Three MPs photographed by Sheldon Boles

 

 

 

The achievements and contributions of the Force have been built upon the individual contributions of many past Veterans. These contributions have largely been forgotten.

 

 

 

 

Veteran Sgt. Larry Burden ( #35982) served in “E” Division for 20 years has spent over ten years researching and summarizing these achievements by specific date. Nearly every day, Larry sends out an email message with a selection from his work in progress manuscript “This Day In The RCMP” to individuals interested in these historical notes.

In an effort to share his research to a large group, Larry has agreed to permit us to develop a webpage on our website. Each webpage will post Larry’s historical notations over the past week.

If you wish to contact Larry Burden or provide additional information about his research, please email him at .

May 23

1873 – The “Enabling Bill” is given Royal assent to provide for the formation of a mounted police force of 300 men for the North-West Territories. The original name was intended to be the “North-West Mounted Rifles”, but the reaction of the U.S. to the prospect of an armed force patrolling the Canadian-American border prompted Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald to scratch out the name “the Mounted Rifles” and inserted “Mounted Police”.

1882 – Honour Roll #221

Photograph of NWMP Constable George Hamilton Johnston (Reg.#221).

It took 125 years for 21 – year old Constable #345 George Hamilton Johnston to be added to the RCMP Honour Roll after he was killed at Fort Walsh Alberta by an accidental discharge from a rifle. He lays buried in the Fort Walsh Historic Graveyard.

 Originally a farmer, Johnston joined the Northwest Mounted Police on June 9th 1879 until his untimely death. On September 13th 2009 a special ceremony was held in the Chapel at the RCMP Training Academy “Depot” to add the names of members, special constables and auxiliary constables who lost their lives in response to an operational policing duty and had whose deaths had previously been overlooked to the official Honour Roll.

1885 – Chief Poundmaker (Pitikwahanapiwiyin), 1826-1886 upon hearing of Louis Riel’s defeat marches to Fort Pitt Saskatchewan and surrenders with his Cree warriors and 150 Metis ending the North West Rebellion. He is later convicted in court and sentenced to three years in the Stony Mountain Penitentiary. He was released after serving only seven months of his sentence but he died a few months later at the age of 44.

1914 – In an attempt to circumvent Canada’s exclusion laws that effectively prohibited non-white immigration from India wealthy fisherman Gurdit Singh chartered the ship “Komagata Maru” and sold passage to 396 mostly Sikh immigrants. The immigration laws in many parts of the British Empire were designed to restrict the flow of Asian immigration and Canada was no exception. Canada had already enacted several laws that limited the civil rights of Native Indians, such as the right to vote, hold public office, serve on juries, or practice as pharmacists, lawyers, and accountants. When the C anadian govenrment decided to restrict immigtion from India they enacted policy that required immigrants to travel on a “continuous journey” from their country of birth and carry a minimum of 0 cash. On face value the policy appeared to be equatble to all immigrants but what was not known was that the government had designed the policy to prevent immigration from India. To ensure that the policy worked the government of the day applied pressure to Canadian Pacific to cease their lucrative shipping route between Calcutta India and Vancouver thereby making it impossible to travel from India to Canada via a continuous journey.

When the Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver the ship was refused permission to dock and it dropped anchor in English Bay. Then Premier of British Columbia, Richard McBride publically stated that the passengers would not be allowed to disembark. The local Indo-Canadian community then challenged the matter in court and on July 7th the Supreme Court ruled that under new Orders-In-Council, the court had no authority to interfere with the decisions of the Department of Immigration. The court ruling led to the Captain of the ship being relieved by the angry passengers and the government dispatching a tug and a Navy destroyer to push the ship out to sea. On July 23 the Komagata Maru returned to Aisa.

Partly because of the events surrounding this dark period in Canadian history, the immigration laws were eventually changed and Canada has since become a place of welcome for immigrants from all over the world. The same holds true for the RCMP. In the last 30 years the face of the Force has changed to reflect the cultural diversity of the nation and Sikh’s along with every other religious and ethnic backgrounds  play an important role in the membership of the RCMP.

1940 – Honour Roll Number 66.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the name of Constable Harry Rapeer (Reg.#10655) highlighted in red. (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

#10655 Constable Harry G. Rapeer age 42 was killed accidentally, while attempting to stop a runaway team of horses, at Regina, Sask.

