Sergeant Arthur J. Barker #7606

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Arthur Barker.



Sergeant Arthur Barker (Reg.#7606) 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.





On March 16th 2010, a memorial plaque was mounted at the RCMP Shaunavon Detachment in honour of the service of Sgt. Barker.

We have included below the newspaper coverage of Sergeant Barker’s death.

The Shaunavon Standard – March 20, 1940

Sergt. Barker Killed; Dick Greenlay Held on Murder Charge


Photograph of the Grand Hotel in Shaunavon Saskatchewan.

Like a bolt from the blue, three bullets from a killer’s gun cut short the life of
Sergeant Arthur J. Barker, R.C.M.P. veteran, in the quiet rotunda of the Grand Hotel, Shaunavon, Saturday night, March 16. The well-known and popular policeman was felled as he prepared to leave the hotel after a friendly call on the man held in connection with the shooting.

Victor Richard Greenlay, aged about 30 and a captain in the 14th Canadian Light Horse, is being held on a charge ofmurder.

The coroner’s jury at the inquest Monday afternoon inquiring into the cause of Sergeant Barker’s death brought a verdict to the effect that Sgt. Barker came to his death at the Grand Hotel, Shaunavon, on Saturday, March 16, between the hours of eight and nine o’clock, by gunshot wounds inflicted by Victor Richard Greenlay with an automatic .38 revolver.

Witnesses at the inquest testified to seeing Greenlay beside Barker’s body and declaring “I had to kill him”. Barker was quite dead when examined by Dr. G. H. Morrison within a few minutes after the shooting.

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Arthur Barker (Reg.#7606) and #64 on the RCMP's Honor Roll (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Arthur Barker (Reg.#7606) and #64 on the RCMP’s Honor Roll (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

According to information given at the inquest, Sergeant Barker visited Greenlay at the latter’s room in the Grand Hotel on Greenlay’s request, arriving about 7:15 p.m. The two were in conversation for some considerable time and about nine o’clock Sergeant Barker came down the stairs to leave. He was followed a few seconds later by Greenlay who ran rapidly down the stairs, and according to Mah Sai, only eye-witness to the scene, there was a sound as of fire- crackers and, with a groan, Sergeant Barker crumpled on the floor.

Apprehended by Ross

Mah Hop, proprietor of the hotel, and Jos. Castle, both of whom had been in

Mrs. Castle’s room and heard the gun reports, ran down the stairs, only to be ordered back by the gun-man – “Get back or you’ll get it too.” Mrs. Castle then telephoned Chief Constable Jones Ross who was in the police station directly opposite the hotel. Constable Ross hurried to the scene immediately and showed considerable courage in approaching the armed man who did not offer any resistance, however. Mrs. C. Warner, aged 74, who lives on the main floor ofthe hotel, started down the hall and was told by Greenlay to go back and that “the devil is lying there”.

Detained locally until yesterday morning, Greenlay appeared before Justice ofthe Peace Alex. Dunbar Monday morning. He was charged with murder on information laid by Constable Ross and formally remanded until March 27.

The blow has stunned the whole community. Stationed at Shaunavon since June 24, 1935, and engaged chiefly in stock work, Sergeant Barker was widely known among the ranching fraternitythroughoutthisportionoftheprovince. Hehadwontherespectandfriendshipofa host ofpeople in the large area which he traversed.

Capt. Greenlay is the second son of Col. and Mrs. G.L. Greenlay, ranchers in the Climax area. The accused is a captain in the 14th Canadian Light Horse, an unmobilized militia unit. Col. Greenlay was a veteran member ofthe R.N.W.M.P., has long been a prominent member of horse breeding societies and was at one time town constable in Shaunavon. Another son, Wm., is with the R.C.M.P., stationed at Swift Current.

Inspector A.G. Birch, Swift Current, arrived a few hours after the shooting to take charge of the case, associated with Constable Arthur Stoddart and Constable W.J. Meagher ofthe Shaunavon detachment, and Staff-Sgt. J. F. Lane, Swift Current. Corp. J. A. Mestdagh, Gull Lake, was also on the case.


Coroner A.L.H. MacNeill, M.D., presided over the inquest begun Saturday night and adjourned until Monday afternoon. H. M. Underhill, K.C. represented the crown and the jury consisted of: N.J. Uglum (Eastend), foreman, George Dunnigan, Victor Menard, A.M. Peterson, Walter Yokom, G. Morstad.

