RNWMP Veterans: Distinguished Themselves In World War I

Photograph of a RNWMP crest (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

 

 

 

After the end of World War I, the Force and its members had time to reflect back on the contributions and achievements made by various NWMP and RNWMP Veterans.

 

 

 

 

 

Between 1914 and 1918, over 2,500 RNWMP Veterans volunteered for military service.  Of this total, 146 were killed or died of their wounds:

– 136 died in France and Belgium;

– 8 died in England;

– 1 died in Egypt (Lt. Col. Cecil Longueville Snow with the British Intelligence Corps – Reg.#1359); and

– 1 died at Vladivostok Siberia (Trooper William Henderson – Reg.#7501) as a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP (Canadian Expeditionary Force to Siberia – 1918 to 1919).

Fifteen Veterans were captured and survived the harsh captivity under the hands of their enemy.

To determine how the impact that the volunteerism and patriotism had on the Force in World War 1, check out the webpage – “RNWMP: Volunteerism & Patriotism In World War I.”  

Throughout the war and shortly thereafter, many NWMP and RNWMP Veterans were recognized for their courage and leadership.  Some of the more notable Veterans have been identified below.

Photograph of Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele. One of the original members of the NWMP in 1873.

Photograph of Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele. One of the original members of the NWMP in 1873 (Force Reg.5).

Major General Sir Samuel Steele joined the Force in 1873 (Reg.#5) and retired on March 1, 1903.  Sam’s contributions in the Force and as the Commanding Officer of the Lord Strathcona Horse in the Boer War are well documented in many books.

With the outbreak of World War I, Sam raised and commanded the 2nd Canadian Division and rose to the rank of Major General.  He died on January 30, 1919 at Putney England and was brought back to Canada to be buried in St. John’s Cemetery at Winnipeg, Manitoba. You can read a biography of Sam Steele here.

Photograph of Lieutenant-General (Reg.#O.95)

Photograph of Lieutenant-General Sir Archibald McDonell (Force Reg.#O.95)

Lt. General Sir Archibald McDonnell joined the Force on September 28, 1889 (Reg.O.95) and was commissioned as an Inspector and would later be promoted to Superintendent.  Archibald’s service was primarily at “Depot” Division.  He volunteered and served in the Boer War and was wounded.

On April 19, 1906, Archibald was granted six months leave to attend the Royal Military College to qualify for a permanent position in the Canadian Militia.  Upon graduating, he resigned from the Force on March 4, 1907 and was commissioned to the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment.  By 1912, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel – Commanding Officer of the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment.

In 1915, Archibald too command of the 7th Canadian Infantry.  In 1916, he was wounded and was several times mentioned in dispatches for his acts of bravery.

In 1917, Archibald commanded the 1st Canadian Division and was promoted to Lieutenant General.  In 1919, he was knighted by the king.  Between 1919 and 1925, he was the Commandant of the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario. You can read a biography of Archibald McDonell here.

Photograph of Major General Victory Williams

Photograph of Major General Victory Williams (Force Reg.#O.82)

Major General Victor Arthur Seymour Williams joined the Force on October 20, 1886 (Reg.#O82), after graduating from the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario, and was promoted to the rank a of NWMP Inspector.  He resigned from the Force on September 28, 1889 to accept a commission in the Royal Canadian Dragoons.  Victor volunteered and served in the Boer War – rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel commanding “B” Squadron of the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles.

After returning to Canada, he remained in the Canadian Army and by 1914 was the Canadian Miltia’s Adjutant-General in Ottawa.

With the outbreak of World War I, he served with the 1st Canadian Division in Europe.

On June 2, 1916, Major General M.S. Mercer and Brigadier General Victor Williams were inspecting the front lines and walked out to see the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles position on Mount Sorrel. General Byng had been invited to join them but declined the offer.

Mercer and Williams had arrived at the position of the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles when minutes later the German massive artillery barrage began. Thisbarrage was concentrated on the Canadian positions and continued for 4.5 hours.