Rapeer was posted to Depot Division in Regina as a teamster and had driven a wagon with load of garbage to incinerator. While he was unloading the rubbish, the wind blew some paper into the air that in turn spooked the team of horses. Constable Rapeer got of the wagon and went to the head of the team in an attempt to try and calm the horses and get control of them. As he was grabbing at their bridles one of the horses suddenly bolted knocking him to the ground and then the two horses and the wagon rode over him crushing his head. He was rushed to the hospital but he died a few hours later.

His funeral was conducted in the RCMP Chapel and he lays buried in the RCMP Cemetery at Depot.

1973 – At 11:21 am “VE 3 RCMP” amateur “ham” radio goes on the air as part of the RCMP’s 100th anniversary celebrations. The first transmission was made by the Governor General Roland Mitchner who extended greetings to “CI 1 PEI” the Province of Prince Edward Island on the celebration of the Provinces centennial in Confederation.

Throughout the year thousands of amateur radio buffs made contact from countries from all over the world. All those who made contact were sent a “QSL” card designed by Staff Sergeant Paul Cederburg confirming the contact with the RCMP ham station. S/Sgt. Cederburg is also credited with designing the 25-cent and silver dollar coins released by the Royal Canadian Mint in honour of the RCMP centennial.

1996 – Constables #39582 Philip Leslie Carver and #45149 Jason Charles Martin were awarded the Medal of Bravery after they risked their lives saving a woman who tried to jump from a hydro dam.

The constables responded to a complaint of a suicidal woman who was hanging on the outside railing of the hydro dam bridge in Pine Falls, Manitoba.

When they arrive they found the intoxicated woman was standing on a narrow metal grate ledge and as they approached her, she let go and began to fall towards the churning waters, 23 metres below. Acting quickly Cst. Carver thrust himself over the railing and succeeded in grabbing her by her belt loop. At the same time Cst. Martin lunged at her and managed to grab hold of the woman and the policemen pulled her back against the railing. For nearly ten minutes, the two men struggled with the combative woman before they were able to pull her over the chest high railing and subdue her.

2003– A statue dedicated to the RCMP is unveiled at the Lloydminster City Hall to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the City and 130th of the RCMP. The statue named “HOPE” depicting a Mountie kneeling with his had on the back of a child and his injured dog rests on brown granite base 52” high that is emblazoned with the word HOPE over the Canadian flag. The community project was spearheaded by retired Sergeant # 20929 Glenn MacGregor Joseph Wood and designed and built by Wainright Alberta artist Rudi Schmidt.

May 24

1875 – On this day the men of the NWMP post at Swan River Manitoba, held a snake-killing contest. By the end of the day 1100 snakes had been destroyed.

1878 - Photograph of the NWMP band at Fort Walsh. Members in the photograph are (left to right): Boyld, Sinclair, Davis, S/M Lake, Pringle, Workman, Sgt. McDonell, O'Keff, Brown and Cpl. Parks. (Source of photo - RCMP Historical Collections Unit - "Depot" Division).

1878 – Photograph of the NWMP band at Fort Walsh. Members in the photograph are (left to right): Boyld, Sinclair, Davis, S/M Lake, Pringle, Workman, Sgt. McDonell, O’Keff, Brown and Cpl. Parks. (Source of photo – RCMP Historical Collections Unit – “Depot” Division).

1876 – The first band of the North West Mounted Police was formed at Swan River, Manitoba. Their instruments were paid for by the 20 members themselves after the government refused the Commissioners request to pay for the instruments and shipped from Winnipeg by dog-team. The band’s debut on Queen Victoria’s birthday was conducted by Sergeant-Major Thomas Horatio Lake. Seven additional RCMP bands existed in various locations during the first 30 years of the force’s history.

1974 – A celebration was held in the northern settlement of Aklavik, N.W.T because the State of Alaska had settled several land claims with many individual Eskimo’s throughout the north, including some of the residents of Aklavik. A large quantity of liquor was flown into the normally “dry” community from Inuvik, 70 miles away and residents of all ages partied until all of the liquor had been consumed.

Around 10:30 pm after drinking heavily with Charles Bell Koe age16 and two other friends, 16-year-old Eugene Lawrence Thrasher left his buddies and went over to the local Hudson’s Bay Company store. There he proceeded to smash out a window of the store and steal a 30-30 rifle and ammunition.

The manager of the Hudson’s Bay store and his wife heard the commotion and looked out their widow and saw Thrasher walking by their house carrying the rifle and go into the rear of the Roman Catholic Mission House. Shortly thereafter they heard a single shot and observed the gunman leave the Mission and head towards the bush. They immediately call the police and reported what they had seen.

