Sgt. Richard H. Nicholson

Photograph of Richard Henry Nicholson

 

 

Richard Nicholson left his mark on the RCMP and this tribute highlights his life and notable milestones:

     – first Force chauffeur;

     – provides an example of the financial strains placed on members with a family and the lack of universal health care; and

    – being the 49th member of the Force to be killed on duty.

 

 

Details of his life were compiled from family, government and RCMP records.

EARLY BEGINNING

Richard Henry Nicholson was born at Westport (County Mayo) Ireland on April 28, 1894.  His parents were James and Sophie Nicholson.  His father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) stationed at Westport Ireland and who eventually rose to the rank of acting Sergeant.

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With the military nature of the RIC, the Nicholson home was a well structured  environment.  Richard’s siblings were: John James Nicholson (1 year older), Lillian Nicholson (oldest sister), Margaret Nicholson and May Nicholson.

Photograph of Acting Sergeant James Nicholson of the Royal Irish Constabulary and his family.

As the sons of a RIC member, John and Richard Nicholson joined various social groups which were associated and promoted by members of the RIC.

Photograph of John and Richard Nicholson as young boys in Ireland

With the disbanding of the RIC in County Mayo in 1909, John Nicholson senior moved to County Donegal in 1910.  He was able to secure a position as a postal inspector and station master for the area.  It was at this time that both John Nicholson junior and Richard Nicholson started to consider job opportunities.

With no possibility of following in their father’s footstep in the RIC,  John Nicholson junior decided to immigrate to Canada in March 1912 as his eldest sister Lillian did after marrying William Allen.  Upon arriving in Canada, John Nicholson made his way to his distant cousin Sam Edward’s farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  However, the hard farm work didn’t appeal to John and he eventually secured a position as a streetcar conductor in Moose Jaw.

Back in Ireland, Richard Nicholson obtained a position as an ‘auto-driver’ for J. Buchannan Motor Agent in Strabane Ireland.  Richard immigrated to westeran Canada to be closer to his brother and sister.

Photograph of the SS Scandinavian

In March 1913, Richard Nicholson departed Glasgow Scotland for Canada on board the SS Scandinavian.  Upon arriving in Canada, he caught the train to Moose Jaw to meet up with his brother John.

JOINS THE FORCE

Photograph of "Depot" Division in 1913

With their growing up in the RIC barracks, they were both drawn to a more structured life and as such they both decided to apply for the Royal North-West Mounted Police.  As such, they applied for the Force at their headquarters in Regina.

The North-West Mounted Police was a familiar surrounding for the two Nicholson brothers.  For “Depot” Division in Regina was modeled after the training facilities of the RIC at Phoenix Park, Dublin.  As young boys, they would watch the RIC being drilled every morning at their father’s RIC barracks in County Mayo.

John Nicholson was accepted to the Force on April 26, 1913 and was assigned the regimental number of 5561.  It was on June 17, 1913 that Richard Nicholson was also admitted into the Force and assigned the regimental number of 5611.  On his original application form, he outlined that he was 20 years old at the time of his application when in fact he was only 19.

TRANSFERRED TO DAWSON CITY

 Phtotograph of RNWMP members in Dawson in August 1914

Probably because of his exposure to the RIC life, Richard Nicholson remained in “Depot” Division  for only two months before he was transferred to Dawson City where he was posted to Town Patrol and remained in this job duty until July 11, 1915 when he was assigned as a “Teamster” at Dawson.  A few months later, he was promoted to “Head Teamster.”

Photograph of Constable Richard Nicholson - RNWMP in the Yukon 1915

In 1916, the Force purchased their first motor vehicle – a 1915 McLaughlin Buick with a fold down canvas roof.  It was used at the RNWMP Headquarters at “Depot” Division in Regina.

With this new motor vehicle, the Force needed an experienced driver.  It was discovered from Richard Nicoholson’s file that he had experience as a motor vehicle driver in Ireland.  As such, he was ordered transferred from Dawson City to Regina.

