Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

RCMP Crest on navy blue background (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.

August 13

1954 – While stationed at Nakusp British Columbia, Corporal Donald A. Pye (Reg.#16406) and two companions, Robert McGilvray and Jack Molyneux departed from the community of Arrowhead around 7:30 pm, in a 16-foot boat for a 40-mile trip on the Upper Arrowhead Lake back to Nakusp. Cruising at over 25 miles per hour, Molyneux unexpectedly moved from his position in the stern of the small craft and the sudden shift in weight caused the boat to heel heavily and tossed McGilvary into an enclosed window, causing it to shatter and allow water to violently rush into the boat. Shortly thereafter the boat filled with water and capsized spilling the trio into the lake. Cpl. Pye, being the only swimmer in the trio assisted the other two men by pulling them to the overturned boat where they tried to climb onto the hull. Unfortunately, the capsized vessel could not support the combined weight of the three men due to the weight the heavy engine attached to the stern and their gear that was still strapped inside the hull. Cpl. Pye made repeated attempts to retrieve some life jackets that were stored inside the forward cabin but he could not reach them. He then attempted to right the craft, but the weight of the boat was too great for him turn. While he attempted to turn the boat over the two non-swimmers lost their hold on the boat and began to drift away. Pye managed to pull the men back to the boat and then made a desperate attempt to unfasten the outboard engine from the stern. While he was underwater struggling with the engine, a cold and tired Molyneux lost his grasp on the hull and drifted away. When Pye surfaced, he saw his friend struggling some 20 feet away and began to swim to him. But before the exhausted rescuer could reach him, Jack Molyneux slipped below the surface and descended in over 800 feet of depth. After the loss of Molyneux, Cpl. Pye held onto the hull for over two hours because the boat could only support one man. As his legs began to cramp, Pye realized they were in serious trouble decided to go for help and try swimming to shore over a mile and a half away, while his friend McGilvary rested on top of the keel. Miraculously Pye eventually made to shore and then shouted encouragement to his friend to keep his spirits up, and then he attempted to walk to the small settlement of St. Leon. Due to his high level of exhaustion and exposure he wasn’t able to progress very far through the heavy forest undergrowth and eventually collapsed into unconsciousness.

He eventually awoke and continued to yell encouragement to his marooned friend until the sun came up the next morning. Shortly after sunrise a search party who had set out from Nakusp to search for the overdue boaters found the pair. The body of Jack Molyneux was never found due to the extreme depth of the lake.

Photograph of a British Columbia Provincial Police cap badge (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of a British Columbia Provincial Police cap badge (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

On September 26, 1955, Cpl. Donald A. Pye was awarded the Royal Canadian Humane Society’s Bronze Medal for his heroism. Sergeant Pye, originally a member of the BC Provincial Police, retired from the RCMP in 1965.

2002 – It was nearly de’ja’vu all over again when two members of the “E” Division Underwater Recovery Team responded to an overturned fishing boat at the mouth the Fraser River in British Columbia. Twenty years before Corporals Bob Teather and Tim Kain responded to a similar emergency earning Teather the Cross of Valour and Kain the Medal of Bravery (See 26 September 1981)

This time the boat was the Fishing Vessel “Cap Rouge II” that suddenly capsized in the treacherous waters at mouth of Fraser River. The Coast Guard hovercraft had responded to the scene and rescued two survivors from the vessel but safety regulations would not allow them to enter the capsized vessel. #35868 Sgt, Douglas Gambicourt, assisted by Cpl. #40867 Laurie Jalbert using surface supplied air diving gear, entered the partially submerged vessel and recovered body of young girl. Twenty years before, this type of diving equipment was not available and Cpl. Theather nearly drowned rescuing the occupants of the “Respond”. Both Sgt. Gambicourt and Cpl. Jalbert received the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery for this recovery mission.

August 14

1908 – Honour Roll Number 33.

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant Ralph Morton L. Donaldson (Reg.#3566).

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant Ralph Morton L. Donaldson (Reg.#3566).

