Larry Burden’s This Day In The RCMP

Photograph of some RCMP related books (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.

June 18

1907 – On this day #3159 / O.133 Inspector Arthur Duffas used his personal car to transport his royal Highness, Prince Fushimi of Japan while on his visit to Calgary Alberta. This is believed to be the first time the RNWMP used an automobile on duty.

1944 – The Chapel at Depot Division in Regina Saskatchewan was built in 1883 and has seen many items and memorial plaques dedicated over the years.

Photograph of the RCMP trumpeter stain glass in the "Depot" Chapel (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the RCMP trumpeter stain glass in the “Depot” Chapel (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

On this day the two stain glass windows at the back of the Chapel were dedicated. The windows were the gift of the Maritime Provinces Association of Regina and were “dedicated to the men of Maritime birth who died while in the service of the Force.” The window on the right depicts a trumpeter-sounding reveille and is symbolic of the Resurrection. The biblical quotation at the bottom of the window reads, “For the Trumpet Shall Sound.” The window on the left is a standing Constable in Review Order with his head bowed and his rifle reversed. Its quotation reads, “Blessed are They that Mourn.”

The windows were commissioned in 1941 and were designed and created by Mr. William Edward Briffett who worked for the Robert McCausland Company of Toronto. The designed was based on a series of photographs taken of  #13143 Corporal John Roy Fraser who posed in Review Order. The Cost of manufacturing the windows in 1941 was $600.

1962Honour Roll Numbers 116, 117, 118.

Photograph of

Three Constables #19233 Elwood Joseph Keck age 25, #20215 Donald George Weisgerber age 23 and #20865 Gordon Eric Pedersen age 23 were shot and killed while investigating a complaint near Kamloops BC.

Around 9:00 am, on the morning of June 18, 1962, disgruntled thirty-one year old former mental patient George Booth, was upset about the reduction of his welfare payments took his rifle and headed into the Provincial Welfare Office in Kamloops. When he arrived at the Provincial Administration Building he encountered two Provincial Game Wardens and when challenged about having a sheathed rifle, Booth responded in a threatening tone and told them in no uncertain terms to “get the hell out of there”. The Wardens then phoned the RCMP City Detachment. Constables Keck and Pedersen advised the Detachment Commander #12544 S/Sgt. Bernard d’Easum about the complaint and as they were about to go to the scene Constable Weisgerber who working in the office on his day off, decided to accompany them in plain clothes and unarmed.

The members quickly located the suspect walking away from the Welfare Office carrying a rifle in a sheath and as they tried to approach him he made a threatening gesture towards them and it quickly became clear that he wanted nothing to do with the police and he refused to respond to their demands to drop the weapon and kept walking away from them. As Booth proceeded towards Peterson Creek he frequently looked over his shoulder to keep track of officers and occasionally turned towards them levelling his sheathed rifle at them.

As numerous witnesses watched the event unfold, the three constables attempted to close the distance and they followed him onto a dirt road where the gunman removed the sheath from his rifle and began displaying it in threatening manner at the policemen.
Constable Weisgerber who was dressed in civilian clothing and unarmed, picked up the scabbard and tried to persuade the suspect to come to him to retrieve it, but the suspect ignored him and kept on walking away.

When the suspect came to a small wooden bridge over a dry creek bed he turned again and realized that one of the policemen was not following him and then he spotted Constable Pedersen crouching in the creek bed and it became clear to him that the police were trying to corner him. Without warning the gunman raised his rifle and shot at Pedersen, wounding him across the back. Constable Pederson returned fire at the suspect and struck the gunman on his right side, momentarily knocking him to the ground.

Finding himself without cover, Constable Keck in an attempt to get under the bridge for cover drew his revolver, and began shooting at the suspect as he ran towards him. Before he could make it to the bridge the gunman managed to get back to his feet and shot three rounds at Keck and killed him, he then he fired another shot at Constable Pedersen, killing him as well.