TRANSFERRED TO “DEPOT” DIVISION

Photograph of RNWMP members standing beside the first Force police vehicle

On March 28, 1916, Constable Richard Nicholson departed Dawson City and was assigned to assist ex-member A.A. Butterworth with the escort of a prisoner by the name of John Lawler.  Lawler was deemed insane and was ordered transferred to the New Westminster Insane Asylum.  At Whitehorse, Butterworth, Nicholson and Lawler boarded the White Pass Railway train which took them to Skagway Alaska then on a boat to Vancouver, BC.

Since Constable Nicholson would be travelling through the United States to get to Vancouver, he was ordered to wear civilian clothing for this part of the journey.  After dropping off Lawler in New Westminster, Constable Nicholson caught a train to Regina.

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Once arriving at “Depot” Division, Constable Nicholson was given the task of familiarizing himself with the new police vehicle.  On June 29, 1916, he commenced his duties as the first chauffeur in the Force.   Most of his duties were transporting prisoners from “Depot” Division guardroom to the jail in Regina and other duties as directed.

At the time, the duties and responsibilities of the “Depot” Division chauffeur were deemed beyond that of a regular Constable.  As such, the rank for this position was set as a Corporal.

On May 1, 1916 and with only 2 years and 11 months in the Force, Richard Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Corporal and remained in this duty function until January 17, 1917.

 

 

MEETS AND MARRIES MAGGIE JONES

 

Photograph of the RNWMP "Depot" Division Guardroom in Regina.

With the picking up and transporting of prisoners from the “Depot” Division Guardroom, he came in contact with the female matron – Maggie Jones who was the sister of S/Sgt. John ‘Taffy’ Jones (Force tailor). Their continual contact developed into a relationship which resulted in a marriage proposal.

Photograph of Maggie Jones - RNWMP "Depot" Division matron

As required by Section 1275 of the “Rules and Regulations of the Royal North-West Mounted Police” – “Any N.C. Officer or Constable who marries, must forthwith report the fact to the Commissioner, through his Commanding Officer.”  General Orders 4901 (April 7, 1910) stated “Attention is called to paragraph 1275, non-compliance with this order will be treated as a serious breach of discipline.”

The Force’s marriage regulation was further supported by the Government of Canada’s Order-in-Council 2150 stating “The Commissioner may refuse such permission if in his opinion, it would not be in the Public interest. Any NCO or Constable who marries without such consent after issuing of this order may be discharged from the Force as unsuitable at the discretion of the Commissioner.”

As required by Force policy, Corporal Nicholson submitted his request to marry Maggie Jones.  On January 2, 1917, Corporal Richard Nicholson was granted permission by Commissioner Bowen Perry to marry Maggie Jones.

Photograph of Maggie Jones & Richard Nicholson wedding photo

Their marriage took place in Regina Saskatchewan on January 13, 1917.

With the requirement of having the chauffeur being always ready for duty and Richard Nicholson recently being married, he was no longer the “Depot” Division chauffeur and lost the Chauffeur extra pay of $.50/day on January 17, 1917.

As required by the Royal North-West Mounted Police’s General Orders 8914 dated September 1, 1914, “NCOs and Constables at Division Headquarters must sleep in barracks until further orders unless, exempted especially by the Officer Commanding for good and sufficient reason.” On the day after his wedding, Corporal submitted his written request to Superintendent George Worsley requesting authorization to move off the “Depot” Division base to live with his wife.  While Richard Nicholson waited for approval, his wife was staying at 1277 Pasqua Street in Regina.

Upon receipt of Corporal Nicholson’s request, Superintendent Worsley forwarded the request onto Commissioner Bowen Perry with the forwarding comments of  “recommended to the Commissioner that a separation allowance of $20/month be granted to the wife of Corporal Nicholson from January 2, 1917 since Corporal Nicholson does not occupy government quarters or receive a detective allowance.”  The separation allowance was approved on February 1, 1917.

