Fitzgerald, Francis Joseph
Francis Joseph Fitzgerald, Royal North-West Mounted Police inspector (b at Halifax 12 Apr 1869; d Yukon Territory Feb 1911). He enlisted in the NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE in 1888 and was released for a year's service in the SOUTH AFRICAN WAR with the Canadian Mounted Rifles, but most of his career was spent with the police in the North. He served in the Yukon during the gold rush, and in 1903 was put in command of the new police detachment at Herschel Island in the western Arctic. Here he demonstrated Canadian sovereignty over the region with firmness and tact. In 1910 he was chosen to attend the coronation of George V in London, and on his way south was put in command of the annual winter mail patrol to Dawson. Though highly experienced in northern patrols, he travelled light, hoping for a speed record, and refused to hire a native guide. The patrol became lost, and in late February 1911 Fitzgerald and his companions eventually died, 3 from starvation and one by suicide.