First witness called was Dr. G.H. Morrison who gave the result of the post mortem he had conducted on the body. He had been in Constable Ross’ office when the telephone call came from the Grand Hotel and accompanied the constable to the scene. On examination he found the sergeantdead. Thepostmortemrevealedonebulletenteredtheneckandtheothertwotraversed the body in the chest region. Any one ofthe three bullets could have caused death, Dr. Morrison testified.

An inkling ofthe motive behind the shooting was found in the evidence given by clear- eyed young Victor Van Allen who accompanied Greenlay to Shaunavon Saturday afternoon.

According to Van Allen’s evidence, Greenlay came to the Van Allen ranch about 1:30 Saturday afternoon, seemingly anxious to get to Shaunavon. He agreed to accompany him and en route to town Dick Greenlay informed him that he had heard in Climax the previous evening that the French government was going to purchase horses from Canada. He had conveyed the idea that the machine age was doomed; “we were going to have trouble with either the U.S. or the eastern provinces, and that horses were our only salvation.

Dick Greenlay had also referred to a love affair which appeared to be bothering him. According to Victor Van Allen – “He said he was considered a weak man in Maple Creek, Shaunavon and Swift Current districts and that he was going to show them he was something now. There will be troops in the saddle within a week“, Greenlay had predicted, continuing to say that Christ would appear in Germany in the form of a woman and would tum the forces of Germany against her.

Greenlay had further intimated he had been praying and that his prayers had been answered at “sun-up Friday.” He told Victor Van Allen that if he wanted anything to pray directly to God and not to Christ “as the Lord would accept no mediator

Purpose Intimated

Purpose of his visit to Shaunavon as intimated by Greenlay appeared to be that he and Barker together would be able “to do something to prevent the government from selling horses to the French government“. Greenlay had also remarked it was God’s will that Sergeant Barker was on sick leave and would be able to see him privately.

After reaching Shaunavon they drove to the Reliable Vulcanizing Works operated by A.H.Price where they left some saddle equipment. At this place of business Greenlay telephoned Barker to make the fateful appointment.

In reply to a question from Coroner MacNeill, Van Allen replied he had not thought Greenlay quite normal that day.

A. H. Price, who had known Greenlay for a considerable time, told of telephone calls from Greenlay in regard to getting someone to go for him. Greenlay also cautioned Price about praying directly to God. He thought Greenlay had been drinking, Price testified, as he had never heard him talking about religion before.

Mah Hop, known as “Charlie“, proprietor ofthe Grand Hotel, testified to being in Mrs. Castle’s room and to going down with Jos. Castle after hearing shots, but was ordered back on the second step.

Eye Witness At Scene

Mah Sai, known as “Rudolph“, local baker, came to the Grand Hotel at 8:15 and was playing solitaire at a table in the rotunda when the shooting occurred. After he arrived Mrs. Barker came into the hotel and asked him to tell her husband she was going home.

Mrs. Barker accompanied her husband down and was waiting for him at the library. Mah Sai testified he saw Barker come down the stairs, speak a moment to Miss Eileen Whittington who was going up to her room, then don his rubbers.

He then saw a tall man run down the stairs, “very fast“, a sound “like fire cracker” and then a groan as Sergeant Barker crumpled on the floor of the vestibule. He was frightened and ran down stairs, Sai said.

Miss Whittington told the court she was going to her room and, seeing Sergeant Barker coming down the stairs, waited for him to get down. She enquired about his foot. Shortly after entering her room she heard reports which sounded as if someone had blown up paper bags and broken them. Going out to investigate she saw a man in the rotunda with a gun in his hand, and in the vestibule, a body.

Jos. Castle told of running two-thirds down the stairs, seeing a man with a gun in his hand and apparently saying to a body on the floor – “There lies the devil“. Hearing him coming down the stairs, the man commanded him”Get back there or you’ll get it too.” Mr. Castle returned and told his wife to phone the police.

J.G. Steele, travelling superintendent for Saskatchewan Pool Elevators, told of going to the library with his wife at 8:45. Returning a couple of minutes after 9, Mrs. Steele noticed someone on the floor in the hotel vestibule and remarked it was “a funny position for an intoxicated person.” The body appeared to be on its hands and knees with the head resting on the rotunda floor. Mrs. Steele walked back to the library and then Mr. Steele noticed a man witha gun coming up to the inner doorway as though to “cover” the body. Hugh Grant came along and in a moment Constable Ross arrived and secured the gun. Constable Ross then asked Mr. Steele to remain at the door to keep people from getting in, which he did.