On February 22, 1917, Corporal Nicholson reported that he would soon be moving from the Pasqua Street address to 1733 Empress Street in Regina.  According to Corporal Nicholson “just across the creek bridge but the cost of installing a phone ($40) was more than he could afford.  However, a patrol could always get him in five minutes.”[1]  The elevated view of “Depot” Division to the left and the red circle highlights the Nicholson home on 1733 Empress Street in Regina.

Google Earth image of RCMP "Depot" Division and the Nicholson home

On May 2, 1917, he was re-assigned as the “Depot” Division Chauffeur and received a $.50/day.  This additional pay supplemented his daily pay of $1.10.

Photograph of the deep snow at "Depot" Division in the winter of 1918-1919

With extreme snow conditions and the inability to operate the police vehicle in the snow, Corporal Nicholson requested and was appointed as an assistant clerk in the Adjutants Office on January 1, 1918.

Photograph of Maggie and Richard Nicholson with daughter Alice

 

 

 

 

On January 9, 1918 at Regina, Saskatchewan, Maggie Nicholson gave birth to their daughter – Alice Dunlop Nicholson.

 

 

 

 

JOINS “A” SQUARDRON RNWMP

 

Photograph of bell tents for soldiers heading off to World War I - "Depot" Division RNWMP

On April 6, 1918 with the approval of the Canadian government, Commissioner Bowen Parry issued instructions that “members of the force would be permitted to volunteer for overseas service, to reinforce the Canadian Cavalry Brigade on the Western Front.“[2]

The recruiting started on April 18, 1918 and ended on May 13, 1918.  During that time, 12 RNWMP officers, 81 NCOs and 150 regular members volunteered with 495 new recruits.  Corporal Richard Nicholson was one of the NCO volunteers for this overseas draft and was assigned the Canadian Expeditionary Force number 2683716.

The draft departed Regina in the evening of May 30, 1918 on the train heading to east and embarked on the ship S.S. Bellerphon on June 3, 1918 at Montreal.  On June 21, 1918, they arrived in England and were transported to the Shorncliffe (Kent England) military compound.

Photograph of "A" Squadron RNWMP members which includes Cpl. Richard Nicholson

 Photograph of "A" Squadron RNWMP members in England

 “This squadron was formed in England from our overseas cavalry draft and proceeded to France on October 7, 1918.  It was immediately sent to the front.  From a short time, it was attached to the Canadian Light Horse, and subsequently was attached to Corps Headquarters.  Troops were attached to different divisions and served in the battle area until the armistices.  One troop was sent to Bonn.”

Photograph of Canadian Cavalry in Europe in World War I

In December, the Government decided to recall our contingent to Canada.  The first draft arrived at Regina in March and was followed by a second and third, which arrived in Winnipeg on May 21, and was there transferred from the C.E.F. back to the force.”[3] Richard Nicholson was a member of the first draft component to return to Regina on March 15, 1919.

Upon being demobilized from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he returned to “Depot” Division and became the 3rd Chauffeur of the division’s one and only car.

TRANSFERRED TO MANITOBA

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Richard Nicholson

On September 1, 1919, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and a month later was transferred to the position of NCO in charge of Brandon Detachment in Manitoba – accompanied by his wife and daughter.  Their home was at 154 – 4th Street in Brandon, Manitoba.

On March 29, 1920 at Brandon Manitoba, Maggie Nicholson gave birth to her second child – Harold ‘Bill’ Alexander Nicholson.

Five months later, Richard Nicholson applied for a furlough with pay from September 6, 1920 to October 6,1920.  In his application to his Officer Commanding he stated “I have just completed seven years in this Force of continual service and in that time I have had six weeks leave in that time and I have recently engaged for three years.  My wife has been pretty well tied up with the children and I would like to give her a rest.”  His application for this furlough was approved by the Officer Commanding Manitoba District.

 

FAMILY MEDICAL & FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

Photograph of Maggie and Richard Nicholson

Between September and December 1923, Maggie Nicholson’s health deteriorated to a critical condition because of appendicitis and had severely infected teeth.  Both the appendicis and the teeth had to be removed in the hospital.  The mounting medical and dental bills amounted to $415.00 which was well beyond Richard Nicholson’s financial means.