Constable #26992 Charles (Chuck) Fenwick Bunting rushed to the scene and saw a man walking along the riverbank. When he went inside the Mission he discovered that the resident priest Father Jean Franche had been shot in the stomach and learned that the priest had thrown Thrasher out of the Mission. As a result the gunman had fired a shot through the door after the Priest had closed it on him. While Sister Anna Marie Broduer phoned the Nurses station, Constable Bunting placed his coat over the wounded Priest to keep him warm and then rushed after the assailant.

Cst. Bunting quickly caught up to Thrasher as he was nearing the last house in the settlement, occupied by Mr. Joseph Frank Rivet. As Bunting shouted to the gunman to halt, the assailant stopped, turned and then pointed his rifle at the Constable who quickly ducked behind cover. As the youth ran from the scene Bunting fired several warning shots in an attempt to get the gunman to stop. Hearing the shots Frank Rivet came out of his house and yelled, “What the hell is going on?” The Constable quickly explained what had happened and instructed Rivet to get his rifle and assist him.

Losing sight of the suspect Constable Bunting cautiously proceeded on well aware of the danger he was in. As he walked past a cash of fuel barrels, Bunting spotted the gunman lying in the grass trying to take aim at him. Bunting shouted to him and ordered stand up and place his hands over his head but instead the youth stood up and pointed his rifle at the policeman. Realizing that Frank Rivet was coming up behind him, Constable Bunting moved to the left in a semi-circle away from Rivet and fully exposing himself to the gunman.

Having no available cover, he then dove to the ground giving his attacker a smaller target to shoot at. As Bunting was reloading his revolver Thrasher fired hitting the constable in the left arm. Though he was seriously wounded Constable Bunting took aim at his assailant and fire five shots and yelled to Rivet to shoot as well. Taking aim, Frank Rivet fired a single shot and the gunman went down.

Before getting up Chuck Bunting removed his belt and fastened a makeshift tourniquet around his wounded arm and cautioned Rivet to ensure that gunman could no longer fire his rifle. When they approached Thrasher they discovered that though he had been hit twice in the chest he was still alive.

All three wounded men were taken to the local nursing station and stabilized. Concerned that there could be more trouble, Constable Bunting instructed the staff to not let anyone enter the Nursing station.

When the shooting started Constable Buntings wife Brenda, called the Detachment in Inuvik, and within an hour and a half nine more policemen were flown to the scene. As the three wounded men were about to be loaded onto two aircraft another crisis ensued.

When Thrasher’s friend Charlie Koe, heard that his friend had been shot he went to the Nursing Station and demanded to see him. When he was refused entry, Koe angrily returned to his house and grabbed his rifle and began firing from his front steps.

A standoff occurred with the additional reinforcements and in the course of events Charlie Koe was shot and killed.
All three patients arrived at the hospital in Inuvik but both Father Franche and Lawrence Thrasher died on the operating table. Constable Bunting survived and eventually returned to work. At a later date both he and Mr. Joseph Frank Rivet were awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Bravery and Commanding Officers Commendations were issued to Corporals Bertrand M. Charlebois and Gordon F. Poth and Constable #26991 Glen H. Brooks for their role in the standoff with Koe.

1980 – Honour Roll Number 164.

Photograph of Constable Kawasaki

Photograph of Constable Roy John Kawasaki (Reg.#26522).

#26522 Constable Roy John William Karwaski age 33 died from internal injuries he received in a police car accident, at Prince Albert, Sask.

Constable #35406 Wayne Johnston, Corporal #23477 B.A. Prawszik and #26522 Constable Karwaski were responding to a assistance call from Waskesiu Lake Detachment near Prince Albert Saskatchewan. The men were traveling at high speed in an unmarked police car with grill lights flashing and were being followed close behind by a second police car.

As they sped along Highway #2 in the early morning traffic Cst. Johnson attempted to pass a vehicle when a car driven by an impaired driver driving on a side road ran through a stop sign and drove across road in front of them. Unable to brake the police car slammed into the drunk drivers vehicle. The driver of the car and one of her passengers were killed on impact and the other passenger was badly injured.

Cst. Johnson and Cpl. Prawdzik were seriously injured but Cst. Karwaski who was sitting in the back seat and was wearing his seat belt was mortally injured. By the shotgun he had at his side. The force of the impact wedged the butt of the shotgun into the floor and the tip of the barrel was driven deep into his abdomen rupturing several internal organs fatally injuring him. He was rushed to the hospital in Prince Albert but died an hour later.

