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), 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

March 22nd

1942– Constable #13234 Frederick Smith McCutcheon lost his left leg as a result of a motorcycle collision with and Army truck in England. McCutcheon was serving with the Number 1. Provost Corps as a Lance Corporal and was unable to avoid hitting the truck that was making a “U” turn on a main highway.

1943 – Commendation awarded to #11840 William McElhone for his investigation into the illegal exportation of gold from Canada. He served from 1932 to 1947 achieving the rank of Sgt.

1975– The Meritorious Certificate from the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem was awarded to #25964 Clifford Ruttan for saving life of a severely injured passenger in a motor vehicle accident near MVA Brooks, Alberta.

1979– Commendation awarded to #32088 Cst Walter Burns of Anahim Lake, B.C. While on duty Constable Burns responded to a family dispute and was confronted by youth with rifle. The boy shot the rifle at member’s feet but Cst. Burns kept his cool and was able to distract him and then wrested rifle from him.

March 21st

1910– Constable #4054 Robert Mundy was awarded $50 from Fine Fund to for his services investigating of theft $3,000 from the mail in Glenboro, Manitoba.

1949– The Mounties arrive in Newfoundland 

On this day the first members of the RCMP led by #11392 / O.323 Inspector Donald McKinnon arrive in St John’s, Nfld to begin setting up the new ‘B’ Division Head Quarters. The squad is there to begin preparations for the planned absorption of Newfoundland Rangers as a result of Newfoundland’s decision to join Canada. Accompanying McKinnon were the following;

#12035 Sgt. Bernard Peck

#10544 Sgt. Theodore Bolstad

#12373 Cst. Alexander Gillespie

#11761 Cst. Alexander Ewing

#11686 Cst. Bernard Harvey

#12627 Cpl. Lawrence Gilchrist

#12642 Cst. Archibald Watson

The next day, #14510 Cst. Joseph A. Pinto arrived on the ferry driving the first RCMP police car to be used on the Island.

2004– We will remember them. Many early detachments have been closed as communities moved on, leaving the graves of former residents behind and often forgotten. 

On this day #39316 Kim N. MacKellar, and #54370 Bryan Lasson and four Vuntut Gwitchin first nations representatives; A/Cst. Danny KASSI, Stephen Frost Sr., Dennis Frost Sr. and Kibby Tetlichitraveled 600 kms by skidoo from Old Crow to the former Herschel Island detachment location. 

In addition to other duties, checked on the gravesites of #3948 Sgt Stafford Eardley AubynSelig who died January 30, 1911 and #5548 Cst Alexander Lamont (HR ) who died on February 16, 1918 from typhoid fever, that he contracted while nursing the famous Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. 

March 20th

1971– #24500 Constable Allan Alexander Brown responded to a report of an overturned boat involving four people on Nicola Lake near Merritt BC. Using a borrowed boat, Constable Brown searched the lake and rescued a young child, Kenneth Campbell, whom he found clinging alone to the craft. Campbell’s mother, father and brother drowned in the accident with the boat they had purchased that day. The Royal Life Saving Society of Canada awarded Constable Brown with the M.G. Griffiths Certificate.    

1987– Commissioners Commendations were earned by Enderby BC Constables, #28614 William R. Grant, #30975 Kerry L. Solinsky,  #36642 Richard W. Votour, #36857 Brison R.R. Edmondson and #37616 J.P.M. Dionne after they arrested an intoxicated man who was armed at Enderby, BC.  Sergeant #25045 James D. Smith received a Commanding Officers Commendation.

1990– After recommendationsby Canadian Bankers Association,the Canadian Government passed a law requiring financial institutions to keep records of large cash transactions making it more difficult for criminals to launder money. This new law greatly enhances the ability of RCMP commercial crime section to combat organized crime.

March 19th

1901– Following their service in the Boer War constables #3733 Cst Reginald Cadman and #3729 Cst Archibald Howard were granted free discharges from the NWMP to join the newly created South African Constabulary headed by Superintendent Sam Steele.1985– Honour Roll Number 177. 
Dog handler #33631 Constable Michael Joseph Buday age 27 was shot and killed on duty as an emergency response team member, during the attempted apprehension of murder suspect Michael Oros at Tesslin Lake BC. 

