Reg. # 24014, 3/Cst. Philip John Francis TIDMAN
April 20, 1966, near Wakaw, Saskatchewan. Age: 22 years
Cst. TIDMAN was born at Wimbledon, London, England on November 5, 1943 to John Albert Henry and Jeannette Ellen TIDMAN. His siblings were brothers, Christopher Harry and Andrew Henry and sister, Alison Ellen. He emigrated to Canada on May 13, 1952. He attended Elgin and Glashan Public Schools and Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa, Ont. He was a Queen’s Scout with Gold Cord and Bushman’s Thong and a Sea Cadet for five years. He worked for a short time with the Department of Transport as a student Weather Observer. Cst. TIDMAN joined the Force on May 21, 1965 and attended Basic Recruit Training at Depot Division as a member of ‘B’ Troop – 1965/66. Upon completion of training on January 22, 1966, he was posted to Saskatoon Detachment.
Cst. Philip TIDMAN and Special Cst. Richard Nick DUBKOWSKI were assigned to escort a prisoner from Wakaw, Saskatchewan to the cells in Saskatoon. It was a routine assignment, but the rookie TIDMAN was so new to the job that everything he did was interesting to him. He had a nice day for the drive. The weather was clear and cool and the roads were dry. After a long, hard winter, it was finally spring. The two officers and their prisoner set out in a leased vehicle during the early afternoon of Wednesday, April 20, 1966. TIDMAN was at the wheel and other two were in the back seat. They were traveling south on Highway # 2 on a straight stretch of road at a speed of 60 miles per hour. About two miles south of Wakaw, TIDMAN saw a halfton truck approaching from the opposite direction. The vehicle seemed to be crowding the center line and, just as TIDMAN was about to go by it, the truck veered into TIDMAN’s path. Attempting to avoid the collision, the officer braked and swerved his car to the right, but it was too late. The left front of his car caught the left front of the truck with a violent impact.
TIDMAN was killed instantly. DUBKOWSKI and the prisoner were hospitalized, but were not seriously hurt. The driver of the truck, Gordon DODDS of Kinistino, also received medical attention at the hospital, but was released. An investigation was held into the cause of the accident, but no charges were laid.
Cst. TIDMAN’s death was a distressing loss to the RCMP. During his training, TIDMAN was highly rated for his consistently proper deportment and his sound reasoning ability. He was assessed as being “mature, willing to please, conscientious and good natured. . .a good prospect for the Force.” What was particularly tragic is that he didn’t live long enough to complete one full year of service. At the time of his death, he had been at his first detachment at Saskatoon for only four months.
He was unmarried. At his parents’ request, he was cremated at the Pineview Chapel in Winnipeg and a Memorial service was held at the Clark Leatherdale Funeral Home. His ashes were escorted back to Ottawa where a family memorial service in his honour was held at St. John’s Anglican Church on April 28, 1966 with interment at nearby Ashton.
(Personnel File Reviewed and Photo available)