Cst. Frank Orlando ELLIOTT – May 14, 1885

  1. Reg. # 973, Cst. Frank Orlando ELLIOTT

May 14, 1885 Battleford, NWT                 Age: 37 years

Cst. ELLIOTT was born in 1848. His father, D.T. Elliott was a minister in Troy, New York. On June 2, 1872, he married Mary Clapp in White Plains, New York, USA.   He was also a conductor with the Railroad. They had one daughter, Minnie on July 27, 1873. His wife passed away on October 31, 1873 and his daughter was left to be raised by his mother-in-law and maternal aunt, Mahala David (nee Clapp) at Picton, Ontario. He served as a Troop Sergeant Major in the 7th Regiment, United States Cavalry and was stationed at Fort Custer, Montana before enlisting with the NWMP.

Cst. ELLIOTT engaged in the NWMP at Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 17,1883. He was later stationed at Medicine Hat. Cst. ELLIOTT was killed after only two years of service in the NWMP.

It wasn’t long after the battle of Cut Knife Hill that Commissioner IRVINE and General MIDDLETON joined forces and attacked Batoche. It fell on May 12, 1885, and the North-West Rebellion was finished. Gabriel Dumont fled into hiding and Louis Riel was captured and later hanged at Regina.

Immediately after the fighting stopped at Cut Knife Hill, Poundmaker’s Indian camp broke up and began moving eastward. Ragged and hungry, they wanted to avoid any more clashes with the government forces. Nevertheless, the odd skirmish still broke out between the natives and patrols from the Battleford garrison. On May 14, NWMP Sgt. S.F. GORDON was out on scout patrol from Battleford with Csts. Frank O. ELLIOTT, W.J. SPENCER, E.F. RACEY and one other Mountie. Approximately 7 miles SE of Battleford, they were spotted by Poundmaker’s warriors, who assumed that the policemen were advance scouts for an enemy force. The natives mounted their ponies and rode after the five.

Seeing that they were outnumbered, the Mounties turned and galloped away. The natives fired as they rode and wounded Cst. SPENCER. Amidst the gunfire and the wild chase, Cst. ELLIOTT’s horse began bucking out of control. Several Crees rushed him to take him prisoner. They waved a white flag at him, urging him to give himself up. ELLIOTT refused. When he dismounted, his horse ran away and the constable had to scamper to a nearby knoll where he opened fire on his pursuers. They surrounded him and wounded him several times, but he fought on until his ammunition was exhausted. Then the Crees shot him dead.

Sgt. GORDON and the rest of his party escaped. Father Louis Cochin, a priest who had been forced to stay in the Cree camp, buried Cst. ELLIOTT in a shallow grave where he had fallen. Later his body was removed and interred at Battleford on May 17, 1885 with military honours. He was awarded the North West Rebellion of 1885 medal which remained unclaimed. It is now held at the Heritage Center at Regina. Cst. ELLIOTT’s daughter, Minnie, was granted a Pension until she married or her 21st birthday. Other next of kin was a Mrs. S.J. Burton of Watertown, New York, USA.

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