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

February 23rd

1981– Commissioners Commendation to #32523 Constable Barry Gray Shannon at Burnaby, BC who pursued and arrested one of two suspects who had shot at Vancouver City Police car while attempting to escape. 

Shannon also recieved  the Meritorious Service Medal (see January 24, 1997)while serving in Sarajevo in1993 for two separate acts of bravery for dodging artillery fire to rescue police monitors and leading them to safety from snipers. 

February 22nd

1978– Staff Sergeant Paul Kouri was admitted as a Serving Brother of the Order of St. John by the Governor General of Canada Jules Leger.1988– The Commissioner of the RCMP, Norman Inkster attended a Regimental Dinner in Whitehorse Yukon and presented Commissioners Commendations for bravery to #25085 Sergeant E.E. Wasylenka, #28582 Corporal J.M Lloyd and #Constable Y.T. Archibald for their role in apprehending an armed man at Watson Lake Yukon.

2002 – On this day #47737 Constable Michael Templeton was shot in the face while attempting pull over a stolen vehicle near Oakville, Manitoba.

Two criminals, Michael Regamy and Danile Courchen and juvenile female were responsible for a home invasion and several vehicle thefts in Winnepeg and were driving a stolen car when Cst. Templeton encountered them near Oakville, about 20 kilometres east of Portage la Prairie. When he tried to pull them over Michael Regamy began shooting at the police car with a .22 caliber weapon hitting the Constable inthe face and neck. 

Constble Templeton’s shooting generated a Province wide police search which, ended two weeks later after a seven-hour standoff at an apartment building in Winnipeg’s north-end, when the suspects surrendered.

Michael Regamy, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Daniel Courchene, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in May 2004 after pleading guilty for his role.The teenage girl who was with them was charged with attempted murder as well. She was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

Constable Templeton survived his wounds and later returned to duty.

February 20th

1882– #419 Cpl Tom LaNauze and constables #358 John Leader and #578 Robert Wilson opened first detachment at Fort Stand-Off, N.W.T. (Alberta).

1907– Cst. #4488 Archibald Gairdner and Special Constable DeCouta left Lesser Slave Lake traveling by dog sled to carry the mail to Peace Crossing, Fort St John and Fort Graham. They returned May 17 after traveling 530 miles.

1966– Often stories of heroism seldom get told let alone recognized with an award. One such incident involving Constables #22349 K.D. Gill and #20072 B.C. Pope at Fort Smith N.W.T. as noted by Mr. Justice W.G. Morrow in an article he wrote in 1975, entitled “Courage in Red”. In his article, he commended a number of constables he had encountered in his career as a judge including. Constables Gill and Pope response to a complaint where an intoxicated youth ransacked his parent’s house and then got hold of several rifles. The boy then proceeded to riddle the area with over 400 rounds of ammunition shooting at anyone he saw including the local Priest, the local doctor and the policemen. The matter was finally brought to a conclusion when the officers fired tear gas into the house, thereby forcing the boy to surrender. The judge praised the policemen for their restraint and commented that in many other countries the boy would have been shot many times over by the police.

1989– Constable #30404 Joseph A. Martin earned a Commissioners Commendation for Bravery after he rushed into a burning building in Murray River, N.S and saved the life of Mr. Lemuel Butler.

1978– Corporal# 23660 Blain Alfred MacKeil saved the life of 16-year-old Calvin Tomlin from Verigin District in Saskatchewan after he choked on a wad of chewing gum and couldn’t be revived by artificial respiration. Cpl. MacKeil arrived on scene and utilizing the Heimlich maneuver succeeded in dislodging the obstruction. He was awarded the Meritorious Certificate from The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

1989– Honour Roll # 186.

#31162 Cpl. Derek John Flanagan age 36 died because of injuries he sustained while on special duty in Chang Mai, Thailand. 

Derek Flanagan was a member of Vancouver Drug Section and was assigned to a joint international drug investigation working undercover in Thailand.  While he was attempting to make a purchase of a large quantity of heroin in the back of a truck, the driver became suspicious when he saw other members move into the area. The driver began to drive off and a struggle ensued between Cpl Flanagan and the drug dealer. In the process Flanagan was tossed from the moving vehicle resulting in him receiving serious head and spinal injuries. He died in hospital shortly thereafter.

As a result of the investigation he was involved in, six criminals were sent to prison and over 2½ kilograms of heroin was seized.

February 19th

1889– Gabriel Dumont 1838-1906 the Saskatchewan Metis leader and associate of Louis Reil is pardoned by the Crown for his role in 1885 Rebellion.

1908– Constables #4247 William Cashman and #4312 John O’Neill head out from Norway House, Manitoba and travel to Keewatin NWT by dog sled to arrest four men wanted for murder. They make it back to their detachment in only 26 days, having traveled a distance of over 600 miles. One of the accused was sentenced to death, another one committed suicide while awaiting trial and the remaining two accused were sentenced to serve time in prison.

1970– Canada formally claims jurisdiction over waters of Northwest Passage, and between islands of Arctic Archipelago. The formal claim is made as a show of sovereignty, even though the Mounted police have patrolled the area for decades.

1995 – Commendations to #42958 Terry Jacklin and #44422 Nick Lee for attempting to rescue passengers of submerged car in the icy waters of the Birkenhead River, B.C.

February 18th

1900– #3165 Constable Zachary Lewis was killed in action at Paardelberg Drift, South Africa while serving with the 2nd Special Services Battalion, in the Boer War. He was one of seven Mounties killed in the South African War.

1967– Police Dog handler #19758 George Hawkins and #21108 Cst. Alfred Erickson to scene of shooting.  Upon their approach, the man fired shotgun at them with pellets striking Hawkins.  His dog attacked.  Hawkins fired warning shot and man surrendered.

1965– Members from the Stewart B.C. Detachment assist in the recovery of victims of an avalanche on Grandue Mountain located 48 km north of Stewart. The avalanche killed 26 people at the Oranduc Copper Mine camp.

1983– #31471 Constable Gordon Henry Gavin responded to a robbery in progress at a local store in Enderby, BC. He overpowered and disarmed the gunman who was armed with a rifle. His efforts earned him a Commanding Officer’s Commendation.