In 1852, the Village of St. Thomas appointed its first Constables. Since then, one police officer has been killed in the line of duty.
On Monday, May 7, 1934, Colin Clair McGregor, age 28 years, was shot while attempting to execute a warrant for the theft of a bicycle at 17 Queen Street in St. Thomas. Constable McGregor subsequently died of his injuries at Memorial Hospital, leaving behind his wife, Muriel (23 years) and two young sons, Raymond Edward and Colin Wayne.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, May 10, 1934 at 2:00 p.m. at P.R. Williams & Son funeral home and Colin McGregor was laid to rest at the St. Thomas Cemetary. It was reported that this was the largest funeral ever accorded anyone in the City. The route of the funeral was lined with hundreds for whom there was no accommodation at the funeral home and hundreds more waited at the cemetary for the service there. An honour guard of officers marched with the coffin carried by pallbearers - Constable Thomas Ryckwood, Constable Harry McCart, Constable George McIntyre of the St. Thomas Police Department and Constable Harry Noakes, Constable Rex Caverley and Constable McBride of the Ontario Provincial Police. Honourary bearers were Judge D.C. Ross, Mayor Angus W. Johnson, Police Magistrate, C.F. Maxwell and Chief of Police William M. Ketchabaw.
Chiefs of Police and officers from Chatham, Paris, Brantford, Hamilton, Tillsonburg, London, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Sarnia, the RCMP and the OPP attended the service. Tributes were received from relatives, friends, colleagues and representatives of government, businesses and other emergency services from across the province.
Fred Temple (21 years) and his father, Frank, were arrested and charged with the murder of Colin McGregor. At their trial, the father and son were found guilty and were subsequently hanged in a double execution on June 27 in the yard of the Elgin County courthouse.
A plaque honouring our fallen hero, Constable Colin C. McGregor, adorns the front lobby of our Police Headquarters. A City street was named in his honour in 1992 and to the present day, the Colin C. McGregor Memorial Scholarship to the University of Western Ontario is awarded annually to deserving students.
LET US NEVER FORGET
IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TRAGEDY
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