George Gamsby



Another of the original Mounties who helped establish Ft. Macleod, George Gamsby helped cut lumber for both the Macleod and Calgary NWMP barracks. Gamsby also served at Wood Mountain during the time Sitting Bull was in Canada.

Gamsby left the Mounties in 1881 and ran freight from Fort Benton by mule train until his business was cut short when his mules were stolen. He then worked with his father as a surveyor for the CPR in the mountains.

He fought with the Lord Strathcona's Horse in the Boer War under Major Sam Steele and Robert Belcher. The hardships George faced in the Boer War started before he even reached South Africa. During the journey 167 of the 500 horses had to be destroyed and dumped overboard. George was always a great lover of horses and this saddened him greatly. Subsequent to this disaster, just before reaching it's destination, there was an outbreak of smallpox on board the ship. Fortunately, George managed to escape infection. He always said that he only survived the South African conflict because of the training he had received in the Mounties.

He returned to Priddis after the war where he made a living hunting coyotes with his pack of dogs. He was also rumoured to run a moonshine still out of his bachelor's cabin; an activity which, if true, is a far cry from his original mission of tracking down whiskey traders.

Gamsby took sick in the fall of 1938. His neighbours, concerned for his well being, tried to physically drag him from his home, but he refused to budge. Finally, one of the local Mounties was called and talked to George, Policeman to Policeman. George finally agreed to go to the hospital but was still not happy about the situation. He seemed to recover, but his health failed again and he died in October.

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