When the shooting began Constable Weisgerber who was unarmed took cover behind a large gravel hopper but when his friends were killed he decided to try and run to the only radio available to call for back up which was in their police car parked two-city blocks away. He only made it a few steps before he too was fatally shot. The gunman then calmly continued up the dirt road and disappeared into the trees in Peterson Creek Canyon.

When people heard all of the gunfire, they began phoning the police detachment, and word filtered in that a policeman had been shot. Complicating the matter was the fact that Constables Keck and Pedersen were the only constables working the dayshift and they had taken one of the only two police cars with them. Then Staff Sergeant d’Easum raced to the scene after he instructed the office staff to call out every available member to assist and learning the fate of his three young constables, d’Easum contacted the Officer in Charge of the Sub Division and soon a large posse was organized.

Around 9:30 am, plain-clothes members of the Kamloops Sub-Division, General Investigation Section were advised that a city member had been shot. #16721 Corporal J. W. ‘Jack’ White #15596, Constables Ab Willms, and #18791, J.A. Norm Belanger decided to go to the top of the Peterson Creek Canyon in an attempt to cut off the gunman’s retreat. Due to the fact that the detectives only carried only snub-nosed revolvers Corporals Willims and White raced home to get their hunting rifles and armed with a full sized service revolver for Bellanger the three officers headed to the canyon.

The three members drove to the open grasslands above the Peterson Creek Canyon, 1,000 feet above the city until they could go no further because of the deep traversing ravines. They left their car behind and began walking towards the canyon without portable radios. Meanwhile a manhunt was organized below and was being assisted by a rented Bell 47 helicopter that was sweeping back and forth along the hillsides ahead them. The three officers decided to spread out about 150 feet from each other and move in a triangle formation towards their prey. They had to use extreme caution when crossing the gullies they encountered because they could not see into the deep shadows or under the pine trees. By noon, the men were nearly at their intended position and could see and hear the several members searching far below working their way up the canyon toward them.

Constable Bellanger then heard something suspicious, and suddenly began backing away from the crest of the hill back towards Cpl. White with his revolver leveled and suddenlu then the suspect appeared at the crest of the hill and began shooting at them.
Cpl. White fired his rifle and hit the ground midway between the suspect and the policemen, and the gunman’s shots missed both White and Bellanger. As the three officers sought cover, the gunman dove to his right and took cover behind a two-foot thick pine tree. The gunman was well protected and had a tactical advantage, laying behind the tree with his adversaries down slope. As the three policemen pondered their predicament their situation was further enhanced because their suspect was so close that they could hear the action of his rifle as he worked the bolt to reload.
Cpl. Jack White then decided to take the offensive and hoping to hit the gunman’s elbow or flush him out, White shot at the dirt to the side of the tree the suspect was hiding behind but the suspect didn’t panic and when White heard the gunman’s bolt slam home again, he took cover as another bullet slammed into and adjacent tree spraying his forehead with slivers of wood. Keeping his wits about him Cpl. White raised his head and saw the gunman roll onto his left side to reload and as he did he exposed the back of his head. Corporal White aimed, fired and shot him dead.

Cautiously the three policemen approached the body of the slain gunman and confirmed he was dead and then waited for the posse to arrive. It was only after the arrival the of the ground search team did the three detectives learn that three of their brother officers had been slain.

Three days later a joint funeral was held for the three slain policemen and over 1500 people attend the service at the Kamloops Memorial Arena. Constables Keck and Weisgerber were buried with full honours at the Hillside Cemetery in Kamloops and Constable Gordon Pedersen was buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Vernon BC.

All three men were married and Joseph Keck and his wife Ann had a two-year-old son, she was expecting their second child. Seven months after the murders, Betty Pedersen gave birth to a son. Later a memorial Cairn in memory of the three fallen officers was erected at Peterson Creek and the three policemen who hunted down the killer were all awarded Commissioners Commendations for Bravery.