#3566 Sgt. Ralph Morton L. Donaldson age 30, drowned after his police boat was attacked by a walrus, off of Marble Island, Hudson Bay, N.W.T. (Now Nunavut)

Members posted in the far north often had to conduct hunting expeditions to supplement their food rations. It was on one such trip that Sergeant Ralph Donaldson lost his life. He was in charge of a patrol consisting of # 3347 Cpl. F.W. Reeves, Special Constable H. T. Ford and two native guides Pook and Tupearlock that left Churchill Manitoba aboard the Police Vessel “Mactavish” loaded with supplies for the detachment at Fullerton. After encountering heavy weather they anchored in a cove at Marble Island. There they sighted a heard of walrus on a small island approximately one mile from their vessel. Special Constable Ford departed in a dingy for the herd and returned later reporting that he had shot ten animals. Later Sgt. Donaldson, Cpl. Reeves and Special Constable Ford rowed back to the island to butcher the slain walrus. As darkness fell Donaldson and Reeves headed back to the “Mactavish” with the intent of sending the natives back to assist Ford. Rowing in the dark towards the lights on the larger vessel, they were suddenly attacked by a large walrus that rammed his tusks through the hull leaving a large hole in the hull below the waterline aand knocking one of the oarlocks from its socket. Sgt. Donaldson was overcome with fear and unable to respond to Cpl. Reeves instructions to retrieve the oar and start rowing before they sank. As the dingy took on water Cpl. Reeves attempted to plug the six inch hole with his jacket while he tried to retrieve the oar but the dingy quickly filled with water and both men soon found themselves in the frigid harbour. Instead of swimming towards the near shore, Sgt. Donaldson attempted to swim back to the far shore that they had departed from. Cpl. Reeves called out to him in the dark to swim in the other direction but Donaldson did not answer. He was never seen again. Cpl. Reeves managed to make to shore alive and alert the others of the tragedy. A search party scoured the area for several weeks, but Sgt. Donaldson’s body was never recovered.

Originally from London Ontario, Ralph Morton Donaldson joined the Northwest Mounted Police in April 1900 and served in Regina, Moose Jaw, Ottawa and Churchill Manitoba. He had no family other than a sister in Ontario.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division with the name of Sergeant Ralph Morton Donaldson (Reg.#3566) highlighted in red (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the name of Sergeant Ralph Morton Donaldson (Reg.#3566) highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

1945 – VJ Day (Victory over Japan) celebrations break out as Emperor Hirohito calls upon Japan’s war council to surrender unconditionally thus ending the Second World War. The total cost of World War II to Canada is $11,344,437,766 and 42,000 dead.

1983 – RCMP Summer Student Constable Barbara Gushulak from the Winnipegosis Manitoba Detachment won the Manitoba Ladies Arm-Wrestling championship for the 135lb and over weight class.

August 15

Photograph of the SS Islander.

1901 – The “SS Islander” loaded with over $6,000,000 in Klondike Gold sinks after hitting an iceberg.
The 240’Canadian Pacific steam ship “Islander” was by all accounts a beautiful ship. She had been constructed at Yorker, Scotland in 1888 for the Inland Passage to Alaska. The 1495-ton, steel, twin-screw steamer was the favorite ship on the gold rush line for business tycoons and miners alike.
On August 14, 1901 the Islander departed Skagway, Alaska bound for Victoria, British Columbia, filled with a crew of 62 and 100 passengers and allegedly $6,000,000 in Klondike gold.

Aboard the ship were two North West Mounted Police Constables, #3408 James L. Cotter and #3344 Edmund Henry Waller. Contrary to popular belief they were not assigned to guard the gold that was stowed in a locker on the port side of the forward well deck,
Shortly after 2:00 am on August 15, with only one officer on the bridge and steaming at a speed of 14 knots, the ship struck what was believed to be an iceberg while in the narrow Lynn Canal south of Juneau and tore a large hole in her forward port quarter.

The captain tried in vain to steer the ailing ship to shallower water at nearby Douglas Island but the outgoing tide and weight of the water rapidly filling the ship’s forward compartments prevented her from making any headway. Within 15 minutes the weight of the water forced her bow underwater and lifted her stern completely out of the water, exposing her rudder and propellers. Before the entire ships company could be abandoned the forward section of the ship broke away and the wreck of the SS Islander settled at the bottom of Stephen’s Passage, at 58°15’N 134°30’W.

The two constables were reportedly the last to escape the sinking ship and spent a cold night ashore.

The official record recorded that 16 crewmembers including the ships Captain and 23 passengers perished. But other unconfirmed sources claimed that there were 42 casualties out of possibly 183 people aboard.

Initially the inquest into the sinking cleared the Captain and crew of negligence but eventually reports surfaced about how the crew did not wake all of the passengers and fled the ship in half filled life boats leaving many behind to fend for themselves.

