Monument for First Edmonton Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

Constable Frank Beevers honoured on 100-year anniversary of his death

The first Edmonton police officer killed in the line of duty, Const. Frank Beevers, is being honoured with a monument after it was discovered his grave was left unmarked for nearly a century.

Const. Beevers was killed on Oct. 17, 1918, while attempting to arrest a fugitive wanted for the robbery and murder of a local businessman.

Three days later he was laid to rest with full police honours at Edmonton Cemetery, but for reasons unknown, a permanent marker was never installed.

“No one should be buried in an unmarked grave, especially after making the ultimate sacrifice protecting citizens,” says Police Chief Rod Knecht. “We may never truly understand the background to the missing headstone, but today we have the opportunity to ‘set in stone’ our appreciation for Constable Beevers selfless service.”

In 2016, local history enthusiast Sheila Thomas came upon the records of Frank Beevers, and later discovered he did not have a headstone on his grave.

Sheila approached the Edmonton Police Service with her findings, and there was overwhelming support to provide a monument for the fallen officer. Edmonton Granite Memorials graciously donated the headstone, which was installed in October 2018.

Frank Beevers was hired as a custodian by the Edmonton Police Department in 1915. Three years later he was promoted to the rank of constable. He was regarded as a conscientious and efficient officer with sterling character.

Much like police officers today, Const. Beevers swore an oath to serve and protect, and help make our city safe for all citizens. He demonstrated courage, integrity, and commitment to the community, which are the same values EPS officers aspire to a century later.

“Constable Beevers was an exceptional officer who gave his life for the people of this community,” says Mayor Don Iveson. “This headstone represents our enduring gratitude for his sacrifice and service, and is a testament to Edmontonians’ deep appreciation for the thousands of first responders who keep our city safe and healthy every day.”

Frank Beevers was born in Leeds, England, on Dec. 5, 1866. While working as a grocer, he married Maria Farrow, and the couple had one child who died at a young age. In 1911, Frank and Maria immigrated to Canada and farmed a plot of land near Lacombe, Alberta, before moving to Edmonton to work at a private school for boys. It is believed that Maria moved back to England after Frank died.

Graham Beevers, a distant relative of Const. Beevers, travelled from London, England, to participate in the dedication of the new monument on Oct. 11, 2018.

“Frank’s death in 1918 followed closely on the loss of other family members during the Great War, so it was a time of sadness and hardship,” says Graham Beevers. “We’re very touched by all of your efforts, and thankful for everything you’ve done for Const. Beevers, may he rest in peace. It’s clear that goodness and decency live on here.”

Source: Edmonton Police Service