- Reg. # 487, Sgt. Albert Ernest Garland MONTGOMERY
August 10, 1890, Prince Albert Age: 28 years
Sgt. MONTGOMERY was born in 1862 and engaged in the NWMP on September 22, 1880 at Fort Walsh. He served at Fort MacLeod, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
On Thursday, August 7, 1890, Sgt. MONTGOMERY had been leading his troop in mounted parade drill formations in an open field one and half miles away from the barracks. During the exercises, one of his men, Cst. Henri GRAVEL, was having trouble with a recalcitrant horse and MONTGOMERY stopped to help the new constable remount. Once GRAVEL was back in the saddle, Sgt. MONTGOMERY climbed back on his own horse and galloped off to rejoin the Division. He had not gone more than 40 yards when his horse stumbled and fell. MONTGOMERY was thrown heavily forward and his head was hurled with great force into the ground. The impact of his fall was a lethal blow. As one witness said: “He lay there unconscious . . . the whole body being convulsed.” Sgt. MONTGOMERY was carried back to the barracks and, when he didn’t revive, he was taken to the hospital. Here he was attended to by the brigade physician, Dr. Hugh M. BAIN. Unfortunately; there was little the doctor could do. Sgt. MONTGOMERY’s comrades watched over him night and day, but he never regained consciousness and died at noon of the following Sunday of “concussion and contusion of the brain.”
Albert MONTGOMERY’s death was a cruelly ironic twist of fate. At one time he had been a school teacher, but found that existence too dull. Seeking a more challenging, adventurous life, he joined the NWMP. As a ten-year veteran, he had been exposed to the rigours of frontier life at Fort Walsh and saw duty during the perils of the North-West Rebellion. Yet, here in Prince Albert, he died in an accident during a mundane parade drill. What was even more ironic about his death was the fact that Sgt. MONTGOMERY was a first class horseman. Furthermore, the horse he was riding at the time of his accident was his favourite and the one he had ridden for the past six years.
The local order posted at Prince Albert barracks on the afternoon of Sunday August 10, 1890, read as follows:
“‘F’ Division has lost one of its highly esteemed and valuable non-commissioned officers . .. and his comrades a loyal, honourable and true friend. All must equally deplore the sad and untimely end of Sgt. MONTGOMERY.”
Sgt. MONTGOMERY lies buried in St. Mary’s churchyard in Prince Albert. He was not married and his nearest relative was an uncle, Rev. J.W. Garland, living in South Stukely, Quebec. www.collectionscanada.gc.ca (Photo of member & headstone in Robert Knuckle book)