Captain S.G. Bennett, MC in his book entitled “The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles 1914-1919” describes the German bombardment at the Battle of Mount Sorrel – “It was a calm, beautiful and noticeably quiet morning.  Suddenly, without warning, from a heavenly, peaceful sky broke a deafening detonation and cloud of steel which had no precedent for weight and violence.  Every conceivable type of gun, howitzer and trench-mortar around Ypres poured everything it had upon the Third Divisional front.  The most extravagant imagination cannot picture such a downpour of destruction.  Even those who had tasted the bitterest in modern warfare were staggered by the violence of this onslaught.  Nothing like it has been experienced heretofore and it is doubtful if its fierceness was exceeded by any later bombardment.  It continued in fullest intensity for four-and-a-half hours.  The greatest concentration was direction agains the 8th Brigade, but even the trenches which were shelled the least became mere jagged scars, unfit for defence.  That anyone lived through it is a miracle.  Trenches were soon demolished, shelters caved in, the ground over which tall weeks and long grass had grown were ploughed, beaten and pock-marked by shells. ” (pages 18-19)

For the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, it was a day of obliteration.” (page 19) Of the 800 members in the regiment, “only three officers and twenty-two member came back from the trenches.”

Major General Mercer had been killed by an artillery shell. Brigadier General Williams was severely wound and taken prisoner by the advancing Germans (four German regiments advanced with the support of five regiments and six regiments in reserve). This military engagement would be known as the Battle of Mount Sorrel.

Victor Williams would become the highest ranking Canadian officer to be captured in the war. He remained a prisoner-of-war until the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

After returning to Canada, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General commanding the Military District 2 based in Toronto.  In May 1922, he was appointed the position of Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police until 1939.  You can read more about Victor Williams here.

Photograph of Brigadier General Edward Hilliam in his Canadian uniform (Source of photo - RCMP Veterans' Association Vancouver Division's photo collection)

Photograph of Brigadier General Edward Hilliam (Force Reg.#2983) in his Canadian military uniform (Source of photo – RCMP Veterans’ Association Vancouver Division’s photo collection)

Major General Edward Hilliam joined the Force on December 4, 1893 (reg.#2983) as a Constable and held the rank of Sergeant Major when he volunteered for the Boer War.  During this war, Edward joined the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and by the end of the war he held the commission of a Captain.  During the Boer War, he was repeatedly commended for his bravery under fire – wounded twice and had horses shot out from under him.

With the outbreak of World War I, he re-enlisted and was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was part of the Canadian 1st Division which landed in France in 1915.

Throughout World War 1, Edward repeatedly described as ‘fearlessness.’ His position was always at the front of his troops leading them into battle.  On several occasions, he was wounded but continued to lead his men forward while his blood was dripping down his sword.  At the Battle of the Somme, the French were so impressed with his bravery that they awarded him the Legion of Honour and the Criox de Guerre medals.

By January 1917, he was promoted to Brigadier General based on his courage and leadership.  On November 12, 1917, Edward commanded the 4th Canadian Division’s 10th Brigade which took control of the last segment of the Vimy Ridge.

On November 17, 1917, Edward was secoded to the 44th British Brigade and to the 102nd British Infantry Brigade.  As such, he was promoted again to the rank of Major General. You can read more about Edward Hilliam here.

Photograph of Major General Sir James Howden MacBrien (Reg.

Photograph of Major General Sir James Howden MacBrien (Reg.#3588).

Major General Sir James Howden MacBrien joined the Force on April 7, 1900 (Reg.#3588)  as a Constable and took his free discharge on February 27, 1901 to serve in the South African Constabulary.  In 1906, he returned to Canada to join the Royal Canadian Dragoons and by 1910 was appointed their Adjutant of the regiment.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he served with the 1st Canadian Division and was wounded at Ypres Belgium in 1915.  In 1916, he was promoted to Brigadier General in command of the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

After the war, he returned to Canada to occupy the position of Chief of the General Staff of the Overseas Military Force of Canada .  Then in 1923, James was promoted to the position of the Chief of Defence Staff and retired in 1927.

On August 1, 1931, he was recalled for service by Prime Minister R.B. Bennet and asked to serve as the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  On March 5, 1938, he died while still serving as the Commissioner of the Force.

Photograph of Brigadier General Huntley Douglas Brodie Ketchen (Force # )

Photograph of Brigadier General Huntley Douglas Brodie Ketchen (Force #3002).

Major General Huntley Douglas Brodie Ketchen joined the Force On January 29, 1894 (Reg.#3002) and obtained a free discharge to join the South African Constabulary on April 2, 1901.