Michael OROS, an American fugitive from a mental institution had lived as a paranoid recluse in the wilderness around Atlin, British Columbia and Teslin Lake for several years.  In the spring of 1984 a chartered bush plane dropped Gunter Lischy off with supplies at Hutsigola Lake to be picked up in the fall.  On the return trip, he was not present but Oros was, with an incoherent implausible explanation.  He was strongly suspected of murdering Lischy and police were called in.  Oros was found in a squalid shack with some of Lischy’s belongings and was arrested.  No trace of Lischy could be found, nor was there any evidence to actually prove he was deceased.   

In March 1985 Michael Oros was arrested after the Emergency Response Team was flown in to assist in arresting him. During the arrest, the ERT members had to shoot and kill all of his dogs so they could apprehend him and transport him to court in Kitimat. Even though his mother made a plea to the judge to have him returned to Oregon Oros was released by the court. The author was assigned the task of releasing Oros from cells. As #35982 Cst. Larry Burden processed him, Oros rambled on about how the CIA was using UFO’s to poison the water near his cabin and had installed satellite listening devices to spy on him. With nothing more than the clothes on his back, the experienced woodsman rushed out of the Kitimat Detachment and walked back to his cabin several hundred miles away. 

After his return to the area several lakeside cabins on Teslin Lake were found to have been unlawfully entered and left in shambles.  An owner reported this to Teslin Detachment and an aircraft flew in to investigate. From the air, a man was spotted with dog and sled on the snow-covered ice of Teslin Lake.  When the aircraft swooped lower for a better look, the man, believed to be OROS, clearly was in the act of shooting at the aircraft.  The plane veered off and called for an emergency response team (ERT).             
Inspector #20869 / O.1177 Harry Wallace leading two Emergency Response Teams were sent north in an aircraft tasked with the responsibility of arresting Oros.  The Team members were made up of ERT trained men from across the subdivision and included: #25871 K.E. Allen, #27725 M.A. Dreilich, #28748 Paul Haugen, 29535 # L. Bretfeld, #29785 Dietmar Arno Stiller, #32194 G. L. McNevitts, #32239 Girard, #33559 O’Byrne, #34604 Garry Rodgers, #34902 J.V. O’Donnell, #35674 Pierre Robert and Dogmaster Cst. Michael Buday with his dog “Trooper”. 

When they arrived, the team split up and traveled in two helicopters and soon found Oros traveling south on the lake ice with a dog and sled and was heading towards a forested point of land. The two teams decided to attempt to corner him on the point and landed the planes on each side of the point of land, as OROS was running into the bush. He succeeded in getting beyond the team approaching from the south and then circled back and came up behind them. As the ERT members lay in the snow watching and listening for their suspect, a rifle shot from rang out and without warning Cst. Buday was shot in the head from behind. Acting on instinct Team leader Cst Rodgers whirled around and fired a shot at Oros striking him in the forehead and killing him instantly. When the team members examined Oros’s .303 caliber rifle they discovered that it had misfired and likely saved Cst. Rodgers life and the life of other team members.After a funeral attended by over 400 people, Cst. Michael Joseph Buday was buried at his home town of Brooks, Alberta.  

Five months after Cst. Buday’s murder the skeletal remains of Gunter Lischy was found in a shallow grave on the shore of Hutsigola Lake by Constables #26906 Erickson and #32631 Warner. Lischy had been shot in the back with a .303 rifle.

Later the book “Descent into Madness” by Vernon Frolick, about this tragedy was published by Handcock House.
Constable Gary Allen Rodgers later received a Commissioners Commendation for Outstanding Service for his actions in what many dubbed the Mad Trapper of Atlin. 