1987 – After responding to a break and enter complaint involving the Hudson’s Bay Store in Cartwright, Newfoundland, #33957 Constable R.A. Campbell was shot and wounded by the youth who had stolen 20 gauge pump action shotgun. Despite his wounds Constable Campbell was able to subdue and arrest the culprit and was later awarded Commissioners Commendation for bravery.

1987 – #34921 Constable Peter David LaPorte actions in assisting the quelling of a riot at Drumheller Institution earns the Medal of Bravery.

On the evening of June 18, 1987, some 350 prisoners at the Drumheller Medium Security Institution in Drumheller, Alberta rioted. Constable LaPorte attend to the scene to assist and for over two hours he helped disperse inmates who were attempting to break into the institution’s hospital and ensured that staff members inside were safe.

Then Constable Laporte helped the staff of the institution disperse groups of angry inmates, fight fires that had been set in many of the prison buildings and help evacuate both prisoners and staff members from flame and smoke-filled structures while other rioters threw rocks and other debris at them. The fact that Constable Laporte’s presence at the institution in his police uniform made him an easy target for the mob, he continued to perform his duties faithfully, and he was considered by prison staff as being instrumental in maintaining control of the dangerous situation.

June 19

Photograph of NWMP Commissioner George French.

Photograph of NWMP Commissioner George French.

1841 – The first permanent commissioner of the NWMP George Arthur French was born on this day at Roscommon, Ireland. He died in London, England July 28, 1921.

1874 – Two hundred new NWMP recruits arrive at Fort Dufferin, Manitoba.

1877Honour Roll Number #2.


#409 Sub Constable George Mahoney age 20 drowned when crossing the Red Deer River on patrol from Battleford to Fort Walsh, N.W.T.

Sub Constable George Mahoney and a Metis scout were traveling from Battleford to Fort Walsh with a wagon team. When they arrived at the Red Deer River the two men discovered that the river was too deep to ford, so they decided to leave the team and wagon and cross the river in a small flat bottom boat. During the crossing the boat capsized and they fell in the water. Initially Mahoney was not concerned because he found himself in shallow water but when he attempted to wade to shore he realized he was stuck in quicksand. As Mahoney was being sucked into the quicksand and recognizing his fate, he dictated his last will and testament verbally to his Metis scout who had managed to swim to shore. He drowned shortly afterwards and his body was never recovered.

Constable Mahoney was only twenty years of age and had served in the NWMP for two years.

1914 – Coal mine explosion at Hillcrest Alberta leaves 189 men dead or missing.

At 9:30 am an explosion ripped through the No. 1 mine of the Hillcrest collieries at Hillcrest Alberta bring death and destruction to the community of 1500 people creating 130 widows and 400 fatherless children. When the explosion occurred 1,600 feet underground there were 236 men at work in the mine and only forty-one men were recovered in the early stages of the rescue attempt. The force of the explosion was so strong that the engine house building located over 100 feet from the mouth of the pit was demolished. The eight-inch concrete walls of the building were smashed and its roof was blown off, sending debris over forty feet away.

By ten o’clock that evening, only sixteen bodies had been recovered due to the mass of debris hampering any rescue attempt. Included in the rescue attempt were Constables #5117 Frederick Mead, #4554 Arthur Grant and #5201 William Hancock all of who worked tirelessly throughout the entire rescue attempt and investigation into the disaster.

On June 21st a mass funeral service was held beneath Turtle Mountain for the dead who had been recovered to that point. Counted among the 189 dead was former Constable #5365 Frank Moult Bostock who had left the Force in 1912. The actual cause of the explosion was never fully determined, but investigators believed that methane gas and coal dust was ignited by a spark, causing Canada’s worst coal mine disaster. The mine was eventually reopened but on September 19, 1926 a second underground explosion killed two miners.

All three members received commendations for their work.

Frederick Mead joined the RNWMP in 1910 and served until he retired as a Deputy Commissioner in 1947. Arthur Grant joined in 1907 and retired a Sergeant in 1920 and William Hancock joined the Force in 1911 and served until 1946 retiring an Assistant Commissioner.