With the outbreak of World War I, he served with the 6th Canadian Infantry from 1915 to 1917.

At the time of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, Douglas was in the District Commander in Manitoba.  As the Commander he followed orders from Ottawa and in general retrained his troops from confrontations with the civilians. You can read more about Huntley Ketchen here.

Photograph of Burnet Laws (Force Reg.#3416).

Photograph of Burnet Laws (Force Reg.#3416).

Colonel Burnet Laws joined the Force on July 1, 1889 (Reg.#3416) and after basic training in Regina was transferred to Fort MacLeod.

For the Boer War, Commissioner Lawrence Herchmer offered to raise a mounted military unit consisting of hand ‘picked police, ex-police and cowboys.‘ The Canadian government accepted this offer. Members of the Force were given a ‘leave of absence‘ to serve in South Africa. The Commissioner would become the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles. One of his hand picked NWMP members was Constable Burnett Laws (battalion regimental number 181). Mounted Police members made up 40% of the battalion which consisted of 750 troopers. Burnett Laws served 15 months in South Africa.

Superintendent Sam Steele would also raise a regiment for the Boer War – the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment. This regiment also consisted of many NWMP members.

Upon returning to Canada, Burnett Laws resumed his career in the Force and was transferred to Dawson City. On June 30, 1904, Burnett completed his five year term in the Force and took his discharge at the rank of a Corporal.

From Dawson City, he headed to Edmonton Alberta and eventually settled in Lloydminister Saskatchewan as a farmer.

While in Lloydminster, he joined the 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse which was a Lloydminster based Militia regiment. Burnett Laws was a member of this regiment for 8 years.

With the outbreak of World War I, a mounted infantry unit called the 1st Regiment of the Canadian Mounted Rifles was formed in Brandon Manitoba on November 7th, 1914.

A month later on December 1st, 1914, Burnett Laws joined this regiment and was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

After receiving their uniform and subsequent training at Camp Sewell in southern Manitoba and at Camp Shorncliffe in England, the regiment landed in France on September 22, 1915.

With the trench warfare well established on the western front, horses became a liability rather than a tactical benefit. Therefore on January 1, 1916, the regiment was dismounted and converted to an infantry regiment.

With the reorganization of all the Canadian Mounted Rifle regiments, the 1st Regiment became the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles and fought mostly as a component of the 3rd Canadian Division until the end of the war.

On June 2, 1916, the members of the 1st & 4th Battalions of the Canadian Mounted Rifles were manning the 3rd Division’s front when the Germans launched their attack – consisting of four German regiments with the support of five regiments and six regiments in reserve. This battle would be known as the Battle of Mount Sorrel.

With the Canadian positions overrun, 557 of its 692 members were killed, wounded or captured. A combined and coordinated counter-attacks, by elements of the Canadian Corps, was able to retake their original battle lines.

By the summer of 1916, the 1st battalion had been rebuilt and it was one of the first Canadian battalions to advance at the Battle of the Somme. On September 15, 1916, the 1st Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles was among the first way attacking the Mouquet Farm.

Burnett Laws was in all these conflicts and repeatedly demonstrated his bravery and leadership. He was aware the Military Medal, Croix de Guerre and the Distinguished Service Order. Consequently, he rose to the rank of Colonel commanding the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Mounted Rifles. – You can read more about Burnett Laws here.

Lt. Colonel Alfred Ernest Shaw joined the Force on June 20, 1904 (Reg.#O.140) on June 20, 1904 but resigned on June 30, 1904 to accept a commission with the 3rd Dragoon of the Canadian Militia.

When the war began he raised and initially commanded the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles, but as the various units were being amalgamated overseas Shaw was transferred over to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR). He assumed command of this unit a short while thereafter.

In December, 1915, the C.M.R. were turned into infantry and brought up to infantry strength, the 3rd C.M.R. being divided the 1st and 2nd C.M.R. and 4th and 5th, the four battalions becoming the 8th Brigade, C. E. F.

As Lt. Colonel Shaw’s regiment had been absorbed he was offered the command of the 1st C.M.R., senior officers foregoing their seniority so he could come to the battalion.

He commanded the battalion with marked success until he was killed in action on June 2, 1916. You can read more about Alfred Shaw here.

Photograph of Lt. Colonel Charles James Townshed Stewart (Force Reg.#3136).