With such a large amount of gold on board, salvage attempts began immediately, but little progress was made due to the deep depth and the antiquated diving equipment of the era. The wreck was finally located in 1921 in 110 meters of water.

In 1934, a salvage team succeeded in lifting most of the wreck to the surface but after they cleaned out the aft section of the ship and located the Pursers safe they only found $75,000.00 worth of gold dust and nuggets and paper money. The gold bars they were hoping to find were stored forward 60’ section of the hull that had been sheared off.

The bow section was finally located in August 1996 using side-scan sonar and a remotely operated vehicle but salvage efforts became bogged down in court over who had the salvage rights to the “Islanders” gold. The matter was resolved in the US Court of Appeal on March 7th 2000 and maybe someday soon she will yield her gold.

It is unknown what the effect of surviving the sinking of the SS Islander had on the two policemen but neither constable stayed in the Mounted Police after their terms expired. Waller resigned in 1903 and Cottern in 1904. Edmund Henry Waller died in Nanaimo BC in 1970 at the ripe old age of 92.

1950 - Photograph of an RCMP member taking down a BC Provincial Police sign and replacing it with an RCMP Sign. (Source of photo - RCMP Quarterly).

1950 – Photograph of an RCMP member taking down a BC Provincial Police sign and replacing it with an RCMP Sign. (Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly).

1950 – At the request of the Province of British Columbia the RCMP assumed responsibility for provincial policing and absorbs the members of the British Columbia Provincial Police Force into its ranks. The first Commanding Officer of “E” Division is Assistant Commissioner Allen T. Belcher, who headed up the largest RCMP Division in Canada with a policing area of over 366,255 square miles!

1967 – Malcolm Francis Aylesworth Lindsay becomes the thirteenth permanent Commissioner and serves until September 30, 1969.

2000 – Honour Roll Number 216 and 217

Photograph of Sergeant Edward Dodley (Reg.#

Photograph of Sergeant Edward Dodley (Reg.#32787).

Two members are killed in plane crash at Teslin Lake British Columbia.

After dropping off 17 members of the Terrace, Prince Rupert and Whitehorse emergency response teams for routine bush-training exercises. The RCMP’s 1985 Cessna Caravan “C-GMPB” piloted by #32787 Sergeant Edward Mobley, became grounded on a sand bar. After several hours of digging the plane was eventually freed and was then inspected by flight engineer ‪#‎S‬/3863 Special Constable Tim Nicholson who had arrived by boat from Teslin.
Once the plane was cleared for flying, both Sgt. Mobley and S/Cst. Nicholson proceeded to fly home around midnight. After the plane lifted off the water it circled the members on the ground and began a steep climb, but the plane stalled and then plunged nose first into the lake near the mouth of the Jennings River. Both Sgt. Mobley age 49 and S/Cst. Nicholson, age 48 were killed upon impact.

Sgt. Mobley had 25 years service and joined the RCMP in 1975. He was transferred to Air Services in 1994 and had been posted to Prince Rupert at the time of his death. His wife and daughter survived him.

Photograph of Special Constable Nicholson (Source of photo - RCMP Quarterly).

Photograph of Special Constable Nicholson (Reg.# S/3863)(Source of photo – RCMP Quarterly).

S/Cst. Nicholson had seven years service with the RCMP and was stationed in Ottawa but had been on temporary assignment in Prince Rupert filling in for the regular flight engineer who was on annual leave. His wife and two daughters survived him.

2005 – The detachment commander in Chase British Columbia #35772 Frederick Bott responded to a complaint of shots fired at the Mountain View Mobile Home Park in Chase. As he approached the front door to make an enquiry, a shotgun was fired at him from inside the trailer. The blast was close enough that he felt the pressure wave between his extended arm and his side. He quickly took cover and he and other members returned fire and called for the emergency response team. A 17-hour standoff the ensued and suddenly, 67 year old Ronald Ivan Brown walked out of the trailer and was arrested. Brown who was slightly wounded was found to be suffering from mental illness, and had murdered his 78 year old neighbor and friend Melvin Pugsley the previous evening.

August 16

1895 – When a four-horse team strayed from their herd near Writing On-Stone, Alberta #2000 Corporal John Richardson was dispatched to find and retrieve the horses. Eventually the trail crossed the border into the United States and Richardson dressed in civilian clothing entered a mining camp at Middle Butte, Montana to search for them. When he asked some miners who were drinking about the horses, a drunken miner named William A. Long decided to pick a fight and, struck the Mountie who immediately returned the blow knocking him to the ground.

