Past Articles

June 1890 - New Recruits at "Depot" barrack in Regina (Source of photo - Jack Randle)

June 1890 – New Recruits at “Depot” barrack in Regina (Source of photo – Jack Randle)

For those interested in viewing our past historical articles, we have included them below for you to review.  Just double click on the light blue letter and the appropriate webpage will open for you:


Where Were You February 15, 1965?

The Caparisoned Horse

Right off the top you are probably asking yourself what is a “The Caparisoned Horse”. It is the practice of having a horse of a deceased military officer led in the funeral procession is a remnant of an ancient custom of sacrificing a horse at the burial of a warrior. Generally the horse was hooded, sheathed in a cloth or armored covering and bore a saddle with the stirrups inverted and a sword through them. This further symbolized the fact that the deceased had fallen as a warrior and would ride no more. The entire caparison (the ornamented covering) is black. The hood, saddle blanket and cape are made of wool or serge (a strong, twilled fabric with diagonal rib). All brass and leather is highly polished. What has this got to do with the RCMP you might ask. After the funeral of Constable Sarah Beckett on Vancouver Island following her tragic death in a collision with another vehicle many members had asked “why the horse with the boots reversed in the stirrups?” This question has again surfaced with the death of Cst. Shaelyn Yang and the spirited horse in her memorial parade. Hopefully, I can provide some background regarding the boots reversed.

Click on the link below to read the full story.

The Caparisoned Horse

Photos From Out of the Blue – Part 1
Happy Anniversary!!
The Connecting Dots!
Fairmont Barracks
Daughter’s Poem To RCMP Dad – Veteran Paul McCowan’s daughter pays tribute to her father.
Daughter’s Poem to RCMP Dad

When Will I Become A Veteran? – by Marg Shorter

When Will I Become A Veteran? – by Marg Shorter

“Depot” Hospital Steward – by Ric Hall.  This webpage provides a summary of the duties and impacts that the Hospital Steward had on members in “Depot.”

Ric Hall’s Photo Corner: ‘Depot’ Post Hospital Steward

Force Artillery – by Ric Hall.  This webpage includes a brief history of artillery in the Force and includes many photographs.

Barker Family History In The Force – a family history in the Force which includes one member being killed on duty.

Force’s 100th Anniversary With Harley-Davidson Motorcycles – In the early days of 1900s, the Royal North West Mounted Police was still truly the “Mounted Police” virtually at work and patrols were conducted on horseback.  Horses were abundant in detachment stables across the Dominion.

The Mysterious Gian White Pillow Case – this article outlines the discovery of the original RCMP Musical Ride shamrock.

The Lance And The Force – this article outlines the history of the lance in the Force from the early days of 1873 to current.

How We Earned Our Spurs – Veteran Dan Lemieux provides some history on the use of horses as a component of basic RCMP recruit training at “Depot” Division in Regina and in Ottawa.

Your Spurs, Sir! – this story provides another perspective inside the Force and the attention of detail required by members which was drilled into them by their drill instructor in training.

A Riding Crop Returns Home! – this story outlines an RCMP Riding Crop discovered with a regimental number on it and is returned to the family of the member who carried it.  An interesting family history of members in the Force.


First Person Hung By NWMP – A bit of little known history.

NWMP – Boer War – outlining the details of how the North West Mounted Police experience during the North West Rebellion provided expertise in overcoming the Boer resistence.

NWMP Firm Discipline – article outlines how the NWMP had to address management problems in isolated posts.

NWMP: Officer Performance Reviews – Commissioner Irvine provided his performance review of certain NWMP Officers.  Interesting perspective on the leadership in the Force at the time.

North West Mounted Police And The Strathcona’s Horse – outlines the close relationship between the Force and the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment.

NWMP Commissioner’s Annual Reports:

1874 to 1875;

1876 to 1878;

1879 to 1880;


1915 Musical Ride – photographs and stories of the “Depot” Musical Ride on the prairies.

Coppermine River Murders – Inspector Charles La Nauze, Corporal Dennis Withers and Sgt. James Freeman make a fourteen month patrol by dog team from Fort Norman to the mouth of the Coppermine River to arrest tow Inuit – Uloqsaq and Sinisiak for the murder of two priests.

 – This article outlines the harsh treatment of RNWMP members found guilty of Service Court Office.

World War I:

RNWMP: Volunteerism & Patriotism In World War I – articles pays tribute to the Force members who volunteered and died serving their country during world war I.

RNWMP Veterans: Distinguish Themselves In World War I – article highest some of the most notable contributions made by NWMP and RNWMP veterans in World War I.

