A fallen Alberta police officer who died more than 100 years ago is being remembered with a regimental headstone.
Cpl. Maxwell George Bailey was 28 years old when he died on the job on April 23, 1913.
Bailey and two other officers had been trying to arrest a suspect approximately 40 kilometres outside of Edmonton when the man opened fire on them. The two other officers were injured but Bailey was killed.
While there was a regimental funeral for Bailey, who was originally from England, he did not have a headstone at the Edmonton Cemetery where he was laid to rest.
Sgt. Maj. Joe Collinson with the RCMP Edmonton Veterans’ Association said he has been aware of Bailey’s story for many years.
Collinson said Bailey was the 39th RCMP officer in the country who was killed in the line of duty.
“A headstone is one way of honouring it,” he said on Wednesday. “There wasn’t one. We obtained one. That’s why it’s important.”
The association brought the lack of a headstone to the attention of the RCMP, who then purchased it. The headstone was unveiled Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s a very special today, 105 years later, to be able to install this headstone and be able to unveil it today,” said Sgt. Maj. Kevin McGillivray with the RCMP K Division.
McGillivray said the man who killed Bailey managed to evade police twice before turning himself in. He was convicted of Bailey’s death and is believed to have served a life sentence.
Alberta RCMP Assistant Commissioner Stephanie Sachsse said symbols, such as the headstone, matter.
“The headstone just brings to the forefront, in terms of the memories of our employees, whether they were lost yesterday or 100 years ago, we just want to recognize their service,” she said.
“We are a product of our history, our environment. We must remember our past to be able to move forward with the future.”
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