The drunken miner then pulled a gun and shot Richardson in the hip. A bystander came to the assistance of the wounded policeman and put him in a wagon and drove him back to his detachment in Canada saving his life.

William Long later decided that he was not finished with the Mountie so he went looking for him and eventually arrived at the Christian Brothers’ Ranch sometime between 8 and 9 o’clock. Sunday evening thinking the wounded policeman was there.

Seeing one of the brothers watering a horse and believing it to be Cpl. Richardson’s, he produced his gun and demanded to know where the corporal was. Long also suspected that Ira Brown the Justice of the Peace was at the ranch and in his rage he stated he wanted to kill him. Bill Long had previously threatened to kill Ira Brown because of a previous dispute over money that he felt should have been paid to him.

On being assured that the policeman was not there, Long proceeded to move on when he suddenly changed his mind and went to the ranch house and pointing his gun at other the brother demanded the whereabouts of Ira Brown and the policeman. When he saw Justice Brown sitting in the room near the back door of the house he made a rush for him, exclaiming, “There’s the man I’m looking for”. When Ira Brown saw Long coming at him with a gun in hand, he grabbed a shot gun and fired, hitting the gunman in the chest. The wounded man fell outside the door, and when approached, said: “I have got what I was looking for,” and exonerated Brown for any blame in the matter. He was taken to Shelby, where he died the following morning.

A coroner’s jury ruled “that Long came to his death as the result of a gunshot wound from a gun in the hands of Ira Brown, and that such shooting was justifiable, being in self defense”.

Bill Long had a history of violence and was feared by the residents of the area. The local newspaper of the day “The Montanian” wrote about Brown and the incident; “Ira Brown, the justice of the peace who shot Long, is one of the most upright and law abiding citizens in Montana. He is a quiet, unpretentious man, but the facts demonstrate that he has plenty of nerve in the hour of need. He has a host of friends in Teton and Choteau counties who regret that he was drawn into the affair”.

Corporal John Richardson recovered from his gunshot wound and his ability to avoid death saved him again in 1898 when he and his dog sled team fell through the ice in the Yukon and were swept down river (see November 15, 1898). Richardson took his discharge from the North West Mounted Police in 1899 after eleven years service.

1882 - Photograph of James Morrow Walsh.

1882 – Photograph of James Morrow Walsh.


1897 – NWMP Superintendent James Morrow Walsh 1843-1905 appointed Commissioner of the Yukon by the new Yukon Administration responsible for law and order headed by a commission of six; creation of Yukon Judicial District.

1916 – As a result of the Migratory Bird Treaty being signed between the United States and Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada) to provide protection for birds migrating between the U.S. and Canada. In 1918 the RCMP was tasked with enforcing it. Since then other countries including Mexico (1936) Japan (1972) and the Soviet Union now Russia (1976) signed on as well.

1947 – First flight of de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver bush plane was conducted in Toronto. The all-metal Beaver with its high-lift wing and flap configuration had very good short take-off-and-landing capability even with heavy loads. No only did it become the workhorse for the RCMP Air Division it was used by the US Army and US Air Force in Korea.

1965 – Prince Rupert, BC constables #20751 Floyd Dahl and #22752 Ronald Stucky earned commendations after they responded to a complaint about a man causing problems at a local bar. When they arrived at the bar they found Robert Dammeyer armed with loaded .32 caliber pistol looking for a former drinking companion. As the two policemen attempted to reason with the gunman, he suddenly raised the gun to his head and shot himself.

1979 – Canada’s 13th Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979) dies. He served as the Conservative Prime Minister from June 21, 1957, to April 22, 1963, and was the party leader to lead the Tories to power between 1930 and 1979, doing so three times.

1992 – #43091 Donald Daigle of the Woodstock N.B. detachment earned the Commissioner’s Commendation after he risked his life rescuing three children in runaway boat at the junction of the Tobique and Saint John Rivers near the Tobique Reserve.

August 17

1885 – #1456 Constable John Boyd’s career in the Mounted Police was cut short when he was thrown and then trampled by his horse resulting in a badly fractured leg. He was hospitalized until January 26, 1886 after which he took some annual leave. His hopes of returning to active duty were dashed when he was hospitalized again in Ottawa for another operation on his leg. He was never able to ride again and invalided from the Force.