Part 1 – “A” Squadron RNWMP – this part is the first of four articles.  Part 1 – outlines the circumstances which lead to the RNWMP providing a Cavalry Draft to World War I.

Part 2 – RNWMP Authorized To Form Cavalry Draft – this part outlines the creation, recruiting and organizing of the Cavalry Draft RNWMP.

Part 3 – Departing Regina To England – this part outlines the details of departing Regina and training at Shorncliffe Camp in Kent England.

Part 4 – Dispersement Of The Cavalry Draft – this part details the dispersement of the Cavalry Draft RNWMP members to different regiments in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the creation of “A” Squadron RNWMP.  In addition, this article outlines their activities in Europe and their sudden recall by the Canadian government to detail with the civil unrest in Canada.  Most of these returning members were diverted to Winnipeg to put down the Winnipeg General Strike.

Part 1 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – Mounted Police volunteers for service in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force which departed Vancouver 6 days after the Armistice was signed for World War I.   This part outlines the background on who the Force got involved in this expedition.

Part 2 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – From recruitment to departing Canada, this part provides little known information about their activities.

Part 3 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – This part covers details about the squadron’s trip to Vladivostok and their initial impressions of Russia.

Part 4 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – This part covers the activities of the squadron in Russia and barrack life.

Part 5 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – This part outlines the adventures of members who traveled over 4,000 miles on the Trans-Siberia Railway – taking the squadron horses to Omsk.  It was a Omsk that the horses were turned over to the White Russians and would soon be used to confront the Soviet Red Army.

Part 6 – “B” Squadron RNWMP – Final part relates to demobolization in Vladivostok and evacuation back to Canada.


1946: RCMP Hiring & Training Practises Have Changed – this article provides a glimpse of Force training shortly after World War II.  Much has changed since then.

1920: First Mounties To Ottawa – provides some details about the actual transition of the Force headquarters from Regina to Ottawa in 1920.  Interesting photographs included in this article.

History of the RCMP Musical Ride – this article provides the most comprehensive outlines on the development and evolution of the Force’s Musical Ride.  Articles includes many personal stories and identifies key members who helped for the Musical Ride to what it is today.

RCMP and the Monarchy – This story outlines the history of the Force with the Royal Family with many photographs never seen before.  Article was completed for the RCMP Heritage Centre in 2012 for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in Regina.

RCMP Takes Over Policing for Municipality of Surrey – This article was developed for the 60th Anniversary of the RCMP taking over the policing in the City of Surrey.  For this article, most of the original RCMP members were interviewed and told their stories about policing Surrey.

RCMP Provost Corps (1939 – 1945) – This article provides some details about the RCMP members who volunteered to serve in World War II and the recognition they received on their RCMP Guidon.

RCMP Police Service Dogs – This article provides background into the creation of the first Police Service Dog unit in the Force.  Some excellent original photographs are included.

RCMP Police Service Training Centre – Veteran Ric Hall developed this webpage to highlight the training of RCMP Police Service Dogs.

Killed On Duty: Three Moncton RCMP Members – this webpage provide details relating to the killing of three RCMP members on June 4, 2014 in Moncton New Brunswick.

Memories From The Musical Ride – is an account provided by RCMP Veteran Mel McIntosh (Reg.#23729).

The Most Northerly Route – Looking Back 70 Years -This article was provided to us by Doreen Larsen Riedel (daughter of the late Supt. Henry Larsen). Her article provides details of the RCMP Vessel St. Roch’s journey through the Arctic and the challenges faced by the original crew members. This article originally appeared in the Argonauta (Volume XXXI Number 4 Autumn 2014).

Tributes Paid For Three Killed RCMP Members  – this webpage provides the various tributes paid by RCMP members, Canadian police departments and citizens of Canada for the three RCMP members killed in Moncton New Brunswick.

The Most Northerly Route – Looking Back 70 Years – the story of the St. Roch and its famous voyage.

1960 – “Depot” Division: Past And Present – check out the details of what Depot was like in 1960 and how it has changed.

The Mysterious Giant White Pillow Case – read about what the family though was a large pillow case and what it was discovered to be.

Fairmont Barracks Parade 1949 – check out how Fairmont Barracks was a central point for RCMP working in British Columbia.


Billy The Horse (Reg.#2036) – Read about “Billy” the famous horse of CSM Tim Griffin.

Bill Adams, Reg. #18773 – With Sheldon’s recent article on Force Trumpeters another former trumpeter has surfaced.    Veteran Perry Edwards whose hobby is photography has met a former member of the Force while they both stroll through the Maplewood bird sanctuary east of the 2nd Narrows bridge in North Vancouver.