Constable Ross told of receiving the phone call and hurrying to the hotel. Greenlay came towards him and began to speak- “lf  l’ve done anything …“but was halted by the Constable seizing his wrist and taking the gun from him. He offered no resistance, Constable Ross testified but stated, “That man’s a fiend, a devil incarnate, and I had to kill him“. Greenlay had then continued “You don’t know that man the way I do. That’s not a man, that’s a devil. You may think I’m crazy, but I’m not.” Constable Ross had then asked Constable W. J. Meagher to take Greenlay to the R.C.M.P. barracks and lock him up.

Robert Ross told of accompanying his father, Constable Ross, and Dr. Morrison, to the hotel, of helping Dr. Morrison lift the body into the rotunda and of picking up two discharged cartridges from the floor of the vestibule.

David Owens, principal of Shaunavon School who resides on the second floor of the hotel, was in his living room with Mrs. Owens when he heard the shots. When he went down the hall he met Mr. Castle coming up the stairs. Looking down he saw Constable Ross and the man holding the gun.

The prisoner did not appear at the inquest, having the privilege of appearing or not as he chose. He was taken to Regina jail yesterday, leaving on the morning train.

Several weeks ago Sgt. Barker suffered a sprained ankle which kept him from work until he returned to duty last week.

Sergeant Barker was born August 26, 1889, at Loughton, Essex, England, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Barker. He had been with the R.C.M.P. for 21 years, serving at Regina, Estevan, Camduff, Preeceville, Assiniboia, Val Marie and Shaunavon.

Served in U.S. Army

Photograph of RCMP Corporal Arthur Barker on horseback (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of RCMP Corporal Arthur Barker on horseback (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

After the outbreak of the war he was at Fort Keogh, near Miles City, Montana, breaking horses for the U.S. cavalry. On October 11, 1917, he enlisted with the U.S. Army and served until he was discharged on March 7, 1919. While with the army he was sergeant of the Quartermaster Corps.

In 1920, at Weyburn, he married Miss Gladys Carlson, daughter of E. Carlson and the late Mrs. Carlson, Sturgis, who survives his tragic demise. There is one son, Kenneth Alexander, aged eight. Also surviving are one brother, Staff-Sgt. F. W. J. Barker, of the R.C.M.P., Yorkton, and one sister, Mrs. F. Phillips, Chadwell Heath, Essex, England.

A member of the Regina Masonic Lodge No. 11, Sgt. Barker was accorded Masonic rites at a service in the Binkley Funeral Chapel Monday evening. Masons from Shaunavon, together with several brethren from Eastend and Swift Current, filled the chapel to capacity for the impressive ceremony. James Cardno, worshipful master ofthe Shaunavon Lodge conducted the ritual.

At 8:30 Tuesday morning friends from Shaunavon Lodge conducted the ritual fellow police officers filled All Saints Church for a brief and simple but beautiful service for the man who had been such a firm Christian in life. Rev. J. Harrison Hill, the rector, conducted the service, reading from the 21st Chapter on Revelations, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” The congregation sang “Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still“, and the 23rd Psalm was read responsively. Another scripture portion from St. John 14-1, “Let not your heart be troubled…” a prayer, and then the hymn, “The Saints o f God, their Conflict Past”, brought the service to a close. Miss Laura Chaplin was the organist.

At the railway station where the body left on its last journey, about 200 people had assembled. Mrs. Barker and Kenneth accompanied the body in company with Mrs. Thitchener, Winnipeg, who had arrived in Shaunavon Monday night.

Pallbearers were: Sgt. Matt Morgan ofthe U.S.A. Customs Patrol, Havre, Mont.; Sgt. G.T. Makinson, Swift Current; Constable E. Hadley, and Constable A. Erskine, Swift Current; Constable Clarence Lynn, Maple Creek;Constable T. Inkpen, Morse.