On December 15, 1923, Richard Nicholson submitted a memorandum to his Officer Commanding of the Manitoba District in Winnipeg requesting financial assistance from the RCMP Benefit Trust Fund.

Upon receiving this memorandum, his Officer Commanding forwarded to Commissioner Cortland Starnes who in turn forwarded the details to the RCMP Comptroller with supporting comments – “Sergeant Nicholson is worthy of consideration, and as he has become financially embarrassed through no fault of his own, the undersigned requests the authority of the Minister for the payment of $150.00 from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Benefit Trust Fund to Sergeant Nicholson…”[4] Two years and 8 months after submitting his request from funds, Sgt. Nicholson received a cheque in the amount of $150.00 from the RCMP Benefit Trust fund.

Based on receiving this cheque, he submitted a second request for funds to assist in their financial situation.  In this memorandum, Sgt. Nicholson outlined “Alice (daughter) has had scarlet fever and Maggie had tonsillitis then quinsy which resulted in another operation.”[5]

Based on this second request, Superintendent T. Dann (Officer Commanding Manitoba District) visited the Nicholson home and provided the Commissioner with the following comments – “I saw Mrs. Nicholson and child and they were both in poor state of health.  This NCO (Nicholson) is a good member of the Force.”[6]  On August 4, 1926, Sgt. Nicholson was advised that his second request for Benefit Trust Funds was denied.

Photograph of Bill, Richard & Maggie Nicholson with Rachel Howe

POLICE WORK

Despite their financial situation, Sergeant Nicholson remained devoted to his family and his work.

The daily routine of policing by Sergeant Nicholson was described by his nephew RCMP Recruit Constable John Jones (#10139) when he had the opportunity to spend the Christmas season with them in 1925.

At the time, Sergeant Nicholson was the NCO in charge of Brandon Manitoba Detachment.  Constable Jones recounts his time with Sergeant Nicholson:   “My uncle met me at the C.P.R. station at Brandon and conveyed me to the Detachment. 

Sergeant Nicholson was glad to have me as a guest, I might say also as a working member of the Detachment.  At the time, he was busy assisting the chief official in charge of the Preventive Service, then the responsibility of the Customs and Excise Department, in an effort to try and put a stop to the unlawful manufacture of illicit liquor in a rugged, bushy district, north of Brandon, with poor roads and accesses.

Just prior to the expiration of my leave-of-absence and my return to Regina, my uncle, Sergeant Nicholson, asked me if I would like to accompany him and the Preventive Services Officer on one of their patrols, searching for illicit stills.  I replied that I was prepared to join them the next morning.  At 3:00 a.m. on a cold winter morning I got into the Preventive Services car, a McLaughlin Buick, touring model with side curtains, along with my uncle and Preventive Service Officer.  We travelled north on a secondary highway with no special location in mind.  What we were looking for were farm houses with lights on in the kitchens, with an abundance of grey smoke coming out of the chimney, a good indication that something was cooking.  We drove continuously for fifty miles but did not find what we were searching for, so decided to turn around and return to Brandon by another route.  We had travelled about ten miles when we observed a farm with lights on in the kitchen and smoke emitting from the chimney.

We stopped the car on the side of the road and with caution approached the house on foot.  The Preventive Service Officer brought out his Writ of Assistance under the Customs and Excise Act, knocked at the door and we all walked in, upon being opened by the farmer.  While the Prevent Service Officer was busy showing the suspect the Writ of Assistance, Sergeant Nicholson and I made a rush for that stove in the far corner of the kitchen. 

 Photograph of 1920s wood stove with still

On top of the stove was a copper boiler containing mash fully fermented and nicely boiling.  The boiler was covered, with the steam or vapour created finding its way up a piece of copper tubing that had been coiled to perfection.  The coil was being cooled by snow and the drip caused by condensation was caught in the container, thus manufacture of alcohol.