Constable John Allen – joined the NWMP March 19, 1892 at Regina and was issued the regimental number of  2783.

After service in ‘K’ and ‘M’ Divisions he took his discharge in 1900. As part of the WWII effort, Allen rejoined the Force as a Special Constable, March 11, 1940, and served as a Guard at Victoria and the Esquimalt Drydocks, BC.

S/Major Fred Bagley – youngest member to be sworn into the Force. Fred Bagley’s musical talents and leadership provided a major contribution to the Force and to the communities he served in.

Ric Hall’s Photo Corner – S/Major Fred Bagley – Photograph of Fred Bagley and his story.

Sgt. Arthur Barker – was killed on duty at Shaunavon Saskatchewan on March 16, 1940. He was the 64th Force member to be added to the RCMP’s Honour Roll and the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division.

Constable John Henry Beggs – one of the leaders of the first mutinies in the North West Mounted Police.

Insp. Robert Belcher – Robert Belcher distinguished himself both within the Force and in his activities after retiring.

As this tribute will outline, Robert Belcher participated in most of the historical events in the Force’s history from the March West to the Boer War.

S/Sgt. Fred Bodnaruk – Being a first generation Canadian, Fred Bodnaruk has contributed greatly to both the Force and to the community.

While in the Force, he was a keen investigator who used his linguistic skills to help crack the terrorist activities of the “Sons of Freedom” Doukhobors.  In addition, he led the original unsolved homicide section which travelled throughout the province and this section ended up solving 25 murders.

S/Major John Bray – With previous British military experience, John Bray was drawn to the ranks of this newly formed para-military group for a sense of adventure in the Canadian North-West Territories.

Tribute to Teddy Bryan – Reg. #2152 – The life and times of Teddy Bryan is what Victorian adventure stories were written about and what young boys growing up in Europe dreamed of becoming.  He was in the Wild Bill Cody Wild West Show.  Then a Texas Ranger and would later join the Force.  Finally, he would become the Commissioner of the Alberta Provincial Police.

Cst. Neil Bruce – was killed on April 14, 1965 at West Bank British Columbia.  Two newspaper articles relating to this incident are included on this webpage.

S/Sgt. Steve Bunyk –  He  contributed to establishing a good working relationship between the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Drug Section.

This humble individual had a keen ability as an undercover drug operator as well as a leader in the Vancouver Drug Section.  Despite his tireless efforts at work, he remained totally devoted to his family and friends.

Constable Lewis Byers – this member only served within the Force for two years and left because he was not given permission to marry.  After leaving the Force, he joined the Vancouver Police Department and was unfortunately killed on duty.

Cst. Laurier Cadieux – this unarmed member distinguished himself by apprehending two armed robbery suspects.  In view of his actions, he was awarded the Star of Courage.

Cpl. Gordon Irwin Cameron – dedicated his entire life to public service.  In 1980, he was awarded the Order of Canada.

Able Seaman James Howard Cassidy – While the second mate on the Pink Star, he demonstrated his unselfish bravery by not getting into a life boat after their ship had been torpedoed by a German U-boat.  If he would have gotten into the overloaded boat it would probably have capsized.  Instead he decided to swim off and was never seen again.

A/Commissioner Thomas Caulkin – Insp. F.H. French and Thomas Caulkin were on the Bathurst Inlet patrol and traveled 5,163 miles on dog sled to investigate a murder.  Both murder suspects were located.  For his action, he was personally awarded the first King’s Police Medal on October 6, 1919 by the HRH Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII).  He also was a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP which traveled to Russia during the Russian Revolution.

Inspector Thomas Wellington Chalmers – A Royal Military College graduate who joined the Northwest Mounted Police.  He would discharge from the Force and join the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles to serve in the Boer War.  He was killed trying to rescue another soldier.

Cst. John Cherry – relative of Don Cherry.

Cpl. Norman Conradi – With only years in the Force, he distinguished himself in saving the lives of a Saskatchewan family during a prairie fire.  Based on his actions and bravery, the Commissioner promoted him to the rank of Corporal with only two years of service.

Supt. Howard Cronkhite – Howard Cronkhite spent most of career in the Yukon and participated in many long and extreme cold dog sled patrols as did many other members.

#10980 George Arundel Cutting – Tribute to: George Cutting

Cst. Donald Davis

S/Sgt. Gordon Ellwyn – member of the Cavalry Draft RNWMP, Saskatchewan Provincial Police, Manitoba Provincial Police and RCMP.

S/Sgt. Orrin Wells Evan #328 – As for most members who joined the Force, they were attracted to the organization for an opportunity to travel and experience some adventure.  One such individual was Orrin Evans.  During his 29 years in the Force, Orrin had the opportunity to apply his skills and abilities to carry out a mammoth logistical challenge.