1896 – Acting on a tip from Canadian prospector Robert Henderson, George Washington Cormack, along with his Native brothers in-law; Tagish Charlie and Skookum Jim staked a gold claim in the Rabbit Creek tributary of the Klondike River. According to Carmack, the gold veins were “thick between the flaky slabs, like cheese sandwiches.” He ripped some bark off a tree, and wrote on it: “I name this creek Bonanza. George Carmack” and started the Klondike gold rush.

1967 – Honour Roll Number 137

# 25094 3/Cst. Robert William Varney age 20 was killed in a police car accident, near Raymond, Alberta

Two days after his twentieth birthday Constable Varney came into the Lethbridge Detachment on his day off and offered to do some voluntary overtime. While enroute to serve a summons to a man in Sterling Alberta. pm he responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident on Highway 5 near Lethbridge at approximately 9:20 p.m. He never arrived. Traveling at a high rate of speed he lost control of his vehicle over-shot the “T” intersection and his car landed upside down on its roof crushing him.

When he did not respond to radio call, members of the detachment spent the rest of the night searching in vain for him, until a local farmer called the detachment and reported finding a severely damaged police car in his grain field.

Constable Robert William Varney had less than one-year service with the Force. He was buried in his hometown of Courtenay British Columbia.

1982 – A rather routine shift changed rapidly when an armed and dangerous man in the middle of the street confronted #30062 constables Glen Saunders and P.A. Marsh of the Campbellton, NB Detachment. The gunman was successfully arrested and the policemen were awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation for using restraint under duress.

1993 – Despite great personal risk, #38297 Constable L.S. Davidson rushed into a burning house in Surrey, BC and on his third attempt succeeded in physically subduing and rescuing an emotionally distraught man who had set his bedding on fire in an attempt to commit suicide. For his courage, Constable Davidson was awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery.

August 18

1915 – #5632 / O.272 Constable Charles James was awarded $25 from the Fine Fund for his “good service” in the investigation and conviction in the case of Regina vs. Zolouski et al regarding the theft of sheep. Cst James who had joined the Mounted Police in 1913 retired as an Inspector in 1939.

1924 – Honour Roll Number 46.

Photograph of Constable Ian MacDonald (Reg.#9791) (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

#9791 Constable Ian Mor MacDonald age 22 drowned near the mouth of the Indian River, east of Herschel Island, Arctic Ocean, while on special duty.

The suspicious death of Constable Ian Macdonald caused many in the north to suspect that the notorious Captain of the American schooner the “Maid of Orleans”; Christian Klengenberg had murdered him.

Herschel Island was a busy port in the Beaufort Sea, where the RCMP among other duties ensured that only Canadian vessels proceeded east of the island to trade or deliver goods of non-Canadian origin. This government policy did not sit well with foreign ships especially with Norwegian born Captain Klengenberg. The detachment commander Inspector Thomas B Caulkin reluctantly allowed Klengenberg to sail east to his home on Victoria Island for the sole purpose of delivering enough provisions to keep the Klengenberg family alive for one year.

Inspector Caulkin ordered him to not do any trading with the local inhabitants or unload any other provisions, and to ensure that he complied with his orders he assigned Cpl. Ernest Pasley to travel aboard the schooner to the detachment at Baillie Island and there to be replaced by Constable MacDonald.

When the vessel arrived at the Captains home at Rymer Point on Victoria Island, Cst. MacDonald allowed him to unload one years provisions and he documented every item in his notebook. Two days later on the return trip to Herschel Island the constable mysteriously fell overboard and drowned. None of the crew witnessed him go overboard or heard any cries for help. A search of the area located MacDonald’s parka with his notebook floating on the surface of the frigid water. The six foot four inch MacDonald was a strong swimmer having been raised in Lunenberg Nova Scotia, but he would not have had any chance of survival in the freezing cold Arctic water.

Klengenberg’s reputation for violence had followed him since he was acquitted for killing a member of his crew in 1905, which he had claimed the crewman had threatened mutiny. Even though the RCMP conducted a thorough investigation into his death no case could be made against Captain Klengenberg.