Photograph of Lt. Colonel Charles James Townshed Stewart (Force Reg.#3136).

Lt. Colonel Charles James Townshend Stewart joined the Force on June 3, 1896 (Reg.#3136) and volunteered for the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles for the Boer War.  After the Boer War, he would later accept a commission in the Imperial Yeomanry.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he went overseas on January 21, 1915 as a Lieutenant in the Prince Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). Within 6 months, he was promoted to Captain and a year later to the rank of Major.

As an officer, he was always at the front leading his men.  Consequently, he was wounded on several occasions but yet still achieved the objective:

– March 15, 1915: received a gunshot wound in the chest; and

– September 1915 – “At the battle of Flers-Courcelette, Stewart lead an attack which captured two enemy trenches, and showed great determination, both in the attack and in the consolidation of the position won. For his conspicuous gallantry, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.”

On March 30, 1918, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel commanding the PPCLI.  Unfortunately, Charles was killed during the Battle of Cambria on September 28, 1918.  His actions during this battle resulted in him being awarded the citation for a bar to the Distinguished Service Order posthumously. The citation praised Charles – “his extra-ordinary energy and resourcefulness, his sound tactical knowledge and added that his consistent cheerfulness, his complete disregard of danger and his personal example were undoubtedly instrumental in the success of his Battalion.” He was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre for this action.

You can read more about Charles Stewart here.

Photograph of Captain Eion McGregor MacBrayne (Force Reg.#4777) (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of Captain Eion McGregor MacBrayne (Force Reg.#4777) (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

Lt. Colonel Eion McGregor MacBrayne joined the Force on October 14, 1908 at Fort Saskatchewan and was stationed to Regina, Royal View (Victoria BC), Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Dawson, Yukon. On August 13,1915, he purchased his discharge to Marry Margaret Findlay on March 10, 1916.  Shortly thereafter, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was given the commission of a Captain in the 82nd Canadian Infantry Battalion.

While on the Western Front, he transferred to the PPCLI on April 29, 1918 and commanded the No.1 Company.  Commanding Officer at the time was an old RNWMP colleague from the Yukon – Lt. Colonel Charles James Townshend Stewart.

On August 12, 1918,  he “commanded his company with greatest courage and skill.  He with a party of eight men, bombed-up half a mile of trench, captured sixteen enemy machine guns and eleven prisoners, and inflicted casualties on many more.  Subsequently, his company was counter-attacked by a greatly superior force from the flanks.  After intensive fighting, he extricated them from a most awkward situation, and was able to maintain and hold part of the trench gained by his men.”    Based on his actions, he would later be awarded the Military Cross for bravery.

On September 30, 1918, Captain MacBrayne was wounded in the battle for Cambria and was evacuated.  Based on his injuries, Eion was discharged in October 1918 in view of his medical condition.

With the outset of World War II, Eion MacBrayne volunteered for the Canadian military and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel by the end of the war.  Due to his health condition, Eion was not permitted overseas but remained in Canada to prepare troops combat.

He passed away on November 27, 1963 at Vancouver, B.C.

Photograph of Ralph Andros

Photograph of Ralph Craven Andros (Force Reg.#2355)

Lt. Colonel Ralph Craven Andros was born in India and came to Canada as a young man. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Force on September 6, 1891 (Reg.#2355) and was posted to Whitewood in “F” Division.  However, Ralph only remained in the Force until October 2, 1891 when he purchased his discharge the fee of $108.00.  After leaving the Force, Ralph took up farming near Weyburn Saskatchewan and would become a member of the 20th Border Horse Hussars.  From Saskatchewan, he move to Montana where he built up a horse ranch near Fort Benton Montana.

In 1910, Ralph sold his ranch and retired to Victoria to enjoy the milder climate.

With the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifle (CMR) Battation on November 16, 1914.

The battalion arrived in France in September 1915 with the 1st Mounted Rifle Brigade. Andros served as second-in-command with his trusty stead, “Star.” Recognizing that the static conditions on the Western Fronts were unsuitable for horsemen, the dismounted units essentially became infantry troops.

Andros assumed command of the battalion of the 1st CMR after the battle at Mount Sorrel on 3 June 1916 and remained as the Commanding Officer until April 24, 1918.   The former commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Shaw (ex-RNWMP member), disappeared during the fighting. His body was never found and he was later officially declared killed in action.