Cpl. Sidney Floyd (Reg. #9254): A Story Within The Story! – An old friend from “K” Division days, Veteran Mike Weightman (Reg # 34172) introduced me in  July 2013, to Kay Rawlings, 91 years of age, who is the daughter of a former member of the RCMP.  Her father was Corporal Sidney Floyd, Reg. # 9254.

Cpl. Charles George Fairman – #9520 – The image of RCMP Corporal Charles George Fairman was popularized on many postcards as being the Mountie on the horse.

S/Major Joseph Francis – ex-British Cavalyman who rose in the “Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.  His stories of heroism were told to the early members of the Force and set the foundation for self sacrifice within the ranks of the Force.

Insp. Frank French – Lead the two member Bathurst Inlet patrol with Thomas Caulkin.  For his service, he was awarded the British Imperial Service Order.  He also was a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP which traveled to Russia during the Russian Revolution.

Cpl. John French – Corporal John Poyntz French’s uncle was George French (first Commissioner of the Force) and his father was Inspector Jack French (Reg. O.19) who display gallantry and bravery on the last day of the Battle of Batoche.

Young John French endeavoured to follow in the family’s military tradition.

Supt. Severe Gagnon – Severe Gagnon was one of the first French-Canadians   recruited to the North-West Mounted Police.

Being a bilingual officer, he was transferred to Fort Carleton as the Post Commander – to provide intelligence reports on the activities of Metis unrest.   His report provided a means of identifying the various complaints of the Metis people and intelligence on the activities of Louis Riel’s subversive activities.

C/S/Major George Frederick Griffin – a notable member of the Force who was recruited away from the British Army to become the “Depot” Riding Master.  He would later serve as the Sergeant Major for the Cavalry Draft RNWMP and the subsequent “A” Squadron RNWMP.  Many of his displays of horsemanship were commended throughout North America and in Europe.

Supt. Arthur Griesbach – He achieved many milestones while in the Force: a) involved in the original design of the Force organization; b) one of the first Force Recruiters; c) first members sworn into the Force and given Regiment # 1; d) first Regimental Sgt. Major; and e) had the Force’s first muntity under his command.

First member of the Force and was issued with regimental number #1.  In 1886, he was experienced the first mutiny in the Force’s history.  His son (William Griesbach) when on to become a General in World War I.

S/Sgt. Edward Hill (Reg.$14813) – distinguished himself in World War II as a bomber pilot with the No.49 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force.  After the war, he joined the RCMP and spent most of his career as a riding master.

Major General Edward Hilliam (NWMP Reg. #2983) – To few men who at one time wore the uniform of the North West Mounted Police has come greater honours for service than those awarded to Edward Hilliam.  Edward was an example of the old school of soldiering in the British Army.

D/Commissioner George Jennings – George Jennings made significant contributions to the Force and was in key positions to assist with the development of the Force and its contributions to Canada. One notable achieve was that he was Officer Commanding of Cavalry Draft RNWMP & “A” Squadron RNWMP during World War I.

S/Sgt. John ‘Taffy’ Jones – was recruited to the Force and sworn in as a Master Tailor then immediately promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

With superior skills and organizational abilities, he was instrumental in upgrading the uniform for all members of the Force.  His contribution to a better uniform for Force members continues today.

Interesting story of an individual who was recruited in England to become one of the notable tailors in the Force.

Trooper George Frederick Kennedy – a “B” Squadron RNWMP member who died of the Spanish Influenza of 1918.

Colonel Burnett Laws – This tribute article is in recognition of the patriotic services made by Burnett Laws.  He  joined the North West Mounted Police then volunteered for the Boer War, World War I & II.

S/Sgt. Dan Lemieux – story of a Veteran who dedicates 110% to whatever he does.

Sgt. Eion MacGregor MacBrayne – distinguished himself in the Force and in World War 1 as a Captain in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Lt. General Sir Archibald MacDonell – He became a Lieutenant in the Canadian Militia June 26, 1886. He joined the Regular Canadian Army as Lieutenant in the Canadian Mounted Infantry, Permanent Corps of Canada April 6, 1888.

He transferred into the NWMP September 1889 and appointed Inspector (Regimental Number  # O.95).  In volunteered for the Boer War and World War 1 where he rose to the rank of Lt. General.

Staff Constable James Mitchell – Despite the fact that James Mitchell only served three years in the Force, he made a notable contribution.

After leaving the Force, he distinguished himself in Winnipeg by designing and coordinating the construction of many schools.  With the arrival of World War I, he volunteered his services and again distinguished himself.

