Reg. #4119, Cst. Thomas Robert JACKSON
June 8, 1906 at Six Mile Creek, near Red Pheasant, Saskatchewan Age: 34 years
Thomas JACKSON was 31 years old when he signed on with the North-West Mounted Police at Winnipeg on November 20, 1903. Born in Brighton, Sussex, England in 1873, he worked as a labourer and served with the Royal Engineers. His first posting was at Fort Macleod, and he had to borrow $10.71 from the NWMP to take the train from Winnipeg to Regina. This he agreed to repay at the rate of $5.00 per month from his pay. He served at Regina, Fort MacLeod, Maple Creek and Ten Mile.
On the morning of Wednesday, June 6, 1906, he left Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, for his detachment at Ten Mile, Saskatchewan. Cst. JACKSON was returning from a patrol and had a long ride ahead of him. Astride NWMP horse No. 2501, he is known to have reached the west bank of Six Mile Creek on Friday, June 8. At this time, the creek was swollen and running very rapidly. For some reason, he chose to attempt to ford the stream at a point near Sterling’s farm. Normally this would have been alright but, at this time of year with the water so high, it would have been much wiser for him to go upstream and cross the creek at Spangler’s Bridge.
On Sunday, June 10, Mr. Sterling found horse No. 2501, exhausted and muddy, near the bank of the creek. He was still saddled and bridled, and was carrying a NWMP slicker and pea jacket behind his saddle. It seemed the animal had been caught in the creek and was unable to get out, because of the steepness of the bank on either side. Sterling estimated the horse had been struggling in the stream for one or two days and was on the brink of collapse.
A search party was sent out to find Cst. JACKSON and, the next morning, his body was discovered one half mile below the spot where his horse tracks entered the creek.
Cst. JACKSON was unmarried and was survived by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. R.E. JACKSON of Brighton, Sussex, England. On June 13, 1906 a funeral service was conducted by Rev. McLeod and Cst. JACKSON was buried at the Police Cemetery at Fort Walsh in the company of other NWMP, including Cst. Marmaduke GRABURN. No headstone was erected for JACKSON until 1928, when a small cross of crude cement and indistinguishable printing was put up at Coulee, Saskatchewan. This was done to mark both his grave and the site of the long abandoned Fort Walsh. Regulation headstones replaced the small crosses in 1949 and were left as suitable markers for the pioneer policemen who died on the Canadian Prairie.