1943Constable Roderick Ball the Great Survivor.

Very few people ever lived a life half as adventurous as the life of #10740 Constable Roderick Jerome John Ball, who joined the RCMP in 1929 and served until 1941 to serve in the military during WWII and returned to the RCMP in 1946.

In 1936 he received a commendation for completing a 2,400 km dog sled patrol between Stony Rapids Saskatchewan and Thelon, NWT and in 1938 he received a second commendation for his role in investigating an accidental drowning.

But his most famous adventure came after he resigned from the RCMP in WW2 to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a tail gunner in a “Halifax” bomber. In 1943 during a bombing run with the 403 Squadron, his plane was shot down over Caen, France, and being unable to bail out Ball rode the plane to the ground and crashed. During the crash the ball turret he was in broke free of the fuselage and he survived, suffering a broken arm and leg. Taken prisoner he was moved to Stalag Luft III near Sagan Germany, where he recovered from his injuries.

While a prisoner of war, Ball participated in “The Great Escape” when on March 24, 1944 after months of digging a 340-foot tunnel, seventy-six of 220 prisoners managed to flee in a mass escape. Most of the escapees were easily tracked in a sudden snowstorm resulting in most of them being re-captured. Fifty of the escapes were summarily shot by Gestapo. Fortunately for Ball he was not one of the men who made it out of the tunnel. He remained a POW until he was finally freed on May 2nd 1945. Of the 76 men who managed to escape nine were Canadian Airmen serving with the RAF and RCAF. Of those, Flight Lieutenants Patrick W. Langford, George E. McGill, James C. Wernham and George W. Wiley along with Flying Officers Henry J. ‘Hank’ Birkland, and Gordon A. Kidder, were executed. Only Flight Lieutenants Bill Cameron, A. Keith Ogilvie (RAF) and Alfred B. Thompson survived.

Hollywood immortalized the event with a movie based on this escape staring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough in 1963.
After his release from a POW camp at the end of the war Constable Ball returned to duty with the RCMP and continued with his career as a Mounted Policeman and retired in 1951.

1983 – The new 60,000 seat domed stadium in Vancouver was opened to the public. The government held a contest to name the new $126 million facility. The winning name “BC Place Stadium” was proposed by several people including, #19037 S/Sgt Ihor Yaroslaw (Hank) Dedish MB, NCO i/c of Kitimat Detachment. He along with the other winners received an all expenses paid trip to Vancouver for the official opening.

June 20

1932 – Monogram Pictures releases the movie “Honor of The Mounted” starring Tom Tyler as RCMP constable Tom Haliday. The 57-minute movie tells the tale of a Mountie who is framed for a murder he didn’t commit. After being disgraced, our hero decides to clear his name and reputation by heading to the United States to get the real killer and bring him to justice. The movie is based on the 1914 silent film of the same name starring Murdock MacQuarrie.

 1942 Japan Attacks Canada

A Japanese submarine fired shells at the isolated Estevan Point on Vancouver Island, doing very little damage. This is the only time Canadian land territory came under attack during World War II. There were several submarine attacks against ships in Canadian waters during the war, including the sinking of HMCS Charlottetown Sept. 11, 1942, one km from Rimouski that resulted in the death of 44-year-old RCMP Master J. Willard Bonner (Honour Roll #73)

1945 – Commendation is awarded to #14596/ O.515 Constable Henry Peter Tadeson for his investigation into the Black Market in Alberta.

1964 – Honour Roll Number 126

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

#17644 Corporal Ervin Jack Giesbrecht age 31 drowned when his patrol car plunged into the water at Hybord, Manitoba.

Cpl. Giesbrecht was patrolling the construction site of a new dam and was driving on the temporary Cofferdam prior to scheduled blasting to ensure that there was nobody near the area prior to scheduled blasting. For unknown reasons, his car drifted slowly to the right and slipped over the edge of the dam, and rolling onto its roof in 20 feet of water. Local fisherman made a rescue attempt and a heavy crane was used to retrieve the vehicle within 25 minutes, but Giesbrecht had drowned.