In addition to Sgt. Morgan, four other U.S.A. patrol officers motored to Shaunavon to attend the funeral: Chief Patrol Inspector P.R. McLaughlin of the Immigration Border Patrol, Supt. P.G. Fraser of the U.S.A. Customs Patrol, northwest district, and Capt. Paul Goheen of the U.S.A. Customs Patrol, all of Havre and Customs Patrol Inspector Ralph J. Lefebvre, Turner, Mont.

Great Man Lost

“Canada has lost a great man”Sgt. Matt Morgan told The Standard yesterday. Since Sgt. Barker first came to this area he and Sgt. Morgan had co-operated in stock work. In the many trying situations which they shared in law enforcement on both sides of the international border, the calibre of a man was vividly exposed and Sgt. Morgan was loud in his praises of the dead sergeant’s dependability, his competence, his high code of honor and willingness to co-operate at all times. Had he had no other means of coming to Shaunavon, he would have ridden his saddle horse, Sgt. Morgan declared, showing his keen desire to show his last mark of respect to an esteemed co-worker in another country.

Photograph of three handsome RCMP members. Corporal Arthur Barker is standing in the rear. (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of three handsome RCMP members. Corporal Arthur Barker is standing in the rear. (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

The Shaunavon Standard – April 3, 1940

V. R. Greenlay Committed to Stand Trial on Charge of Murdering Sgt. A. J. Barker

Victor Richard Greenlay was committed to stand trial at the next competent court of jurisdiction on a charge of murdering Sgt. A. Barker on March 16. He was committed at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing at 10:40 this morning, Police Magistrate G.C. Thomson, Swift Current, presiding.

Twenty-seven witnesses were called by the crown. No statement was made by the defence nor by the accused.

By a tragic coincidence, the son of an ex-mounted policeman and brother of a policeman is charged with the murder of a policeman. The accused is the son ofCol. and Mrs. Greenlay, Climax. Another son, Wm., is a R.C.M.P. stationed at Swift Current.

The preliminary hearing opened at 10 o’clock yesterday morning at Shaunavon Court House.

Horace M. Underhill, K.C. of Shaunavon, represented the attorney-general, and R.D. Newsome, Weyburn, appeared for the defence.

With Mr. Newsome was Corp. G.B. Roberts, of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, who is an English solicitor holding the degree of Master of Laws and is the author of a well-known book on the House of the Lords. Corp. Roberts, a personal friend of Col. and Mrs. Greenlay, was visiting in Regina at the outbreak of war and joined the S.S.R.

Most of the evidence given at the hearing was similar to that entered at the inquest into Sergt. Barker’s death but the twenty-seven witnesses included some new ones.

Principal new evidence submitted Tuesday was by Robert Ross, son of Chief Constable Jones Ross, who told of remarks made by Greenlay while he was guarding him in the R.C.M.P. cells after his arrest.

Greenlay had opened the conversation by asking Ross if he thought Greenlay was a murderer and if Ross thought him crazy if he told Ross he had the salvation of the world.

Greenlay intimated, Ross testified, that Greenlay had gone to Barker to obtain aid in spreading a plan of world salvation. Greenlay had allegedly declared Barker was”fiendishly clever” in eliciting this plan from him and he had killed Barker to protect the secret. Greenlay had declared Barker was “a bad man.

Another angle to the tragedy was given by A.H. Price, proprietor of the Reliable Vulcanizing Works, where Greenlay telephoned Barker to make engagement which was to end Barker’s life.

Parted From “Wife”

Greenlay told Price he had been parted from his wife by her people but that he had been praying to God and the matter would be all right. Price had not known Greenlay to be married and thought this remark and others in regard to religion indicated Greenlay “had had a drink or two.” When queried by Mr. Newsome, Mr. Price stated he was sure Greenlay had said “wife“; he had smelled no liquor on Greenlay’s breath.

A large number of exhibits were entered by Corp. J. A. Mestdagh, Gull Lake. The exhibits included an automatic pistol; the magazine containing five unspent cartridges, three empty cartridge cases and three shells; a typewritten document entitled, “The Will of God“;

Sgt. Barker’s blood-stained civilian clothes. In Greenlay’s room in the Grand Hotel had been found a loose leaf notebook, a”Sam Brown” and holster and a box of shells. Also entered were a  registration certificate o f fire-arm and the hotel registration sheet o f March 16.

Sgt. Stephen Lett, R.C.M.P. document examiner of the scientific laboratory, testified that, in his opinion, Greenlay’s signature on the fire arm registration and on the hotel register were written by one and the same man.