Roy Karwaski joined the RCMP in 1968 and he and his wife Colleen had three young children. In 1969 he was the recipient of a Commanding Officers Commendations for bravery. (See November 22, 1969) His body was returned to Britt Ontario where he was buried at the Holy Family Cemetery.

In honour of his life and service to the RCMP a street at in Depot Division in Regina was named Karwaski Drive.

1991 – #35348 / O.2329 Constable D.A. Bogle was awarded a Commissioners Commendation for Outstanding service. The award was in recognition of his perseverance and ingenuity in investigating a 1988 murder that occurred in Newfoundland.

May 25

1882 – Honour Roll Number 5.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division in Regina with the name of Constable Wahl highlighted in red (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division in Regina with the name of Constable Wahl highlighted in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles)

Very little in known about #957 (temporary regimental number) Constable Adam Wahl who drowned in the Missouri River, USA. He was traveling with several other new recruits from Fort Toronto to Fort Walsh, N.W.T. He had joined the NWMP on April 17, 1882.

1935 – The RCMP gets its first official police dog; a German Shepard named Black Lux. His handler is #10947 Constable William Henry Billington. Black Lux was the son of the famous RCMP police dog a “Dale”

1939 - Photograph of the Royal Visit to Canada with a RCMP motorcycle escort at the top of the photo (Source of photo - Ric Hall's Photo Collection).

1939 – Photograph of the Royal Visit to Canada with a RCMP motorcycle escort at the top of the photo (Source of photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

1939 – Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit Depot in Regina.

1965 –A Rossland, BC man who had struggled with being an alcoholic for some time and had even gone to Alcoholics Anonymous for help got drunk again and became violent with his wife. When his AA sponsor came over to the house to help, the man grabbed a double barrel shotgun and after throwing everyone out, barricaded himself in the house.

When the local police couldn’t convince him to surrender the officer in charge called police dog handler #20360 Constable Robert Marshall Stephens and his dog “Cindy” to scene. After repeated orders for the man to surrender failed, Cst. Stephens was ordered to send his dog up a flight of stairs to attack the gunman. Reluctantly Stephens complied and Cindy rushed up the stairs and was shot in the chest with a blast from both barrels at close range. Constable Stephens then rushed to his partners aid and firing his .38 caliber service revolver, he put five bullets into the assailant. The gunman survived and was taken into custody but Cindy lingered for ten minutes before dying in the arms of her handler.

Cst. Stephens was awarded the Commanding Officers Commendation for Bravery and was later summoned to Ottawa to explain to the Commissioner of the RCMP what had happened and why his dog was needlessly sacrificed. After he advised Commissioner McClellan, that he was ordered to send the dog in and as a constable he was in no position to refuse an order from a superior officer, the Commissioner issued a new standing order, that stated that only the dog handler could decide what the dog would be used for. This common sense directive came too late to save Cindy, but it is still in place today and has saved many other police dogs since.

Cst. Stephens left the RCMP in 1967 after ten years of service, but both he and Cindy live on in the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, because a publicity photograph. Dressed in “Red Serge” with Cindy at his side the photograph was made into a popular picture post card and it has been in circulation for nearly 50 years!

1983 – # 23655 / O. 1284 Sergeant Raymond Charles Singbeil is presented the Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria.

2009 – RCMP Sergeant #44582 James Wesley McLaren of Gleichen was one of the 44 recipients of a Medal of Bravery from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Oct. 12.

On May 25, 2009 Sergeant McLaren risked his life to try and rescue a suicidal man in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. McLaren and his detachment responded to a call that an intoxicated man was threatening to jump into the ocean, only to arrive and find that the man had already jumped. McLaren then crawled to the edge of the ice and threw a rope to hook the man, who refused to reach for the help.

Unfortunately McLaren and his team were unable to save the victim, but they were able to keep the man’s girlfriend from jumping in after him, as he pulled the woman to safer ice and waited for search and rescue to arrive.

May 26

1950 – Honour Roll Number 86.

#5816 Constable Alexander Gamman age 58 was killed when he attempted to apprehend a bank robber in Montreal Quebec.

Photograph of Constable

Photograph of Constable Alexander Gamman (Reg.#5816) (Source of photo – “In The Line Of Duty” by Robert Knuckle).