Post Script: 

#33612 Constable John A. Buis, was very touched by the death of his troop mate and pit partner Cst. Mike Buday. Three days after Mike’s death, on Friday, March 22, 1985, Cst. Buis’ wife Kellie gave birth to their second child and named him James Albert Michael Buis after both his grandfathers and Cst. Mike Buday. On March 11, 2013, Reg. #60374, Cst. James Albert Michael Buis graduated from Depot and became a regular member of the RCMP. Cst. Jamie Buis is presently posted to Coquitlam Detachment’s Drug Unit.

On September 10, 2017 after the National Memorial Service at Depot Division, members of Troop 10 76/77 and Acting Commissioner Dan Dubeau, dedicated a park bench in front of the Chapel at Depot to both Cst. Buday (Honour Role # 177) and Cst. Chris Riglar, another troop mate who was killed in the line of duty (Honour Roll # 188). Troop 10 76/77 may have the distinction of being the only RCMP troop to have two of its members killed in the line of duty.

Staff Sergeant Major John A. Buis is currently posted to Burnaby Detachment where he is the Executive NCO to the Officer in Charge.

March 18th

1914 – #5333 Cst Robert Russell was given free discharge to rejoin the Imperial Army as a Reservist. Most members of the Mounted Police who left the force to serve in WW1 had to purchase out of the Force and had to pay $5 for every month they had left in their contract. At the end of the war those men who survived were refunded their purchase. 

March 17th

1898– At the peak of the gold rush the Mounted Police decided to establish a new detachment on the Stikine River at the boundary post known as Moors Landing. #O.56 Inspector Philip Carteret Hill Primrose (also see October 1, 1936)was charged with leading a party of twenty men, ten horses, 25 dogs and 80 tons (72,575 kilos) of supplies to the new posting in the Yukon Territory. The group traveled from Regina Saskatchewan on the Canadian Pacific Railway to Vancouver, British Columbia and then sailed to Fort Wrangle, Alaska aboard the on the S.S. “Tees”.  From Fort Wrangle, they traveled on the Hudson Bay boat “Glenora” to Cottonwood Island at the mouth of the Stikine River.  Then they traveled 35 miles (56 kilometers) upstream to their destination. Included in his troop of twenty men were #2357 Sgt/Major William Bowdridge, Corporals #3121 Harry Cobb, #3209 Albert Price and Constables #2430 George Alleger, #3023 John Ellis, #3172 Philip Holloway, #3181William Binns, and #3204 Henry Ambrose.

1937– Constable subdues two prisoners with a coal shovel.

#11361 Constable William Davis was escorting two prisoners by train in the smoking car from Edmonton Alberta to the Prince Albert Penitentiary. During the escort one of the prisoners obtained a bottle and struck Davis on the head with it. After stunning him the pair attacked him and struck him repeatedly with the bottle and then stole his revolver from his holster and tried to shoot through their leg irons. Despite being severely stunned with the bottle Constable Davis rallied and grabbing a coal shovel smacked the prisoners with it and retrieved his revolver. Having succeeded in gaining control of his assailants he continued on with the escort and delivered both of his charges to the penitentiary.

1941– Several members of the RCMP were transferred to military service in 5th reinforcement draft to Provost Corps including #11057 Constable Thomas Tait.

1982– #29673 Corporal P.J. MacQueen was driving in downtown Kitchener when he noticed a suspicious looking man outside the Mayfair Hotel. MacQueen’s street sense kicked in and he decided to get another look at the man, so he circled the block. Upon his return to the scene he found the man in a struggle with Kitchener-Waterloo policeman and was on top of the policeman attempting to grab his revolver. MacQueen jumped out of his car and entered the fray just in time to grab the gun from the assailant and subdue him. In appreciation of his actions the Kitchener-Waterloo Police awarded him a Citation for saving the life of one of their members.

1978 – The RCMP charge Toronto Sun newspaper editor Peter Worthington and publisher Donald Creighton with violating Official Secrets Act after they published information from a secret report on Soviet espionage activities in Canada.

1994– #36845 Cst Thomas Gravelle while under gunfire arrested two armed robbery suspects in Delta, B.C. (now Kelowna Det ??)