Ralph Andros “is one of the men of the old Force may well be proud of,  for a more gallant soldier or a braver man did not exist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He and the regiment had the honour of making the first daylight raid on the enemy’s trenches at Vimy, in December 1916.  They penetrated to the third line of trenches, destroyed 300 yards of front line trench and returned with 85 prisoners.”

On April 12, 1917, Ralph “led the battalion agains the famous “Pimple” of Vimy Ridge, and captured and held it.

In so doing, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on January 1, 1917 and was mentioned three times in Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s (British senior officer during World War 1) dispatches (January 14, 1917, December 28, 1917).

When he joined the 8th Infantry Brigade on 24 April 1918, Andros relinquished command to Lieutenant Colonel Burnett Laws (ex-RNWMP member). Suffering from the cumulative effects of long service in the field, an over-strained Andros soon left for England in late May.

In June 1918, Ralph Andros was aided to military hospital in for rheumatoid arthritis, pyorrhoea and mental stress symptoms. The military medical board described Ralph as condition as having 

33 months continuous service in France and felt the strain.

To read more about Ralph Andros check out this webpage.

Photograph of Lt. Colonel Gilbert Edward Sanders (Force Reg.#O.52)

Photograph of Lt. Colonel Gilbert Edward Sanders (Force Reg.#O.52)

Lt. Colonel Gilbert Edward Sanders joined the Force on September 1, 1984 (Reg.#O.52) with the rank of Inspector.  He had previously attended the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario.  While in the Force, he served at Fort MacLeod and then Calgary.  With the outbreak of the Northwest Rebellion he was posted at Prince Albert.

Like many other NWMP members, he also volunteered for service in the Boer War and was transferred to the position of 2nd in command of the Canadian Mounted Rifles.  During this war, he was wounded twice while under enemy fire leading his men to counter Boer attacks.  For his actions, he was awarded the Distinguish Service Order (DSO).

After returning from South Africa, he resumed his position in the Force to continue as a Police Magistrate and eventually retired on March 1, 1912.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he volunteered for service and was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the 2nd Canadian Pioneer Battalion in France for 17 months.

He voluntarily stepped down to make way for the younger officers to take command. You can read more about Gilbert Sanders here.

Image of Lt. Colonel Francis Cartwright (Reg.#O.108).

Image of Lt. Colonel Francis Cartwright (Reg.#O.108).

Lt. Colonel Francis Lennox Cartwright first joined the Canadian militia as a Captain in the 14th Battalion of the Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles in 1896 and then joined the North West Mounted Police on February 15, 1897 (Reg.#O.108) as a NWMP Inspector.  He served in the Yukon and in the North West Territories.

With the outbreak of the Boer War, Francis volunteered and served with the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment and took part in the many operations: Transvaal (July 10 to November 29, 1900); Belfast (Aug 26 – 27, 1901); and Orange River Colony (November 30 1900 to May 1902.  For his actions and leadership, he was awarded the Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.  After the Boer War, he returned to the Force and retired March 3, 1904 to become a Captain in the 5th Field Battery of the Canadian Artillery then as a Captain in the Strathcona Horse Regiment.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he volunteered and served on the Western Front from 1914 to 1916.  In 1918, he would be promoted to Lt. Colonel and take the position as the Provost Marshal for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Siberia from 1918 to 1919.

For his service, Francis received The Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the Czech government awarded him the Czech War Cross. You can read more about Francis Cartwright here.

Photograph of

Photograph of Richard Winslow Stayner (Force Reg.#3333).

Lt. Colonel Richard Winslow Stayner joined the Force on September 1, 1898 (Reg.#3333) and also served in the Boer War with the 1st and 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.  After the Boer War, Richard returned to Canada and continued his career in the Force achieving the rank of Sergeant Major prior to retiring on August 31, 1908 to become a real estate agent in Winnipeg Manitoba.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he volunteered for the Fort Garry Horse and received a commission as a Lieutenant. Through his courage and leadership, he received several promotions: Captain of the 1st Regiment of the Canadian Mounted Rifles; Major of the 9th Regiment of the Canadian Mounted Rifles and Lieutenant Colonel (Assistant Quarter-Master General) while service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Siberia (1918 – 1919).

