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Constable Willis E. Rhodeniser

  • Regimental No. 12690
  • Honour Roll 62

Cst. Willis E. RhodeniserCst. Willis E. Rhodeniser, 28, died of a gunshot wound on August 26, 1939, north of Carlyle, Saskatchwan. Born in Farmington, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, he was engaged as an RCMP member in July 1935 and partnered with his dog "Tell" in October 1938. He was a single man and his body was escorted home to his father in Nova Scotia for burial. He was interred there wilth full military honours in the local cemetery at Bridgewater.

On August 25, 1939 Nelson Sammy, shot and killed his wife and her parents on the Indian Reserve near Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan. RCMP were notified and organized to find Sammy.

On Aug 26, 1939 RCMP were told that Sammy had been seen near his barn on the Reserve. A number of officers set out to search the area. Cst. Rhodeniser and his police service dog "Tell" were among the searchers. "Tell" picked up Sammy's scent and followed the trail into the thickly wooded bluff. When "Tell" indicated his quarry, Cst. Rhodeniser ran towards the dog, concerned for his safety. A shot was fired and Cst. Rhodeniser was struck by a bullet to the chest. Cst. Rhodeniser, as well as other officers, returned fire and Sammy was wounded and captured. Cst. Rhodeniser however, was mortally wounded and died in the bush. "Tell" stayed beside him until his master was taken away by ambulance.

Nelson Sammy was transported to hospital where he recovered from his wounds. He was later convicted of the manslaughter of his wife and her parents, and then for the murder of Cst. Rhodeniser. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Cst. Rhodeniser and died by hanging on July 4, 1940.