Giesbrecht joined the RCMP on March 25, 1952 and had been a former heavy-weight “Golden Gloves” boxing champion. He had been married for only 14 months and had an infant child. He was buried at the Garry Memorial Park in Fort Garry Manitoba.

1967 – On this day, #24676/ O.1160 Constable Richard H. Bennett rescued three adults from St. Lawrence River after their boat had overturned near Caughnawaga Quebec. The heroic rescue occurred when Cst. Bennett dove into the swift water carrying life jackets to the four victims who were clinging to their overturned boat. Bennet had to dive underwater to rescue Mrs. Lise Lavallee and afterwards returned to the boat and rescued Emile Taillefer and Jen-Guy Lavellee.

The fourth victim Romeo Girard was carried away by the current and drowned before he could be rescued. As a result of his bravery Constable Bennett received a commendation from the Royal Life Saving Society on October 11, 1968.

June 21

1919 – Honour Roll Number 42.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the name of S/Sgt.George Bossange’s highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

#979 Staff Sergeant George Henry Leopold Bossange age 56 was killed by lightning at Spirit River, Alta.

After conducting an interview at the home of a local farmer in the Spirit River area, S/Sgt George Bossange left on his horse in the pouring rain. Later that night both he and his horse were found dead having been struck by lightning and killed instantly.

When Alberta Provincial Police Cpl. W. Allen investigated, he discovered that the lightening strike occurred on the right side of the saddle near his revolver and had burned a hole through the saddle blanket into the horse. The lightening melted the metal of Bossange’s pocket watch stopping it at 5:40. In addition Allen noted that the butt and tip of his revolver had been melted, and a small hole had burned into his boot by the spur, and continued through into his sock and heel.

Staff Sergeant George Bossange is the only member of the Force to ever be killed by lightening. A fact that is surprising considering the number of Mounties that have patrolled the prairies on horseback, been exposed to the elements in the Arctic and numerous duties outside in inclement weather since 1873.

Bossange had immigrated to Canada from his native France and joined the NWMP on December 3, 1883. After the North-West Rebellion, he left the Force a couple of times, and on one occasion, had returned to France to try his hand at farming, but he always returned to the Mounted Police. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Union Cemetery in Calgary, where he is interned with 14 members of his wife’s family in the Jaquish family plot; oddly Mrs. Bossange is not one of them.

1966 – At 11:05 in the morning #23086 Constable Phillip Edgar Harrison Smith received a report that 71-year-old Oswald Schwanke had collapsed while working in a 35-foot deep well. Constable Smith entered the well attached to a rope and found the victim still alive and tied a rope to the victim and then proceeded to pull him out of the well. At the ten foot level Smith became dizzy and yelled to the surface crew to pull him up and then passed out. He and his charge were both pulled out alive and sent to the hospital where he spent two days recovering. On October 22, 1966 Constable Smith was awarded the Commissioners Commendation for bravery and great devotion to duty. Unfortunately, it was awarded posthumously because Smith had been accidentally killed in a hunting accident on September 16, 1966.

1967 – On this day Mrs. Louise Martin fell from a pier into the Montreal Harbour. Fortunately for her Constables #M109/ 24718 G.H. Dawe and #24832 R.H. Beaucaire were patrolling nearby in the RCMP patrol vessel “Arthabaska”.

Searching in the dark the officers were able to locate her clinging to a boom fender. Steering in the strong current, Constable Dawe managed to maneuver the boat close enough to the victim to allow Constable Beaucaire to jump onto the fender and hold on to the nearly unconscious woman. Constable Dawe had to leave the controls of boat in order to pull the oil-covered victim aboard, and during the struggle Constable Beaucaire slipped off the fender into the river. Within seconds the boat drifted downstream leaving Beaucaire in the water who clung to the fender until Constable Dawes was able to return and pull him aboard. Both members were awarded citations from the Royal Life Saving Society at a ceremony in Montreal on October 11, 1968.