Many people thought the motive for disposing of the young constable was so the Captain could unload more supplies than he was permitted by Inspector Caulkin’s orders. But the recovery of Constable MacDonald’s notebook detailing every item that had been unloaded at Rymer Point cast doubt on that theory. The inspector ordered that every item on the “Maid of Orleans” be removed and accounted for. The task took ten days to complete and every missing item from the original manifest was found recorded in Constable MacDonald’s notebook.

Possibly the fact that Constable MacDonald’s last act was to ensure that his notebook was found, prevented the notorious Captain from going ahead with a plan to unload more goods and conduct illicit trading with the locals. We will never know.

Constable Ian M. MacDonald joined the RCMP in Halifax Nova Scotia on June 11, 1921, his body was never found and his family always believed that their son had been murdered. An ironic twist in this story was the fact the one of the crew members of that vessel would later join the Mounties and find his place in history a the captain of the RCMP St. Roch. His name was Henry Larsen.

On August 18, 2017, the Nova Scotia RCMP Veterans Association and “H” Division RCMP held a ceremony in his memory on the anniversary of Constable Ian MacDonald’s death at his home town in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. A plaque (shown below) was laid at the foot of the family headstone located in the Lunenburg Hillcrest Cemetery.


Photograph of the memorial plaque for Constable Ian MacDonald (Source of photo – Sandy Glenn – 1st Vice President of the Nova Scotia Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association.

Relatives, including Ian Macdonald’s Niece attended and provided family stories of Ian MacDonald’s youth and how his death impacted their family. The family was never provided with any information relating to the investigation into his death nor was there ever any ceremony by the RCMP in his honour.  Yesterday’s ceremony was the first.

A particularly interesting and historical information offering was provided by Mrs. Doreen Larsen Riedel, daughter of Superintendent Henry Larsen.  She flew in from Ottawa for this event and read from notes prepared by Henry Larsen who was on board the “Maid of Orleans” at the time of Cst. MacDonald’s death.

It was a particularly moving ceremony, especially since it was the only ceremony ever held for Cst. MacDonald.

1979 – The Dempster Highway in the Yukon Territory is officially named in honour of #3193 / O.233 Inspector William John Dempster who served in the NWMP, RNWMP and the RCMP.

Constable Dempster joined the NWMP on September 7, 1897 and was posted to the Yukon until he was commissioned on March 1, 1931 and transferred briefly to Saskatchewan. He was transferred back to Yukon and remained there until he retired to the coast of British Columbia in 1934.

He had a colorful career and is best known for his role in the search for the Lost Patrol in 1911 where he and #4937 Cst. Jerry Fyfe and a former constable #4889 Frederick Turner searched for the missing men from Dawson to Fort McPherson, Yukon. (See March 21, 1911)

The route of the Dempster Highway roughly follows the trail that the members of the NWMP took to get from Dawson City to Fort MacPherson and was previously known as the Eagle Plain Road.

In 1973 Inspector Dempster also had a mountain named in his honour. Mount Dempster, at (Lat: 65·08·00N Lat: 136·05·00W), located north of the Little Wind River, Yukon.

Inspector Dempster died in 1964 and was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery, in Burnaby, British Columbia.

1979 – Honour Roll Number 161

Photograph of

Photograph of Constable Joseph Leon Michel Doucet (Reg.#32217) (Source of photo – “In The Line Of Duty” by Robert Knuckle).

#32217 Constable Joseph Leon Michel Doucet age 26 was killed in a plane crash, at St. Antoine, N.B

Michel Doucet was working in the Moncton Drug section at the time of his death.

While conducting air surveillance in a rented civilian Cessna Skyhawk II, Cst. Doucet spent three tumultuous hours battling airsickness. At approximately 3:40 pm the drug dealers he had been conducting surveillance on were arrested and his duty was completed. Officers on the ground then noticed that his aircraft seemed to be having difficulties when it made two circles overhead and then crashed into the trees.

Constable Doucet’s last words heard on the radio were “we’re too low”. When rescuers rushed to the scene they found the constable’s lifeless body lying ten feet away from the wreckage. The civilian pilot Charles Roux was still in the wreckage moaning, but died shortly thereafter. The cause of the crash was not determined.

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

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the name of Constable Joseph Leon Michel Doucet (Reg.#32217).

Constable Joseph Leon Michel Doucet joined the RCMP on January 17, 1975 after serving four years in the Canadian Armed Forces. Posted to New Brunswick after basic training he served in Jacquet River and Moncton Sub-division. He was buried in the St. Michel Cemetery at Trois Rivier Quebec.

