Ottawa – Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members dressed in Red Serge are standing sentry at Canada’s National War Memorial July 5 to mark the anniversary of the date Sergeant Arthur Richardson, a member of the North-West Mounted Police, earned the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the South African War while serving with Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians).
“It is an honour for the RCMP to be asked once again to stand sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” says C/Supt. Marty Chesser, Commanding Officer National Headquarters. “It is particularly special to the Force because of the anniversary date and the opportunity it affords to highlight Sergeant Richardson’s Victoria Cross.”
Arthur Richardson became a member of the North-West Mounted Police when he came to Canada from England in 1894. He was given leave from the police to enlist in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) when the South African War began in 1899.
Sergeant Richardson earned the Victoria Cross on July 5, 1900, fighting at Wolve Spruit, South Africa, when he spotted a wounded Canadian trooper whose horse had been shot. Sergeant Richardson rode through heavy crossfire to rescue him. He returned to the Mounted Police after the war and eventually reached the rank of sergeant-major. He was discharged from the Force in 1907 due to poor health.
“The RCMP has a long standing relationship with the Department of National Defence that the Force cherishes,” says C/Supt. Chesser. “We have proudly served together and once again have the honour of standing sentry at the tomb of a soldier who could be from any of the Forces,” he adds.
For over a decade the RCMP has been involved with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Ceremonial Guard in the performance of various public duties in Ottawa, including standing sentry at the National War Memorial, Fortissimo and RCMP Sunset Ceremonies.