1984 – When the police in Campbellton New Brunswick received a report that a deranged armed and dangerous man dressed in army fatigues was driving to Campbellton, they took action to prevent him from making into the town. Constable H.C. Keeping rammed his police car into the side of the suspect’s half-ton truck damaging both vehicles but trapping the officer inside his car. When the gunman grabbed his rifle and was about to shoot the policeman, Constables R.S. Cameron and J.H.J.G. Cote shot him with their shotguns. The assailant was not seriously wounded and was arrested and then taken to the hospital. All three policemen were awarded Commanding Officers Commendations.

1984 – Parliament passes a bill establishing the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to replace the RCMP Security Service in dealing with national issues involving foreign espionage, terrorism and subversion. Many of the members of the Security Services Section choose to stay with the new organization, while the rest either retire or assume new duties with the RCMP.

2004 – At 08:28 in the morning ‘G’ Division Operations Communications Centre in Yellowknife, NWT received a call from a woman who stated that she had just received a telephone call from her estranged husband, who told her that he was going out on to the highway to kill himself and their two daughters. She provided the description of his vehicle a Toyota Camry, and the six on duty Constables; #45468 Sean Christopher Chidddenton, #36745 J. J Paul-Arthur Dufour, #61642 Rachel Karla Mounsey (Née Aimoe), #56793 Christopher John Pittman, and #40198 Joseph Wilburn Gilbert Rose were immediately dispatched to locate him.

Constable Aimoe was heading south approaching the intersection of Highway # 3 and Highway # 4 and when she observed the suspect Camry approaching the intersection with the suspect and the two children inside. She advised the other police officers that she had located the vehicle and turned her patrol car to follow it.

As she executed the turn the suspect accelerated and proceeded to flee. In process of passing another vehicle the suspect sideswiped an oncoming gravel truck forcing it into the ditch and losing control of his car as it spun out of control. As a result of the collision the suspect was rendered unconscious and was hanging half way out of the driver’s window. When Constable Aimoe approached the Camry, she noted a strong smell of gas along with smoke coming from the engine compartment. She checked the unconscious suspect and confirmed he had a pulse and was breathing. She then pulled one of the girls from the rear seat and took her to safety and returned for the second child. By then the front of vehicle was engulfed in smoke and flames and the second girl still secured by her seatbelt in the front seat was screaming and crying.  Constable Aimoe attempted to release the seatbelt but it was tangled and the child was having difficulty breathing so she pulled the girls legs over the top of the seatbelt, freeing her and then rushed her to the side of the roadway.

When Constables Chiddenton, Dufour, Rose and Pittman arrived on scene the saw the vehicle nearly fully engulfed in flames and the unconscious driver hanging out of the car. They saw Constable Aimoe carrying a child to safety but were unaware that the other child had been rescued so they rushed to the burning vehicle and began to search the rear passenger compartment that was filled with smoke to find her. Constable Rose opened the rear passenger door and reached inside and was feeling around in the smoke-filled compartment with his hands for the child when Constable Aimoe arrived back at the burning car and advised the members that both children were safe. While Constable Rose was searching the back seat, Constable Chiddenton attempted to fight the fire to no avail with a fire extinguisher, and then he and Constables Dufour and Rose attempted to remove the unconscious suspect as the heat and flames raged around them. The driver’s door was jammed so braving the smoke and flames they reached inside the vehicle and grabbed the suspects lower legs and pulled him out through the window. As they hauled him towards the side of the road, a tire exploded from the intense heat and then the car became fully engulfed in flames and exploded shortly thereafter.