On May 25th, 1950 Constable Alexander Gamman decided to go for a walk on his lunch break. The senior constable who had originally joined the RNWMP in 1914 and served until 1933 and re-engaged in 1940 was assigned to work as an unarmed guard at the Bank of Canada in Montreal. While, the 29-year veteran was strolling down Dorchester Street he saw the manager of the Bank of Toronto run out of the bank yelling that his bank had been robbed and pointed at a man who was running towards Gamman. When the bank manager hollered, “stop that man, he has a gun”, the gunman halted a few feet from the policeman turned and shot the manager in the leg.

Constable Gamman immediately lunged for the assailants arm and attempted to wrestle the gun from his hand. The six-foot, 200-pound gunman was half Gamman’s age, and managed to break free of the policeman’s grasp and then shot him three times in the chest at point blank range before fleeing through the crowd of stunned witnesses.

Constable Gamman was rushed to the hospital but died at eleven o’clock the following morning.

Constable Gamman was given a funeral in Montreal with full military honours and then his remains were transported to Calgary Alberta, where he was buried in the Union Cemetery. His murderer, Thomas Rossler was later captured and convicted for both the bank robbery and the murder of Constable Gamman and was hanged.

A year later King George VI posthumously awarded the Kings Police and Fire Medal to Gamman. The medal was accepted by his wife Ida and was inscribed “for conspicuously courageous action and in absolute disregard for his own personal safety.” This was the first time a member of the RCMP had been awarded the Kings Police Medal which a that time was the highest award for bravery a police officer could receive in the British Empire.

1937 – Honour Roll Number 61.

#12093 Constable William George Boorman age 26 was accidentally shot and killed, while hunting seals near Port Harrison, Quebec.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at the RCMP "Depot" Division with the name of Constable Boorman's name circled in red (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at the RCMP “Depot” Division with the name of Constable Boorman’s (Reg.#12093) name circled in red (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

Life in the Eastern Arctic was hard and to supplement their annual food rations members of the Force had to hunt local game. A hunting party consisting of Constable Boorman, S/Cst Sampson and four other Inuit were just retuning from a seal hunt in the vicinity of Elsie Island, about forty five miles north east of Port Harrison, Quebec. As Cst. Boorman placed his rifle in the boat it discharged and killed him instantly.

Originally from Winnipeg the body of William George Boorman could not be transported home to his parents due to the isolation. Local residents made a simple wooden coffin and he was laid to rest at Port Harrison by his detachment commander #10544 Lance Corporal T.A. Bolstad.

There is no longer a detachment at now Port Harrison now known as “Inoucdjouac”, where Cst. Boorman still lays surrounded by a white wooden picket fence.

1974 – The Saint John Ambulance Meritorious Certificate was awarded to #22547 Corporal George F. Francis for saving life of a Milestone, Saskatchewan man who had suffered a heart attack. Francis performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation on the man, reviving him.

May 27

1933 – Corporal #9702 Stanley George Gumm and Constables #9141 Alfred Guy Arthur and #9851 Frank Clarence Johnes are assigned to work as honour guards at the Canadian Exhibit at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The trio was on duty until October 31st. 1933, and welcomed over five million visitors to the exhibit.

1943 – Columbia Pictures releases “Law of the North West” The 57 minute movie’s tag line was “An Avalanche of Thrills” and starred Charles Starrett as RCMP Constable Steve King in the riveting tale of how our hero has to deal with a crooked contractor played by Douglas Leavitt and his gang who try to take control of a road construction project.

Law_of_Northwest
It seems the Americans are building a highway to Alaska and the Canadians decide to build a road that will connect their mine to the highway and enable them to transport their valuable tungsten from their mine to market. Our villain’s convinces the miners to put up their mining claims as security so they can finance the construction of the road.
He then delays construction in an effort to gain ownership of the mines for himself. It seems that his self-interests are more important than building a road to support the war effort.

1966 – #16041 Corporal Ian Russell Smith and Constables #21749 Wayne F. Popp and #23472 Robert E. Doige, attended to a complaint near100 Mile House BC, in which a man had shot at his wife. Upon arrival they found the man at the door of his house holding a 22. Caliber automatic rifle and yelling at the police to keep away. For nearly an hour Cpl. Smith attempted to reason with the gunman and then seeing an opportunity, he rushed the man knocking him backwards into the cabin, as his partners rushed in and retrieved weapon. Corporal Smith was awarded a Commissioners Commendation for Bravery.

