Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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History of the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaque and Honour Roll

Members at memorial service

See also: RCMP Honour Roll

A proposal to erect a memorial to those Regular Members who died while performing their duties originated in the 1920s. In 1934, Commissioner Cortlandt Starnes requested that a Memorial Tablet (later known as the Cenotaph) be erected in memory of all Regular Members who were definitely killed while in the execution of their duties. This request was later expanded in 1935 to include an Honour Roll Book and Memorial Wall Plaque, on which would be inscribed the names of Regular Members who lost their lives through the hazards of service and by violent means. The Memorial Wall Plaques would be placed in the RCMP Chapel in Regina, Saskatchewan.

In 1962, the criteria for inclusion to the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaque and Honour Roll Book was amended to include those names of Regular Members who suffered loss of life in the performance of police duties or while taking action of a police nature.

Cenotaph

In 1992, the criteria for inclusion was again amended to reflect inclusion for all Regular Members and Special Constables who lost their lives while acting in the line of duty. Additionally, a memorial service was to be held annually at "Depot" Division (Regina, Saskatchewan) to honour Regular Members whose names were inscribed on the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaques and Honour Roll Book.

In 2004, the criteria for inclusion was again amended to reflect inclusion for all Regular Members, Special Constables and Auxiliary Constables who lost their lives while acting in the line of duty.

The policy for inclusion to the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaque and Honour Roll Book has evolved many times since its original inception in 1934. As this policy evolved, many debates over the inclusion policy resulted which created inconsistencies in the inclusion of names. Following an exhaustive historical review of the program in 1993, a decision to accept these inconsistencies was accepted by Commissioner Norman D. Inkster.

Memorial Wall Plaques

Current policy directs that the names of Regular Members, Special Constables and Auxiliary Constables who lost their lives in response to an operational police duty, in which there was the element of life-threatening risk, be inscribed on the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaque and Honour Roll Book. This excludes the names of those whose death was self-inflicted or the result of natural causes.

A member who dies while on duty does not automatically qualify for inclusion on the Cenotaph, Memorial Wall Plaque and Honour Roll Book. A Regular Member, Special Constable or Auxiliary Constable who was off-duty but responding to a specific operational duty may be eligible.