Once the suspect had been dragged to safety Constable Pittman began applying pressure to the large laceration to the still unconscious suspects shoulder to stop the bleeding. The suspect and his children were then transported by ambulance to Stanton Hospital in Yellowknife and treated for their injuries. One girl sustained minor injuries to her neck from the seatbelt and was treated and released from the hospital but her sister suffered a broken cheekbone and had swelling on her eye and forehead. The suspect never regained consciousness and was transported to the Royal Alexander Hospital in Edmonton where he died of a brain hernia the next day. Two days later two letters written by the suspect were found detailing that he had the intended to kill both himself and his daughters to punish his estranged wife for leaving him she and because had recently started dating another man, and he felt she did not deserve any happiness.

As a result of their heroic actions all five constables were awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery.

June 22

1929 – Warner Brothers Pictures release “Tiger Rose” starring Monte Blue as RCMP Sergeant Michael Devlin who also starred as an Indian in Cecil B DeMille’s “Northwest Mounted Police”. The movie also has a young Fred McMurray playing the role of the Rancher.  The movie is based on a stage play written by Willard Mack and David Belasco and tells the tale of a young woman whom the Mountie rescues from a river. Our hero falls in love with the feisty Rose, but she falls for someone else, a railroad worker who kills a man.  Rose and her man then flee and our hero and his canine sidekick “Scotty” played by the original super dog Rin Tin Tin pursue them. But in the end the Mountie lets the lovers escape to start a new life together.

1971At 10:15 pm Constable D.W. Affleck and Indian Special Constable Robinson Napoakesik of Gilliam Manitoba responded to a complaint of a man causing trouble with a rifle at the isolated native community of Shamattawa.

When they approached the home of John Alfred Neepin they had to quickly take cover after he fired a rifle out the window at them. As Napoakesik circled around the gunman’s house, the suspect ran out the front door with the rifle braced on his hip and began threatening to kill the Constable. Instead of shooting Neepin, Constable Affleck attempted to reason with him, thereby providing his partner an opportunity to sneak up behind him.

As Affleck talked to Neepin, Special Constable Napoakesik and another man; Mallory Miles rushed the gunman and Miles grabbed the rifle as it fired into the air. Constable Affleck then rushed his assailant and disarmed and arrested him. In court when sentencing Neepin to two years in jail, Magistrate N.G. MacPhee publicly praised Constable Affleck’s “remarkable degree of bravery and cool judgment when faced with risk of death or serious injury.” Police management agreed and both he and Mallory Miles were awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery.

1976 – The House of Commons votes to abolish the death penalty with a six-vote majority. After an eight-day debate, a motion to reinstate death penalty was defeated on June 30th, 1987. The last execution in Canada occurred on December 11, 1962 when two men; 29-year-old Ronal Turpin and 54 year old Arthur Lucas were hanged in the Don Jail in Toronto, becoming the last of 710 people to go to the Gallows since confederation in 1867.

1980Corporal #25949 David A. Aitken was on patrol near Liverpool, NS when he was told that a woman had fallen in the Mersey River and was being carried away by the strong current. He removed his sidearm and dove into the river and swam out to distressed woman and towed her back to shore. He then had to return to the frigid water to rescue a man who had tried to rescue the woman and was overcome by the cold and swift current. On June 16, 1981, Corporal Aitken was awarded the Royal Canadian Humane Association Certificate.

1989Constables #30529 Kenneth Allan Tassell and R.G. Miller responded to a complaint of a partially submerged vehicle in Little Shuswap Lake near Chase, BC. When they arrived, they found that the driver was trapped inside the vehicle. With the assistance of BC Ambulance personnel Mr. James Preston and Donald Miller the man was rescued. Constable Tassell was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation and Mr. Preston was awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery. Deputy Commissioner D.K. Wilson presented Letters of Appreciation Constable Miller and Mr. Murray.

June 23

1967 – Honour Roll Number 135.


#17129 Corporal Donald Archibald Harvey was killed while investigating a murder near Grand Prairie Alberta.