1985 – While on routine patrol in the early morning hours, Constable Mark Price saw flames coming from a mobile home in Fraser Lake BC. He then kicked open the door to the home and woke all of its occupants and removed the couple and their infant child to safety. He was issued a Commanding Officers Letter of Recognition.

August 19

1874– The hardships endured on the Great March West took its toll on both man and beast. Finally reaching an area that had both fresh grass and water a decision was made to establish a camp for the poorest animals and sick men. On this day #229 (Original Series) #297 (New Series from 1878) Sergeant James Sutherland was left in charge of what was dubbed Cripple Camp located on Old Wives Creek near present day Wood River or Noteukeu Creek near Moose Jaw.

While the rest of the column marched on Sergeant Sutherland found himself responsible for 14 wagons, 28 of the poorest horses, 6 sick men, 1 Métis and some cattle with sore feet. While they waited to be picked up at a later date the Cripple Camp crew had to eat half rations.

Photograph of the Peronne Road Cemetery Marabout France where

Photograph of the Peronne Road Cemetery Marabout France where Former RNWMP Sergeant Robert Handcock is buried.

1916 – On this day former Sergeant # 4374 Robert Handcock was killed in action in France during WW1. Like many men in the Mounted Police he left the Force when his term of employment expired and he resigned from his position as NCO i/c of Isle La Crosse Detachment in northern Saskatchewan. He then paid his own way to England where he was granted a commission in the British Army – 2nd Lieutenant in the Leinster Regiment).

After he left for England, his former boss from Prince Albert arrived to inspect the detachment. The Inspector was not too impressed when he discovered that the detachment stove was missing. Sgt. Handcock had traded stove for load of bricks and built a lovely fireplace in its place!

1942 – The 7th reinforcement draft to the RCMP Provost Corps during WW2 included; Constables #13595 Errol Reid and #13626 James Cooper.

1942 – Honour Roll Number 72.

Photograph of Constable Peter Oliver (Reg. #12572) (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

#12572 Constable Peter Seddon Oliver age 29, was killed in action while serving with the R.C.M.P. Provost Company during WW2 at Dieppe, France,

#C.42026 Lieutenant Oliver was one of 4,963 troops from seven different regiments of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, who along with nearly 1,000 British soldiers who stormed the beach at the small French village of Dieppe, in Operation Jubilee.

The nine hour raid lead by Major General J. H. Roberts was designed to test the Germans coastal defenses. The Canadians were slaughtered on the beach and suffered 3,500 casualties, including 900 killed, and 1,874 taken prisoner. Of the nearly 6000 soldiers who went to Dieppe, only 2,210 made it back to England. Two Canadians received the Victoria Cross that fateful day: Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Chaplain, Captain John Weir Foote (1904-1988) and South Saskatchewan Regiment Lt.-Col. Charles C.I. Merritt (1908-1979).

Chaplain Rev. Foote, spent eight hours on the Dieppe beach, tending to the wounded and then climbed out of the landing craft that would have taken him to safety so he could be taken prisoner so that he could continue to tend to his wounded comrades. Captain Foot was the only Canadian chaplain to ever be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Lt.-Col Merritt was the Commanding Officer of the South Saskatchewan Regiment who despite being seriously wounded and having lost 81 of his men killed in action, lead his men across the Scie River before he was taken prisoner.

Oliver joined the RCMP on June 22, 1936 and volunteered as a member of Number 1 Provost Corps. Upon assignment to the Provost Corps he was given the rank of lance corporal but was quickly promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to Number 2 Provost C Company as second in command. Of the 41 members of the Force who stormed the beach that fateful day, he was the only RCMP member killed becoming the first serving Mountie killed in action in Europe in WW2.

Peter Seddon Oliver was born at Montmorency Quebec and was the son of retired S/Sgt. #881 George S. Oliver who retired from the NWMP in 1892. Lieutenant Oliver was buried in the Dieppe War Cemetery at Hautot-sur-Mer, France.

1993 – Police officers often have to deal with mentally deranged suspects and most every situation is extremely dangerous. When #33492 Corporal J.D. Phil Boudreau and #39546 Constable J.D. Mazerolle encountered a deranged man in a park at St Francois de Kent, New Brunswick, they found him armed with a knife and a baseball bat. While trying to reason with him, they were attacked and stabbed. Despite their wounds they managed to subdue their assailant and take him into custody. They were both awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery.