On May 10, 1937, an RCMP Honour guard consisting of three NCO's and seventeen other ranks was assembled and in the presence of his friends, family and comrades from the Mounted Police Veterans Association, James Moore was presented with the North West Medal for his service during the North West Rebellion over 50 years earlier. Moore was reported at the time to be the only member of the force to have served in every engagement of the conflict.
Moore came to Canada from Ireland and joined the NWMP in 1885 at the outbreak of the Rebellion. Later hee was transferred to Fort Macleod where he met and married Kathleen McCallum, a member of a prominent pioneer family. Newspapers reported that Kathleen was the first non native woman to marry a member of the NWMP at Fort Macleod. Although it is not marked, Kathleen was buried with James in the Mountie plot. A lot of wives are buried with their Mountie husbands, some are marked as such, some are not.
Moore left the force in 1898 and ranched in the Macleod area for nearly 14 years. At the outbreak of WW1, Moore and two of his sons served overseas, Moore with the Canadian Mounted Rifles. All three returned from the war without a scratch and continued their ranching where they had left off.
Moore explained that the long delay between the North West Rebellion and his receipt of the medal were due to the fact that he had not left a forwarding address following his discharge and had simply not bothered applying for the medal. He did so at the urging of his comrades in the Veteran's Association.
The history of the North West Medal is, in itself, an interesting one. The Medal was originally only to be awarded to members of the Militia and regular armed forces who fought in the Rebellion but was extended to include the North West Mounted Police at the insistence of the officers, men and headquarters. The medal was then only to go to those Policemen who were under fire during the campaign. The Mounted Police then argued that their members in the south had been instrumental in preventing hostilities from spreading to the Blackfoot Nations, and thus should also be entitled to the medal. Eventually, two medals were issued, The North West Medal and the North West Medal with Saskatchewan Clasp, the latter having a separate bar inscribed with the word, "Saskatchewan" which was presented to the men who were under fire. While all this was being sorted out, a lot of men left the force and many did not receive their medals until the early 1900's.
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