We seized the still and alcohol, kept a small quantity of the mash and dumped the balance outside as well as carrying out instructions regarding identifications and labels.  We made a thorough search of the entire house, nearly overlooking a bedroom.  With the aid of a lantern we went into this room observing an object of some sort of under the blankets of a large feather mattress.  The Preventative Services Officer grabbed the bottom of the blankets, pulling them off the bed.  What do you think lay huddled on the mattress?  Yes, you guessed it, the farmer’s wife, a well-built middle aged woman, naked as the day she was born.  And what do you think she had for company?  There lay three 1-gallon jugs of alcohol, a product of seized still.  I had just reached 18 years of age and had never seen a grownup woman in the nude before.  Later my uncle remarked that my brown eyes almost popped out of my head when the Preventive Serves Officer withdrew the blankets from the bed.  We took possession of the three gallons of illicit spirits, including them along with the first seizure.  No arrests were made on account of the farmer having stock and chores to attend to.  An analysis of the liquor was made proving that the liquid taken from the accused was alcohol of a good quality.  He appeared in court, convicted and fined $300.00 and costs.”[7]

On December 2, 1926, Sergeant Nicholson experienced the displeasure of Inspector Arthur Mellor (Reg. #3970 – O.201) in the RCMP Orderly Room.  Richard Nicholson was reduced to the foot of the Seniority Roll of Sergeant for “Disgraceful conduct by failing to report the absence of a subordinate[8] because he hadn’t reported a hangover of one of his men.  Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Lac du Bonnet Detachment in Manitoba.

 FATAL INTERACTIONS WITH WILLIAM EPPINGER 

 

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Richard Nicholson

On November 9, 1928, Sergeant Nicholson and Constable John R. Watson (member of the Manitoba Provincial Police and stationed at Beausejour, Manitoba) had the opportunity to locate and seize a still operation from a William Eppinger who lived 4.5 miles northwest of Molson Manitoba which is 38 miles east of Winnipeg. According to Constable Watson, William Eppinger provided no resistance in this police search and taking down the still operation.

On December 28, 1928, Sergeant Nicholson received a call from Constable Watson outlining that the Manitoba Provincial Police had received information that William Eppinger had re-activated his still operations.

Both policemen agreed to meet in the early morning on December 31, 1928 at the Riley’s Hotel restaurant in Molson.  Constable Watson arrived the night before and permitted him time to use his police car to patrol the area east of the Eppinger homestead.  Sergeant Nicholson travelled from Lac du Bonnet on the C.P.R. train to Molson and arrived there at 8:30 AM.  They met at the restaurant and had their breakfast.

After finishing breakfast at 9:30 AM, they walked on the Lac du Bonnet Winnipeg Railway track going west from Molson.  When they reached the Molson mile post west of Molson, they started walking north into the bush in the direction of the Eppinger homestead.

Sergeant Nicholson was wearing: his RCMP issued shirt with chest pockets; buffalo coat over the shirt, breeches, sam brown belt and a holster containing his unloaded Colt 45 caliber revolver which had been issued to him in 1921.  One of his personal items on his possession was his pocket watch which contained on the inside cover a photograph of his wife – Maggie.

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Richard Nicholson's pocket watch

His “Writ of Assistance” was in his jacket pocket.  According to Constable Watson, Sergeant Nicholson was not known to be pulling out his revolver when conducting still seizure operations.

As they trekked through the bush in the direction of the Eppinger homestead, they noticed dark smoke coming from a heavily bushed area 1.5 miles from the homestead.

Sergeant Nicholson and Constable Watson decided to separate and approach the smoke from two different directions.  It was Sergeant Nicholson who first came upon the still operation and Constable Watson arrived seconds later.

It was at this time that Sergeant Nicholson noticed that Eppinger had a rifle (35 Remington rifle with soft point ammunition) leaning up against a tree.  Apparently, Sergeant Nicholson was frantically trying to retrieve something from his jacket pockets.  With Eppinger being surprised by Sergeant Nicholson, he ran towards his rifle which Sergeant Nicholson did as well.

According to Constable Watson, Nicholson grabbed the rifle first and used the butt of the rifle to hit Eppinger once in the shoulder then on the back of the head.  Both men next wrestled for possession and control of the rifle.  During the struggle the rifle was discharged and Sergeant Nicholson fell back on the snow and Eppinger ran into the bush.