Const. A.C.M. Van Nostrand, ofClimax, testified to issuing the registration of weapon at Greenlay’s ranch May 17, 1939, and to seeing V.R. Greenlay sign it.

Victor Van Allen testified to accompanying Greenlay to Shaunavon and to the conversation en route. His prayers to God had been answered and he had been sent on the mission to organize against the purchase of Canadian horses by France, Greenlay had told him. Greenlay appeared to think Barker a “tin god“, Van Allen testified.

Evidence as to the night of the shooting and results of the post mortem were given by Dr. G. H. Morrison.

Col. T. G. Tyrer, Regina, deputy chief surveyor for the land titles office, submitted plans drawn by the Grand Hotel.

Identification and explanation o f pictures showing the scene o f the shooting were given by Mrs. Gladys Preston, Shaunavon photographer.

Mah Hop “Charlie” told of Greenlay registering, of Barker’s visit and subsequent events. Mah Sai “Rudolph” testified to seeing Barker come slowly down the stairs after which the man with the gun “ran down pretty fast.”  Some amusement ensued when Woo Bang and Charlie Lee testified with the aid of an interpreter, Mah Toy, but appeared to understand the questions as well as he. Both had been in the rotunda during the shooting.

Jos. Castle told of hearing the shots and seeing a man with a gun who ordered him back when he began to descend the stairs. Mrs. Castle told of calling the police and Miss Whittington of meeting Barker. Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Steele, Mrs. D. Burness, Hugh Grant, D.R. Owens and J.W. Doyle testified to appearing on the scene shortly after the shooting.

You people may think I’m crazy but I’m not. I know what I’m doing, was attributed to Greenlay by Chief Constable Jones Ross who arrested him.

Wednesday Morning

Statements allegedly made by Greenlay featured this morning’s session o f the hearing. While he was guarding Greenlay in the R.C.M.P. cells on the nights of March 16 and 17, Ed Callahan stated that Greenlay had given him a story o f events leading up to the shooting.

Greenlay had first asked if Callahan would send a wire to his sweetheart and was told by Callahan he could not do that. Saying that he wanted to talk to someone,Greenlay had allegedly stated he had received a presentiment at Climax Friday that he should go out “and save the salvation of the world.

He needed leaders and could think o f none better than Sgt. Barker and in the subsequent conversation with Barker they had argued back and forth “from the old testament to the new testament.

Greenlay had intimated, Callahan swore, that he had had trouble with his girl friend, that he wished Barker to intercede for him, which the latter refused to do. Greenlay had not mentioned her name.

Greenlay had indicated that he was unable to answer Barker’s last question and that Barker had notl ived up to his expectations in helping with the salvation of the world. After Barker left his room Greenlay thought Barker would condemn him to Pontius Pilate, he had prayed and been commanded by God to take his gun and “shoot the evil beast.

Greenlay had stated he had gone downstairs where he saw Barker donning his rubbers in the vestibule but that he saw Barker was not a man but a devil and that he shot him three times.

To Claude Pickett, guard during the day time, Greenlay had stated Sgt. Barker was more like a beast than a man in regard to the British Israel religion. On March 18 after being visited by his relatives, Greenlay had stated he had not realized what he had done until then and had said his mind must have been under a strain.

Const. W.J. Meagher of the Shaunavon detachment, told of searching the prisoner after his arrest and of securing a dozen pieces of typed foolscap which appeared to be the original sheets of a treatise entitled “The Will of God” and a number of typed copies.

Constable Arthur Stoddart, in charge of Shaunavon R.C.M.P. detachment told of giving the accused the customary warning.

R.C.M.P. Constables S.S. Rothwell and W.B,. McLatchie, Regina, escorted the prisoner to Shaunavon.

Mrs. Bamford Fletcher and Miss Joan Fletcher, Regina, accompanied Mrs. G.L. Greenlay to Shaunavon from Regina, where she had been a guest at the Fletcher home.

Photograph of a "Depot" Silent Partner card given to cadets in training. This card is in the name of Sergeant Arthur Barker (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

Photograph of a “Depot” Silent Partner card given to cadets in training. This card is in the name of Sergeant Arthur Barker (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division. Sergeant Arthur Barker's name is circled in red in this photograph (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Corner).

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division. Sergeant Arthur Barker’s name is circled in red in this photograph (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Corner).