Leonard Otto Borg was a drifter, and a career criminal that by the age of twenty-two had already spent six and a half years in prison. Unbeknown to police, Borg had murdered his previous girlfriend, Effy Reindeer in a cabin near Spencer’s Bridge and then burned the building to hide her body. At 3:00 am, this day Borg had murdered his most recent girlfriend Georgina Roberts because he had discovered that she was having an affair with another man. Expecting to be arrested and long having harboured plans to kill a Mountie, Borg decided to prepare an ambush for the police.

After purchasing a single shot 22. Caliber rifle earlier that morning, Borg phoned the detachment in Grande Prairie, Alberta three separate times to report the murder. But he was so nervous that he kept forgetting to provide the address.

At 2:40 pm Cpl. “Archie” Harvey and his partner #16969 Cpl. William (Bill) Reginald Biggar attended to the scene to investigate. Borg was waiting for them in a room over his garage and when the officers stepped out of their car Borg fired a shot from the window, hitting Cpl. Harvey in the chest and killing him instantly. Cpl. Biggar took cover and waited for Borg to reload his rifle and when Biggar saw Borg’s head in the window he fired a shot from his revolver and nicked him on the ear. Borg howled and then threw the rifle out the window and surrendered.

When the police entered the house they found Georgina Robert’s lifeless body in the bedroom, she had been repeatedly stabbed and then strangled. Borg was arrested and upon conviction, was sentenced to death. The execution was later commuted to a term of life imprisonment but he died five years later of cancer. Corporal Biggar was awarded a Commissioners Commendation and continued with his career, retiring to pension as a Staff Sergeant in 1976.

Donald Archibald Harvey joined the RCMP on June 23, 1951 and served in the Force throughout Alberta. Ironically, 34-year-old Harvey was killed on his sixteenth anniversary of joining the RCMP. He was buried in United Church Cemetery in his hometown of Arcola, Saskatchewan.

1985 – A bomb planted on Air India flight 182 a Boeing 747 jet flying from Vancouver BC explodes over the ocean south of the coast of Ireland killing all 329 people aboard. Sikh Terrorists who were upset with the Government of India’s attack on the Sikh Temple planted the bomb. This is Canada’s largest airline disaster investigation and drags on for over twenty years and leads to one of its longest and most expensive trials in Canadian History. In 2005 the prime suspects millionaire businessman Ripudaman Singh Malik and sawmill worker Ajaib Singh Bagri are acquitted after a lengthy trial.

June 24

Photograph of a Royal North West Mounted Police crest (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of a Royal North West Mounted Police crest (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

1904 – King Edward VII confers the right to use the prefix ‘Royal’ on the North-West Mounted Police, in recognition of 30 years of loyal service. The first member hired as a member of the RNWMP was #4232 Constable Horace Wakefield who is engaged on July 2, 1904.

1927 – The Province of Quebec awarded a Bravery Medal to #7809 Constable Stanley Wiseman for his actions in stopping a runaway horse team during the Confederation Jubilee parade in Montreal, thereby preventing serious injury to the crowd who were watching the parade.

1967 – Constables #20898 Donald Baskier and # 23055 John Higgins received commendations for the arrest of an armed man in Vanderhoof, BC.

Earlier in the evening they had arrested a woman for being intoxicated. Shortly thereafter her common-law husband Joe Haggarty, armed with rifle stormed into the detachment demanding her release. While Cst. Higgins distracted him, Baskier rushed the subject and the two members were successful in disarming him and promptly placed him in cells where he could be near his wife.

1973 – Dedication ceremonies were conducted for a newly donated stain glass window for the RCMP Chapel at Depot Division in Regina. The widow based on a biblical theme was donated by retired Assistant Commissioner D.O. Forrest, in memory of his wife, Mrs. Ethel Louise Forrest and was dedicated to the wives of all members of the Force. The Honorary Chaplain to the Force the Most Reverend G.F.C. Jackson, Archbishop of Qu’Appelle, performed the dedication ceremony.

The window design was taken from the Book of Ruth, Chapter 1, verses 16 and 17.