By Year Range
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Hamilton Police Honour Roll
December, about 52 years ago...
John C. McMurrich
December 22nd, 1968
DETAILS: A house occupied by known, active criminals was under observation by Acting Sergeant McMurrich and other officers. During the early hours of December 22, 1968, 15 to 20 persons left the residence and approached the officer in a threatening manner. The officer fired several warning shots but was overpowered, beaten and shot to death with his own gun.
August, about 58 years ago...
David R. Gregory
August 29th, 1962
DETAILS: Constable Gregory was investigating a citizenâ€™ s complaint of a suspect on the street who was carrying a shotgun wrapped in newspaper. George Brewster, a former policeman, was driving on James Street when he caught sight of Bruce Griffett. He picked up Constable Gregory and drove him to Hughson and Augusta Streets where they waited. When Griffett came down Hughson Street, Gregory approached him with his gun holstered. Griffett turned and shot and killed Gregory with a 16 gauge shotgun. Brewster, removed the officerâ€™s gun from its holster, shot, and wounded the suspect. The suspect then took the shotgun he was carrying and shot and killed himself.
June, about 91 years ago...
June 27th, 1929
DETAILS: At 5:00 pm. June 27, Charles R. Long an Aldershot farmer, carried out a daring robbery of the Ontario Savings Branch at 316 Ottawa Street. Armed with a shotgun, Long led police and citizens on a foot chase to 242 Rosslyn Avenue North where he darted into the basement of a house. Following closely behind was Constable Nesbitt and two citizens, Thomas Halcrow and Jonny Monk. Unable to see, Constable Nesbitt struck a match and found himself face to face with Long. A struggle ensued and Nesbitt was forced to retreat from the house after a stunning blow on the side of the head with the butt of the shotgun. Several other officers including Acting Detective Clark arrived at the scene and surrounded the house. Tear gas and bottles of asphyxiating chemicals obtained from a nearby funeral home, were hurled into the basement. When Long failed to come out Detectives Bleakley and Clark donned gas masks and went in after him. Gunfire immediately erupted and ended with the deaths of Detective Clark and Charles Long.
November, about 95 years ago...
November 21st, 1925
DETAILS: On November 21, 1925, Police Constable Fredrick Raynes was proceeding east on King Street on his police motorcycle. He was responding to notify a family that their son had been arrested in Guelph. Upon encountering slow traffic on King Street, he attempted to stop his vehicle. His motorcycleâ€™s side-car struck a car stopped ahead. He was hurled out of his seat into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Constable Raynes sustained serious head injuries and died later that evening.
September, about 99 years ago...
September 11th, 1921
DETAILS: On September 12, 1921, Constable Reg Pryer, a motorcycle officer, was responding to a noise complaint in the vicinity of King Street East and Holton Avenue. As he approached on King Street near Sanford Avenue, a pedestrian began to cross unexpectedly. Pryer blew his horn and swerved to miss the man but a collision was unavoidable. The motorcycle struck the pedestrian and then skidded into the curb, throwing Pryer head first into a telegraph pole. The pedestrian suffered minor injuries. Pryer was critically injured with a fractured skull and died three hours later at the General Hospital. A passing Roman Catholic priest gave him the last rites at the scene.
October, about 117 years ago...
October 27th, 1903
DETAILS: Constable Barron was responding to a whistle for help from the J. Bidwell Mills residence on Catharine Street North in Hamilton at about 0100 hours in the early morning of October 27, 1903. Mrs. Mills and her son were home alone and called for help upon hearing noises in the backyard. Constable Barron went into the backyard to check and two men, possibly three, attacked him. He was shot at three times, two missing and the third striking him below the heart. Although badly wounded he summoned assistance by blowing his whistle. He died the following day. Although several theories were discussed it was resolved that he had disturbed a break and enter in progress.