Constable Watson was in the immediate pursuit of Eppinger when Sergeant Nicholson called out to Watson – “come back I’ve been shot.”[9]  Constable Watson discovered that Nicholson was bleeding quite badly and took off his shirt to form a tourniquet and working in his undershirt, through the temperature was more than 20 degrees below zero.

Watson convinced Eppinger’s wife to go back to their farm to hitch up a team of horse so they could transport Nicholson to their farm house.  They were successful in  transporting him to back to the farm house and he was moved into the livingroom.

Watson next dispatched a neighbour’s son to Molson where the nearest telephone was situated.  From there, the boy telephoned Dr. I.S. Dubnov who attended the Eppinger farm at 12:30 PM.

According to Dr. Dubnov’s statement “I found Sergeant Nicholson in a very critical condition, he was suffering from shock from the effect of hemorrhage caused by a wound in the front of the right thigh, about a foot long and about six or seven inches wide and there was a small wound at the back of his right knee.”[10]

With Dr. Dubnov now caring for Sergeant Nicholson, Watson walked to Molson to locate a telephone to contact his Manitoba Provincial Police headquarters at 3:30 PM.  The Commissioner of the Manitoba Provincial Police then contacted Supt. A.B. Allaird (Officer Commanding Manitoba District) and dispatched Manitoba Provincial Police members to form a search party to locate William Eppinger. At the time, Eppinger was considered dangerous and possibly armed.   Some newspapers reported at the time that the provincial police were seen patrolling and conducting searches with machine guns.

The doctor cared for and monitored the condition of Nicholson.  At 4:00 PM, Nicholson’s pulse was weak but he seemed to gain some strength and Dr. Dubnov was preparing plans to transport Nicholson to the nearest hospital.  However, Nicholson’s condition suddenly worsened and died at approximately 4:30 PM.

William Eppinger was located and arrested on January 1, 1928 by members of the Manitoba Provincial Police.  Eppinger was charged with the murder of Sergeant Richard Henry Nicholson.  The Judge and Jury trial took place in Winnipeg.  As outlined in the trial, the liquor produced by William Eppinger was analyzed and was found to contain 58.14% of proof spirits. After hearing all of the evidence, the Jury felt that the circumstances didn’t warrant a murder conviction but a manslaughter conviction was more appropriate.  On March 14, 1929, William Eppinger was sentenced to serve five years in the Manitoba Penitentiary.

Upon receiving notice of the death of her husband, Mrs. Maggie Nicholson and her children were devastated.  She arranged for them to travel to Regina to stay with her sister Rachel  Howe (Jones) who was the Nurse at the “Depot” Division Post Hospital.  Mrs. Nicholson requested that her husband be buried at the “Depot” Division cemetery.

On January 4, 1929, Sergeant Nicholson received a full military funeral service at the “Depot” Division Chapel and was laid to rest at the “Depot” Division cemetery.  Alice Nicholson was so devastated from her father’s death that she was unable to attend his funeral service.

On the following day, Assistant Commissioner George Worsley visited Mrs. Nicholson and outlined to the Commissioner “The whole affair and the fact of there having been so many deaths in the Jones family (Rachel’s husband Constable Bill Howe was killed at Punnichy in 1924, Rachel and Maggie’s brother – S/Sgt. John ‘Taffy’ Jones died on Sept. 1927) of late makes the present case all the worse.  The widow is deserving of all sympathy and anything that can be done to ameliorate her lot.”[11]

Despite the ongoing financial problems facing the Nicholson, Mrs. Maggie Nicholson was contacted by the Force after her husband’s death and asked for her to pay for her husband’s uniform kit.

Maggie Nicholson passed away approximately 50 years after the death of her husband.  Upon her death, she was buried at the RCMP “Depot” cemetery beside her husband – Richard Henry Nicholson.

