Ric Hall’s Photo Corner: Fred Bagley

Photograph of Fred Bagley (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection)

 

 

 

For this week, Ric Hall has selected the photograph theme of “Frederick Augustus Bagley – Reg. #247.”

 

 

 

 

 

Frederick Augustus Bagley was born September 22, 1858 on the island of St. Lucia in the British West Indies.  At the age of 10, he came to Canada with his family.
In 1874, he enlisted in the North West Mounted Police as a trumpeter at the age of 15 years of age and was issued the regimental number of 247.  As such, he was deemed to be a member of the ‘Original 300.’

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant Fred Bagley (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of NWMP Sergeant Fred Bagley (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

He remained in the Force for the next twenty-five years.  While in the Force, Fred was involved in many historical milestones:

  • 1874 – participated in the famous March West;
  • 1879 – Guarded “Swift Running” prior to being the first person to be hung by the NWMP;
  • 1885 – participated during the Northwest Rebellion;
  • 1887 – established the first Force band at “Depot” barracks in Regina; and
  • 1897 – NWMP Contingent that went to London for the Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

On April 30, 1899, Fred retired from the Force at the rank of Sergeant Major.

Photograph of Fred Bagley in the Canadian Mounted Rifles during the Boer War (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of Fred Bagley in the Canadian Mounted Rifles during the Boer War (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

In 1901, he joined the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles for the Boer War and rose to the military rank of Major.

Photograph of Major Fred Bagley

With the outbreak of war in 1914, Fred joined the 82nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was commissioned as a Captain to serve as their quartermaster.  He would later be transferred to the 92nd Battalion and 1915 was promoted to second in command of the Battalion.

After World War I,  Fred lived in Calgary until 1924.  While in Calgary, he organized the first Canadian rifle team to compete in the Empire Shooting competition.  In addition, he also founded the Calgary Elks band.

In 1924, he moved to Banff to write his memoirs and a history of the North West Mounted Police.  His diaries now serve as a history of the NWMP.

Photograph of NWMP Fred Bagley's horse - 'Buck' (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of NWMP Fred Bagley’s horse – ‘Buck’ (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

Fred Bagley is noted in his very early days as being a bit of a horse thief.  Noticing a member of another troop “suffering from a too close and frequent indulgence in the cup that both cheers and inebriates”, Bagley loaned the man 50 cents to go get another “cup”, while he held the man’s horse.  When the man left to get his “cup”, Bagley “stole” the horse, it was a traditional buckskin, which Bagley had his eye on.  He rode the horse through the march west.  The horse lived for 32 years and died in 1898, and was known as “Old Buck” or the “Bagley Pony.”  The “horse thief” met the original owner at a reunion of NWMP members many years later.  The owner accused him of being a thief, Bagley then demanded his 50 cents loan back!  They then went onto have a great time over a “cup” or two.

On September 22, 1958, Fred passed away in Banff Alberta and was buried in the local cemetery.

Approximately 8 to 9 years ago, Veteran Bill Hulgaard discovered Fred Bagley’s grave in the Banff cemetery and discovered there was no marking on the gravestone as to rank or belonging to the NWMP.

After conducting considerable research on Fred Bagley, Bill Hulgaar contacted Fred’s grandson who was living in southern Alberta.  The grandson was advised to contact the RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa about getting a replacement grave marker which would include a reference to being a NWMP veteran.

Several years, a new grave maker was provided and is illustrated below.   

Photograph of Fred Bagley's grave marker in Banff Alberta (Source of photo - RCMP Gravesite database).

Photograph of Fred Bagley’s grave marker in Banff Alberta (Source of photo – RCMP Gravesite database).

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