POLITICS

RCMP To Stand Sentry At National War Memorial Sunday

07/03/2015 12:32 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT
Andrew Burton via Getty Images
OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 24: The National War Memorial, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Army Reserves was killed by a lone gunman two days ago while standing guard memorial, is seen on October 24, 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After killing Cirillo the gunman stormed the main parliament building, terrorizing the public and politicians, before he was shot dead. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
OTTAWA - RCMP members will stand sentry at Canada's National War Memorial on Sunday to mark the anniversary an officer who received the Victoria Cross for bravery during the South African War.

Sgt. Arthur Richardson earned the honour in July 1900 after he rode through heavy crossfire to rescue an injured Canadian trooper whose horse had been shot.

Richardson was the first member of the Canadian Armed Forces to be awarded the prize. The Victoria Cross, which was instituted in 1856, was made available for officers or men who served in the presence of the enemy. All military personnel could qualify regardless of rank or social stature.

Richardson first became a member of the North-West Mounted Police when he came to Canada from England in 1894. He then listed in Lord Strathcona's Horse when the South African War began in 1899.

After the war, Richardson returned to the police force. He was eventually discharged in 1907 due to poor health.

"It is an honour for the RCMP to be asked once again to stand sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," said Chief Supt. Marty Chesser, who is the commanding officer of the RCMP's national headquarters in Ottawa.

"It is particularly special to the force because of the anniversary date and the opportunity it affords to highlight Sgt. Richardson's Victoria Cross."

The RCMP said it is involved with the Canadian Armed Forces' Ceremonial Guard to perform various public duties such as standing sentry at the memorial and the RCMP sunset ceremonies.

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