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From policing and prospecting in the Yukon to coordinating aerial surveillance patrols against rum-runners in the Gaspé, the story of Stallworthy’s life was rarely uneventful.
About this book
This is the biography of an exceptional Canadian who as a member of the RCMP, played a crucial role in asserting Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic. Having emigrated to Canada from England in 1913 Harry Stallworthy joined the Force in 1914 and until 1921 served at various detachments in the Yukon, except for the period 1918-19 when he participated in the RNWMP's Cavalry Detachment as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the final bloody months of World War I in Flanders. After serving for two years at Chesterfield Inlet (west shore of Hudson Bay) he was posted to Edmonton, and while there contracted influenza which developed into pneumonia and very nearly killed him. After two years in Jasper (where he met his future wife, Hilda Austin, the school principal), for two years he served at the new RCMP post at Stony Rapids in Northern Saskatchewan. In 1930 he went north for a two-year posting at Bache Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, one of the three posts established to assert Canadian sovereignty in the uninhabited High Arctic. While there, in 1932 he mounted one of the longest and most dangerous sledge patrols in the history of the Force, in search of the missing German geologist, Hans Krueger. In 1933 the resupply ship was unable to reach Bache Peninsula due to ice conditions, and hence the two-year posting stretched to three years. On Stallworthy's return south in the fall of 1933, he and Hilda got married – after an almost complete separation of five years! In the light of his experience on Ellesmere Island Harry was next seconded to the Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition, organized by Eddie Shackleton, son of Sir Ernest Shackleton, for 1934-35. During this operation Harry sledged to Lake Hazen, Ellesmere Island, the farthest north point ever reached by an RCMP officer on sledge patrol. Thereafter Harry served at various posts in southern Canada, with the exception of a few years at Fort Smith during World War II. He retired in 1946, after which he and Hilda built and ran a small tourist resort, Timberlane, near Campbell River on Vancouver Island. In 1954 Harry came out of retirement briefly, to assume the position of head of security on the eastern half of the DEW Line. He was presented with the Order of Canada by Queen Elizabeth in 1973 and died at his home in Comox, B.C. on Christmas Day, 1976.