Cst. Norman Alfred GLEADOW – October 11, 1939

Reg. # 11046, Cst. Norman Alfred GLEADOW

October 11, 1939 at Esterhazy, Saskatchewan             Age: 30 years

Cst. GLEADOW was born in Regina on July 23, 1909 to Charles and Elizabeth GLEADOW.  His siblings are Dorothy, Mildred and Frank.  His father was a member of the Regina City Police.  He was raised in Regina and worked as a clerk with the P. BURNS & Co. Ltd. for six years and the City of Regina for 3 months.  He joined the Force on October 1, 1931.  On October 31, 1937, he married Mabel Taylor (a nurse) of The Pas, Manitoba at St. Mathews Church, Regina, Sask.  He trained and served at Regina, Vancouver, Esquimalt, Lethbridge, Yorkton, Kelvington and the last being at Esterhazy near the Manitoba border.  One month before he died, he received the RCMP Commissioner’s commendation “on devotion to duty,” when he disarmed a violent man in Brendenbury, Saskatchewan and defused a dangerous situation.

The pay schedule at that time, for such a hazardous occupation as being an RCMP constable, was as follows:

1st year constable     $2.00 per day

2nd year constable $2.05 per day

3rd year constable  $2.10 per day

To a maximum of  $2.25 per day

Cst. GLEADOW was killed when he went to the home of 24 year old Ernest N. Flook of Esterhazy to look for stolen goods.  The night before, Flook had been held over in the detachment cell and had confessed to breaking into some local stores.  At eight the next morning, GLEADOW accompanied Flook to his little one-room shack at the rear of his father’s house.

As the constable was preoccupied examining Flook’s club bag on the bed, Flook grabbed a hammer and hit him on the back of the head.  The blow was so powerful that it tore through the policeman’s Stetson hat and crushed the back of his skull.  Then, as GLEADOW lay unconscious on the floor, Flook shot him twice in the chest with his .22 rifle.  Then he ran outside and drove off in Cst. GLEADOW’s police car.

Alarmed at the sound of gunfire, Flook’s sister, Patricia, ran from the house and discovered Cst. GLEADOW’s body.  She immediately called the police.  Within minutes, RCMP began arriving from several detachments and, shortly after that, a citizens’ posse was formed.  One of the members of the posse was a local garageman who had recently supplied the tires for the police car and was familiar with the tread.  He was invaluable in tracking the stolen police car to a point 17 miles northeast of Esterhazy on the road to Langenburg, where the tracks turned into the bush.  The posse followed them through the woods and soon spotted the stolen car.  From a distance, they couldn’t tell whether Flook was in the car or not.  One of the policemen, Cst. GIBBS, called out, “Come out with your hands up!”  Flook shouted back, “Come on in and get me.  I don’t want to kill any more policemen.”  GIBBS repeated his command.  Then they heard a rifle shot in the distance.  The posse circled the car and slowly moved in towards it.  As they came over a small knoll, they could see Flook lying on the ground beside the car with his rifle across his chest.  He had shot himself in the head, but was still alive.  The police put him in a car and tried to get him to Yorkton for medical attention, but Flook died on the way.

A funeral was held at Esterhazy in the United Church on October 13, 1939, conducted by Rev. F.W. Geach.  On October 14, a service was held in the United Church in Regina, officiated by Mr. McKenzie.  At the family’s request, he was buried in the family plot in the civilian Regina Cemetery (north of Plot 34, Block No. 395).  Cst. GLEADOW and his grieving wife, Mabel, had been married for less than a year.

(2009-10-20 Reviewed Personnel File – Photo of Funeral Carriage Procession on Personnel File   Head stone)