1973 – A headstone commemorating two Northwest Mounted Policemen killed at the Battle of Duck Lake was held by members of the Prince Albert Subdivision at the St. Mary’s Cemetery near Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Three men; Constables #1003 Thomas James Gibson, #852 George Knox Garrett, and #1065 George Pearce Arnold (Honour Roll 6,7,8) were killed or fatally wounded at the battle during the Northwest Rebellion on March 26 1885. Neither Constable Gibson nor Arnold’s graves were supplied with gravestones by their families and went unmarked for over 88 years.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division in Regina with the three names of the NWMP members killed at Duck Lake (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

The Officer Commanding Prince Albert Sub Division, Superintendent 15422/O.576 Douglas J. Wright led the 22-member squad from Detachments in the area and Constable F.W. Wilson played the Last Post and Reveille at the gravesite, while members of the North Saskatchewan Regiment fired a 100 round volley.

May 28

1885 – On this day in 1885, #716 Constable Donald McRae was wounded during Northwest Rebellion at Frenchman’s Butte. As a result of his injuries he received a special “wound allowance” from the government until June of 1888. McRae joined the NWMP in 1882 and served until 1887 achieving the rank of Sergeant he died in 1928.

1897 – Honour Roll Numbers 22 and 23.

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at "Depot" Division with the names of Constables

Photograph of the RCMP Cenotaph at “Depot” Division with the names of Constables Charles Hockin and John Kerr (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

#3040 Constable John Randolph Kerr age 29 and #3106 Corporal Charles Horne Sterling Hockin age 37 were killed at Minichinas Hills near Duck Lake, N.W.T., while attempting to apprehend “Almighty Voice”, the murderer of Sgt. Colin Colebrook.

1977 – Friends and family helped retired Constable #2922 John Locke Jamieson celebrate his 100th birthday. Jamieson enlisted in the NWMP in 1877 at the age of sixteen. The recruiting officer looked him up and down and said “you’d be about 19, I figure.” Caught in the midst of the depression and with nowhere to go after spending the his mother had given him to make the train trip to Regina Saskatchewan from his home in Nova Scotia, Jamieson wisely kept his mouth shut. He patrolled 175 miles a week on horseback earning 50 cents a day at the beginning of his five-year career and 70 cents a day at the end. After leaving the NWMP he spent the next 44 years working for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

2001 – For over eight days the RCMP and concerned family members had been searching for Nineteen-year-old Joe Spring who went missing somewhere between Aldergrove and Quesnel BC. On this date RCMP helicopter pilot #36922 Constable Jodeen Cassidy and observer Corporal Al Ramey spotted a wrecked car that was hidden from highway view over an embankment 34 kms north of Williams Lake. She landed her helicopter on the highway and they climbed down to the wreckage and to their surprise and the relief of the family found that Spring was still alive. Had they not spotted the wreckage Spring would likely have not been found for some time and would certainly have perished.

Photograph of a RCMP Helicopter (Source of photo - Veteran Bill Sedler).

Photograph of a RCMP Helicopter (Source of photo – Veteran Bill Sedler).

On Friday, June 1, 2001 Member of Parliament (Cumberland—Colchester, PC) Mr. Bill Casey stood in the House of Commons and stated: “Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend RCMP Constable Jodeen Cassidy and Corporal Al Ramey for their successful efforts to locate a 19 year old accident victim who spent a horrible eight days trapped at the bottom of a deep ravine in a badly wrecked car.

Constable Cassidy piloted her RCMP helicopter on a determined and persistent mission until she located the crash. #37974 Corporal Ramey volunteered as a spotter and between the two of them, surely saved the life of Joe Spring.

These two RCMP officers went above and beyond the call of duty and we commend them wholeheartedly. We all wish young Joe Spring a speedy recovery and we again thank Constable Jodeen Cassidy and Corporal Ramey for their extraordinary efforts in this lifesaving rescue. “

On November 17, 2005 CTV and Shaftesbury Films announced that they had begun production on a dramatic movie entitled “Eight Days to Live”, based on Spring’s ordeal.

Photograph of Dennis Cyr as a recruit at RCMP “Depot” Division.

1985 – Sgt. Dennis Cyr was northbound on Highway 4, crossing a bridge at Sask Landing in the Kyle area, returning to Rosetown from Swift Current in an unmarked police vehicle.

Cyr was crossing the bridge in a line of vehicles that were allowed to cross by the Highways Department. A south bound runaway semi trailer unit struck the police car, resulting in his death.