Francis Walter Davies left his home in London, England at the age of 14 and came to Canada. His parents didn't want him to leave home but would not stand in the way of his adventure.
After joining the force, he wrote home of his assignment in Brooks, Alberta " Brooks is a pretty tough place. At present I am engaged in teaching law and order to would be wild and woolly Yankees. I find it rather exciting at times, but I always take my man."
On June 12, 1912, Constable Davies was patrolling the town, joking and talking to the locals, when a boy who had been employed as a teamster approached him in great distress. The boy had been travelling to Brooks that morning and had been given a ride by two men and a woman in a buggy. The three were quite drunk and asked if the boy would buy them more whiskey when they got to town. When the boy said that he couldn't because he was not of age, the trio threw him from the buggy, keeping his clothes. They then shot at the boy as he ran for cover.
After getting a description from the boy, Davies set out on horseback after the trio. His body was found later in the day by a local homesteader who was returning from town with a load of feed. Davies' horse, revolver, hat and chaps were missing.
When a young man named Jim Ham returned to his home on the Blackfoot reservation, he began bragging about how he had just shot a Mountie. He was wearing Davies' chaps and revolver and was splotched with blood. He then proceeded to start shooting randomly around the settlement. The story has it that one of the elders of the band snuck up behind Ham, lassoed him and tied him up with his two companions. The police were sent for and the trio arrested.
Because Ham was extremely drunk at the time, he was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment. His two companions testified against him. The man who had sold Ham the whiskey was charged and sent to prison for six months.
Upon being notified of his death, Constable Davies' parents wrote an impassioned letter to Commissioner Perry requesting that there be an inscription on his grave indicating he was killed in the performance of his duty.
When researching stories like this, I find it interesting to look at what else is of mention in the newspapers of the day. The murder of Constable Davies and the subsequent inquest drew considerably more interest in the Calgary papers than the inquest into another historical incident; the sinking of the Titanic.
Also of interest in this case is Davies' dog who accompanied him on his patrol and stayed with his body until it was found. The dog was previously owned by man named Jack Fisk who was convicted of the murder of one Tucker Peach and hung at Calgary in 1911. It is said that the dog was also with Fisk when he murdered peachand that he accompanied Fisk to the scaffold.
Following Fisks execution, the dog came under the care of the Mounted Police and became particularly attached to Davies. The Mounties (in typical Mountie Humour) renamed the Dog "Fisk". Following Davies' death, Fisk (the dog) came under the care of another Mountie, Cpl. Watts and was with Watts when he was involved in a serious gun battle. Watts got out of this situation alive, however, and when he retired asked to have Fisk (the dog) sent to him in Vancouver. The dog was hit by a car before he could join Watts. Interstingly enough, Davies, Fisk and Tucker Peach are all buried in Union Cemetery
was well thought of throughout southern Alberta: not only in the
town of Brooks, but in every town in which he served. Another
monument commemorating Frank Davies which was erected in St. Andrews
cemetery near the town of Cochrane: paid for through a subscription
taken out amongst the townspeople. Davies served in Cochrane early
in 1912 and, in February of that year, became one of the founding
members of the Oddfellows lodge in that area. The Oddfellows are
a benevolent organization who take as one of their duties the
burial of deceased members. Even though the RNWMP had the arrangements
for Davies well in hand, the Cochrane Oddfellows wished to commemorate
their fallen brother and did so through the monument pictured
at left. On the South Side of the monument is inscribed the words,
"To the memory of Francis Walter Davies, Son of Walter Davies
of London England."
Davies still has family who live in England and visit his grave when they come to Canada.
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