Passing of Richard Noel, NFLD Rangers and RCMP

RCMP Veterans’ Association

Veterans Helping Veterans and Their Families

This information is being provided to all Association Members

The Passing of a Former Newfoundland Ranger

Dear Association Members,

Over the years since confederation Canada has had a number of provincial police forces that were eventually replaced by the Force.  Going across the country we see the British Columbia Provincial Police, the Alberta Provincial Police (which is showing signs of rebirth under Premier Jason Kenney), the Saskatchewan Provincial Police (which replaced the RNWMP in 1917), the Manitoba Provincial Police (replaced by the Force in 1932), the New Brunswick Provincial Police (replaced by the Force in 1932), the Nova Scotia Police (replaced by the Force in 1932), the PEI Provincial Police (1930 – 1932 when it was replaced by the Force) and the Newfoundland Ranger Force (1935 – 1949 when it was merged into the Force.

While for the most part, the provincial police forces have become footnotes in history, our Newfoundland and Labrador Division has taken particular interest in the life of the members of the Rangers.  The Rangers provided police services to Newfoundland’s famed outports over a period of 15 years and was modeled on the example of the RCMP.  The Commission of Government (under the direction of Great Britain) decided to choose that model over the municipal model of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary which operated (and continues to operate) in the city of St. John’s given the difference in the style of law enforcement required in the two areas.  Division member Helen C. Escott has been conducting extensive interviews of the few surviving members of the Rangers and has compiled the results of the interviews into stories that make for fascinating reading.

Sadly one of the four surviving members of the Ranger Force, Cpl. Richard Noel passed away on November 21st., 2019 at the age of 92.  He joined the Ranger Force in 1947, was given Officer no. 177, and began his career in Nain, Newfoundland as the only Ranger in the town.  Nain is the northernmost permanent settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Richard then served in St. John’s in Customs and Excise and then in Clarenville after his promotion to Corporal.  He joined the RCMP when the Rangers were disbanded and had 20 years of service with the Force and was one of only four of the original Newfoundland Rangers still living.


The Association wishes to convey our sincerest condolences to Richard’s family and friends at this difficult time.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association


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