Constable Ray D. Cameron of Lethbridge Detachment were awarded Commanding Officers Commendations. The pair spent over a year investigating crude oil thefts across southern Alberta and succeeded in prosecuting the suspects.