Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

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

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

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

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

July 8

1995 – Honour Roll 223 – #31502 Constable Norman Harry Atkins age 41 was killed when his police car struck a moose.

RCMP SUV door panel (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

The dangers of driving on many Canadian highways in moose and deer country are well known to most motorists. Moose are especially dangerous because of their size and their unpredictability. Many motorists have been maimed or killed when a large moose weighing 1500lbs, rushes across the road in front of them in the middle of the night. The collision often results in the front end of the car snapping the animal’s legs causing the bulk of the animal to crash through the windshield and slam into the occupants in the front seat.

 Constable Norm Atkins was conducting a routine patrol on Highway 7, near his detachment at Westfield New Brunswick when a large moose rushed onto the highway at Finnegan’s Hill and before he could avoid hitting the beast he collided with the massive animal.

 Constable Norm Atkins was originally from New Brunswick and had originally been posted to British Columbia in 1974 where he served at Kamloops and Williams Lake. He left the RCMP and returned home and joined the New Brunswick Highway Patrol in 1985. When the Highway patrol was shut down, he rejoined the RCMP in 1988 and served at St. Andrews and Westfield.

 1999 – While on duty at Nelson BC, #46136 Constable Carol Kurbel responded to a report of a vehicle in submerged in the Slocan River. Upon her arrival at the scene she discovered that a 15-year-old boy was trapped inside the vehicle. Ignoring the hazardous conditions, she entered the river risking hypothermia or being swept away by the swift current she made repeated attempts to save the life of Vincent Christian. Constable Krubel received the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery and The British Columbia Award of Valour for her efforts.

July 9

1886 – The Government of Canada grants a general amnesty to everyone (except for murderers) who was involved in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885.

 1954 – Honour Roll Numbers 87 and 88.

Constables #14819 Joseph Kasimir Sander age 28 and #16141 Ronald Charles Bloomfield age 23 drowned in the Red Deer River, near Swan River, Manitoba while on patrol.

Three members of the Swan River, Manitoba Detachment were assigned to assist in a search at the Red Deer Lake and had stopped at a forestry camp to get a boat. There they learned that the river was swollen and running fast. Constable #16669 Ernest Bonderud chose not to go in the boat with the other members and agreed to meet them at the site of a bridge crossing further down stream.

Constables Sander and Bloomfield got in the boat and preceded down the river, as they approached the bridge where Constable Bonderud was waiting, they lost control of the boat. The strong current swept the small into a bridge support, capsizing the boat and hurling the two members into the water. Both men were quickly carried away by the current and drowned. The body of Constable Bloomfield was recovered on July 13th but Sander’s body was not recovered until the following year when it was discovered on May 15th, 1955.

Constable Sander joined the RCMP on February 8,1947 and had over seven years service. Constable Bloomfield joined the Force on June 9, 1950. Constable Bonderud had also joined in 1950 and served until 1977 retiring as a Staff Sergeant Major.

1979 – Using a shirt and a clipboard as a bandage and splint. Constables #28154 Edward P. Walsh and #27821 Michael W. Nash saved the life of a man who received a shotgun wound to his arm. In recognition of their efforts they were awarded the Meritorious Certificate by the most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

July 10

Photograph of a RCMP Patrol Vessel similar to Advance (MP59).

Photograph of a RCMP Patrol Vessel similar to Advance (MP59). MP59 was a 37 foot fibreglass vessel.

1970 – #22368 / O.1173 Corporal Michael O’Rielly skipper of the Police Vessel “Advance” was dispatched to investigate a complaint of a 16-foot dory drifting off of Bowen BC.

When he found the boat he discovered that there were three drunken men sleeping in it. He secured it to the police boat and too it under tow. Fifteen minutes later the youth in the dory youth woke up and demanded that they be cut loose, when the police refused he grabbed a .22 rifle and aimed it at Cpl. O’Rielly’s head and then moved it to the right as he fired a shot. The member ignoring threats of being shot hauled the dory to the police boat, boarded the dory and attempted to wrestle the gun free but only managed to seize the ammunition clip. He then returned to the police boat and continued the tow. The youth then attempted to cut the towline with a broken bottle and swamped the dory. The three drunks were taken on board the police boat and transported to Gibsons Detachment where the youth was lodged in cells. For his “courage, restraint and presence of mind” Cpl. O’ Rilley was awarded a Commanding Officers commendation.

July 11

1873 – After American whisky traders massacre group of Assiniboine’s in the Cypress Hills in what is now Alberta the outcry is heard in parliament. The Cypress Hills Massacre becomes the event that finally forces the Government to create a police to bring law and order to the Canadian West and leads to the creation of the North West Mounted Police.

Photograph of a reproduction of the original North West Mounted Police cap badge (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of a reproduction of the original North West Mounted Police cap badge (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

1966 – The M.G. Griffiths Certificate of the Royal Life Saving Society was awarded to #22360 Constable Viktor Pankratz, for saving the life of 12-year-old Heather Minamide. He performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her after she had drowned in a motel pool in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

July 12


1963 – Terrorists use dynamite to destroy Queen Victoria monument in Dominion Square in Montreal Quebec.

1979 – While patrolling in the detachment boat near Queen Charlotte City on the Queen Charlotte Islands in northern BC, Native Special Constable Russ was overcome by carbon monoxide that was leaking from the engine exhaust. #29229 Constable David G. Dickson pulled the unconscious Russ outside the cabin into fresh air and began performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on his partner while the boat thrashed around in the rough seas. While attending to Russ he managed to get a distress call off to the Ministry Of Transport and had to contend with water leaking into the vessel through the leaking exhaust. The nearby vessel “Banjo Point” operated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Babcock rushed to the scene and Arthur Babcock took Constable Russ to the hospital in his skiff while the Banjo Point towed the police boat to shore. For his actions in saving the life of native S/Cst Russ, Constable Dickson was awarded a Commanding Officers Commendation.

1987 – Corporal J.F. MacKenzie was presented a Commanding Officers Commendation for his work with the Military Police on a six month investigation into thefts from the National Defense Supply Stores in Halifax NS.