For his dedicated service, he was awarded: Commander of the Order of the British Empire; Distinguished Service Order; Mentioned in Dispatches; Military Cross and the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure (4th Class). You can read more about Richard Stayner here.

Photograph of George Randolph Pearkes (Force Reg.#5529)

Photograph of George Randolph Pearkes (Force Reg.#5529)

Lt. Colonel Randolph Pearkes joined the Force on February 13, 1913 and purchased his discharge on February 19, 1915 to volunteer for 2nd Regiment of the Canadian Mounted Rifle  and was later transferred to the 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles.

During the Battle of Passchendaele his gallantry resulted in him being awarded the Victoria Cross by the King of England.  His actions were cited as follows:

“For most conspicuous bravery and skilful handling of the troops under his command during the capture and consolidation of considerably more than the objectives allotted to him, in an attack. Just prior to the advance Major Pearkes was wounded in the thigh. Regardless of his wound, he continued to lead his men with the utmost gallantry, despite many obstacles.

At a particular stage of the attack his further advance was threatened by a strong point which was an objective of the battalion on his left, but which they had not succeeded in capturing. Quickly appreciating the situation, he captured and held this point, thus enabling his further advance to be successfully pushed forward.

It was entirely due to his determination and fearless personality that he was able to maintain his objective with the small number of men at his command against repeated enemy counter-attacks, both his flanks being unprotected for a considerable depth meanwhile.

His appreciation of the situation throughout and the reports rendered by him were invaluable to his Commanding Officer in making dispositions of troops to hold the position captured.

He showed throughout a supreme contempt of danger and wonderful powers of control and leading.”

Through his repeated acts of bravery and leadership, he was promoted through the ranks to Lt. Colonel and was awarded the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order.  After the war, he would continue his military career and would retire at the rank of Major General and would become the 20th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. You can read more about Randolph Pearkes here.

Photograph of Major George Jennings (Force Reg.#1029).

Photograph of Major George Jennings (Force Reg.#147).

Major George Leslie Jennings served in the 2nd Canadian Rifle in the Boer War. After this war, he returned to Canada to serve with the 90th Regiment in Winnipeg at the rank of Captain.

On August 1, 1906, George joined the Force as an Inspector and served at Wood Mountain, Peace River District, Herschel Island, Regina and Edmonton.  In September 1911, he married Commissioner Bowen Perry’s daughter – Jean Gladys.

On April 6, 1918, the Canadian government finally agreed to permit Force members to serve overseas in World War 1.  George Jennings was placed in command of the RNWMP Cavalry Draft (component of this draft would later serve in France, Belgium & Germany.  This component would be later named “A” Squadron RNWMP).  See details on this Cavalry Draft here).

Based on his leadership and service during the closing days of the war, George was awarded the Order of the British Empire. You can read more about George Jennings here.

Photograph of Major George Worsley (Reg.O ) - Officer Commanding "B" Squadron in Siberia (1918-1919).

Photograph of Major George Worsley (Reg.#O.123 ) – Officer Commanding “B” Squadron in Siberia (1918-1919).

Major George Stanley Worsley joined the Force on April 1, 1901 (Reg.#O.123) with the rank of a NWMP  Inspector.  He had previously graduated from the Royal Military College at Kingston Ontario and had served as an Artillery Officer in the Indian Army until 1897.

Prior to World War 1, George was stationed at Calgary, Edmonton and Depot Division.  On October 1, 1914, he was promoted to Superintendent and transferred to “Depot” Division.

When the Canadian government agreed to send a Canadian Expeditionary Force to Russia in the fall of 1918, George was placed in command of “B” Squadron RNWMP.  Details about “B” Squadron can be found here.

For his leadership and service, the Japanese government awarded George the Order of the Rising Sun – 4th Class. – You can read more about George Worsley here.

Illustration of Lance Corporal Michael

Illustration of Lance Corporal Michael O’Leary (Force Reg.#5685) taking the German machine gun nest by himself and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.

Captain Michael John O’Leary joined the Force on August 2, 1913 (Reg.#5685) and served at Battleford Saskatchewan (“F” Division).

With the outbreak of World War 1, he sought and received a free discharge on September 22, 1914 so that he could return to his home regiment – Irish Guards Regiment in Cork Ireland.