Photograph of RCMP Sergeant Richard Nicholson's grave marker

Sergeant Nicholson family connections continued after his death: nephew Reg. #10038 Trumpeter David JONES (served 1923 to 1926); nephew Reg.# 10139 Staff Sgt. John J. JONES (served 1925 to 1947); nephew Reg.# 10351 Constable Thomas JONES (served 1927 to 1948), and great grandson Reg. #40054 Constable William R. MARLOW.

TRIBUTES PAID TO SERGEANT RICHARD NICHOLSON

Being a member killed in the line of duty, Sergeant Richard Nicholson received the following honours:

    • The “Depot” Division Sports field was named the “Nicholson Field;”
    • Name has been entered in the Book On Honour which is located and maintained in the RCMP Chapel at “Depot” Division along with the names of all other members killed in the line of duty.
    • Name was entered on the “Depot” Cenotaph;

Photograph of the RCMP "Depot" Cenotaph

 

    • Name is included in the book entitled “In The Line Of Duty: The Honour Roll of the RCMP Since 1873” by Robert Knuckle;
    • Main through street at “N” Division in Ottawa was named “Nicholson Drive;”
    • In 2002, a memorial plaque was placed in front of the RCMP Lac du Bonnet Detachment.  Noted plaque states: “ In memory of Sgt. R.H. Nicholson, #5611  Killed while conducting a search for illicit liquor, on December 31st, 1928.  At Molson, Manitoba Dedicated by the Lac Du Bonnet Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee and The “D” Division RCMP Slain Peace Officer fund.”

 Photograph a memorial plaque in Manitoba for RCMP Sergeant Richard Nicholson

 

    • His name appears on panel 13 at the Canadian Police And Peace Officer’s Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa; and

National Police & Peace Officer Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa

    • Name has been added to the black marble memorial block at the RCMP National Memorial Cemetery (Beechwood) in Ottawa.

Photograph of the RCMP Memorial at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa

Under the initiative of Inspector Robert Akin (RCMP  stationed at the Ontario Subdivision),  the Commissioner approved the issuing of RCMP Memorial Medals to the family members of Sgt. Nicholson.

Photograph of the RCMP Memorial Medal

In 2012, the four medals were presented to:

  • Wendy Sutton (eldest grandchild of Sgt. Nicholson and daughter of Bill Nicholson) presented in North York Ontario;
  •  Richard Marlow (son of Alice Marlow and eldest grandchild of Richard Nicholson) of Edmonton, Alberta in September 2011;
  • Donald Marlow (is the grandson of Alice Marlow) of Edmonton, Alberta; and
  • Kendall De Menech (previously married to Corporal Murray De Menech – Reg.#26852) of Abbotsford, British Columbia.

William Marlow (is the grandson of Alice Marlow) is currently serving in the Force (Reg. #40054) and proudly continues the family tradition of public service.


[1] RNWMP Personal File on Corporal Richard Nicholson.

[2] “Report of the Royal North West Mounted Police for the Year Ended September 30, 1918” – Printed by the Order of the Canadian Parliament – page 9.

[3] “Report of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police for the Year Ended September 30, 1919.” – Printed by the Order of the Canadian Parliament – page 19.

[4] RCMP Personnel File for Sergeant Richard Henry Nicholson.

[5] RCMP Personnel File for Sergeant Richard Henry Nicholson.

[6] RCMP Personnel File for Sergeant Richard Henry Nicholson.

[7] John Jones,”Memories Of Depot Division: RNWMP & RCMP: 1913 – 1926” article which appeared in the Scarlet & Gold magazine’s 60th Edition (1978) – pages 49 – 50.

[8] RCMP Personnel File for Sergeant Richard Henry Nicholson.

[9] Provincial Police Court transcript of Deposition of The King vs William Eppinger murder trial in Winnipeg from March 12th to 14th, 1929 at Winnipeg Manitoba.

[10] Provincial Police Court transcript of Deposition of The King vs William Eppinger murder trial in Winnipeg from March 12th to 14th, 1929 at Winnipeg Manitoba.

[11] RCMP Personnel File on Sergeant Richard Nicholson.

Photo - Sheldon Boles author of article block

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