Tribute To Inspector John Nicholson – This member’s story tells of life in the RNWMP, Saskatchewan Provincial Police and the Alberta Provincial Police.

Sgt. Richard H. Nicholson – This member was believe to be the first chauffeur in the Force because he had acquired driving skills in Ireland before coming to Canada.

Constable Charles N. Paris – Charles Nicolay Paris was born on September 26, 1892 at Greenoch Scotland.  His family immigrated to Canada and settled in the area of Drumheller Alberta.

Cpl. Ernest Pasley’s Contributions – amazing story of hardship in the Arctic and he would later be selected to be the first member in charge of the St. Roch.  However, family priorities made him retire from the Force prior to the departure of the St. Roch from Vancouver.

Sgt. Frank Pearson – a “A” Squadron RNWMP member whose service was recognized by Surrey Detachment and had their new Detachment Annex named after him.

Supt. Philip Primrose – This tribute is to a young Royal Military College of Canada graduate who was attracted to the North West Mounted Police.  He served 30 years in the Force and later went on to become the 5th Lt. Governor of Alberta.

Cpl. Thomas Raisbeck – this member wrote four articles in the Edmonton Journal newspaper about his times in the Force:

Memorable Barracks Days Despite Hardship Of Trainingcheck out this article here;

All Towels Were Returned – Then Somecheck out this article here;

Three Month Break In Service His Most Regrettable Decisioncheck out this article here; and

– Common Law Dealt With Peeping Tom – check out this article here.

Insp. John Richards – Inspector John Richards joined the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) as a Constable in 1883 and retired as a Inspector in the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP).

The research into this member’s Personal file reveals that he had difficulty accepting orders from his line officers.   Despite these conflicts and multiple demotions, he was eventually promoted to the rank of Inspector.

Even as an Officer, he continued his insubordination.  Clearly, John Richards marched to a different drum.

Cst. William Ross (Reg. #760) NWMP – On the evening of December 31 , 1894, Constables (Reg. #760) William ROSS and (Reg. # 557) Ernest PERCIVAL received permission to travel from the Kicking Horse Pass Detachment to “Third Siding.” These detachments were in place specifically to police the construction line of the new railway and the purpose of the travel was for the alteration of issue clothing.  Constable Ross would end up freezing to death.

S/Major Walter Wrixton de Rossiter – joined the NWMP and rose to the rank of Sergeant Major just prior to volunteering for the Canadian Mounted Rifles and fought in the Boar War.  After the war, he joined the Natal Field Force in South Africa and resigned in 1901 to return to Canada.  In Canada he joined the Moose Jaw City Police and would later join the 42nd Battalion of the Royal Highlanders to participate in World War I.  He later be  killed in France on October 12, 1917.

S/Sgt. Howard Shannon (Reg.#14564) – story of a RCMP member who was on the ride and met the Royal Family in 1953.

A/Commissioner Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch -Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch, O.B.E. was well-known within the Force as a ‘renowned straight shooter.’ His courage was demonstrated on many occasions in leading his men into dangerous situations.

Insp. Alfred Shaw – one of the shortest careers of a Force member but went on to distinguish himself during World War I.

Sgt. John Stinson – a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP which traveled to Russia during the Russian Revolution.  Many of his photographs are contained in the “B” Squadron RNWMP article.

Cpl. Bob Teather – New Ship Named After: Cpl. Bob Teather – Bob is the only member of the Force to receive the highest non-military bravery medal in Canada – Cross of Valour. His action while a member of the Force lead to him being awarded this medal.

Sgt. Hubert Thorne (Reg.#4290) – was an amazing individual working in northern Alberta and in the Northwest Territories.  Many of his patrols were reported and commended.  His image was included in a Canadian Group of Seven artists: Franz Johnston’s painting called “Beyond The Law.”

Supt. James Walsh – One of the many colourful and notable members of the early North West Mounted Police (NWMP) was that of James Morrow Walsh. American newspapers would later describe him as “Sitting Bull’s Boss.”

Major General Victor Williams – ex-member who became a professional soldier after volunteering for the Boer War.  During World War I, he was captured by the Germans and was the highest ranking Canadian prisoner of war.

C/Supt. Jack White – In Kamloops BC, he was involved in a running gun battle with an individual who had just killed three RCMP members.  It was the cool action of this member that Jack White was able kill the individual.

A/Commr. George Worsley – Joined the Force as an Inspector and became the Commanding Officer of “Depot” Division. Then the Officer Commanding “B” Squadron RNWMP which was in Russia during the Russian Revolution.