O’Leary would on January 1, 1915 distinguish himself by crossing ‘no-man’s land’ in Flanders to knock out two German machine gun positions. For this act of bravery, he was awarded the Victoria Cross which was presented to him by His Majesty King George V at Buckingham Palace. – You can read more details about Michael O’Leary here.

Photograph of Sergeant Ted Margetts of the "B" Squadron RNWMP - Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force 1918 to 1919

Photograph of Sergeant Ted Margetts of the “B” Squadron RNWMP – Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force 1918 to 1919 (Force Reg.#7373).

Sergeant Teddy James Edward Margetts joined the Force on August 26, 1918 (Reg.#7373) as a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP and was assigned as the Squadron’s Sergeant Farrier.

Teddy had been in the 77th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery with the rank of sergeant major. His previous military service consisted of: 12 years in the artillery; 3 years in the South Africa Hussars and 3 years with the 22nd Light Horse.

Prior to “B” Squadron RNWMP departing from Vladivostok to Canada, all 154 RNWMP horses were to be transported from Vladivostok to Ekaterinburg (distance of  3,146 miles – 27 rail cars)  on the Trans-Siberian Railway and to be turned over to the White Russian Army.

Captain Montagu Smith (British Royal Artillery Officer) was in charge of the train and was accounted by Sergeant Teddy Margetts, Corporal Bossard, four other RNWMP members and 56 Russian Cavalrymen. For details on this duty assignment, check out this webpage on the “B” Squadron RNWMP webpage.

On June 4, 1918, the train was bombed by the Bolshevisk and many horses were killed and other fled into the country side.  Teddy Margetts quickly took charge of the situation and commenced delegating and deploying the Russians, Czechs and his fellow squadron members.

His immediate actions were to:

– coordinate men to retrieve the horses still trapped in the wreck boxcar;

– delegate Corporal Bossard and men to retrieve the 20 horses which had run off;

– arrange to stop the east bound train so the injured men would transported to the hospital back in Zamzor;

– sent two Russians to Zamzor to advise the rail authorities not to send any further trains until the tracks could be cleared. In addition, he requested 19 replacement boxcars and that the Assistant Comptroller at Polovina should be arrested as a Bolshevik sympathizer.

Shortly after the derailment, a patrol of Czech Legion members arrived and were directed by Teddy Margetts to pursuit the Bolsheviks who were taking rifle shots at the train from a nearby forest. He was later advised that the responsible Bolsheviks had been caught and hung by the Cossack patrol.

 For his quick actions, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Photograph of Cpl. Philip Bossard (Force Reg.#7398).

Photograph of Cpl. Philip Bossard (Force Reg.#7398).

Corporal Philip Sheridan Bossard joined the Force in August 1918 (Reg.#7398) and became a member of “B” Squadron RNWMP.  He served in Siberia from 1918 to 1919.  In Siberia, Philip was one of the members delegated to assist with the train transportation of the RNWMP horse from Vladivostok to Ekaterinburg.  For details on this duty assignment, check out this webpage on the “B” Squadron RNWMP webpage.

Despite his severe injuries, Cpl. Bossard led two other RNWMP squadron members to recover as many runaway horses as possible. They travelled a distance of 8 miles to recover two horses in the middle of Bolshevik held territory.  For his actions, Philip Bossard was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery.

CLOSING COMMENTS

In World War 1, many other NWMP and RNWMP Veterans were recognized for their contributions and came home to continue theirs lifes.  In all likelihood, all Veterans were haunted by the death and destruction they faced during the war.

In recognition of the actions of the living, we must not forget about the Canadians who were killed or died of their wounds.

In World War 1, 64,997 Canadian soldiers didn’t come home.  Of this total, the bodies of 20,474 Canadian soldiers were not recovered.   The inability to locate these bodies was attributed to trenches, mud, prolonged artillery bombards and the difficulty in retrieving bodies in no-mans-land.   To recognize the contributions of these missing Canadian soldiers, two World War 1 memorials were constructed and includes the names of missing Canadian soldiers: Vimy Ridge in France and Menin Gate in Belgium. 

Photograph of the Vimy Ridge memorial to Canadians killed in World War I (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of the Vimy Ridge memorial to Canadians killed in World War I (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of the Menin Gate in Ypres (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photo - Sheldon Boles author of article block

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