Cst. “Happy” Davies

by Lynn Ferguson

The first detachment in Cochrane seems to have been started about 1908, as a result of Cochrane attaining village status as well as being an established CPR stop. In the chart on the “Distribution of the Force in September 1909”, taken from the book, Riders of the Plains, Cochrane is reported as having a detachment with a single constable and horse.

One of the earliest, if not the first constables in Cochrane was a young Englishman, Francis Walter Davies, known as “Happy” Davies. He joined the Force in Regina in April 1909, and his application read that he could ride well and understood the care of horses.

He was assigned to Cochrane and integrated well into the community, becoming a founding member of the Oddfellows Lodge. He wrote to his parents upon his transfer to Brooks in March 1912 “I am pretty good and getting on okay at Brooks though I wish I was back at Cockrane (sic)”. Constable Davies was killed not long afterwards in June 1912 on patrol in pursuit of some natives who had robbed and shot at a CPR worker.

Although buried in the Calgary cemetery by the RNWMP, he was obviously well-liked by the locals, and a monument commemorating Frank Davies was erected and still exists in St Mary’s Cemetery in Cochrane, paid for through a subscription taken out amongst the Cochrane townspeople at the time of his death.

Davies Monument St Marys

Related reading

Death of a Mountie”, Richard Goss p 2-9, Alberta History, Spring 1998 Vol 46, #2 which is online and has a picture of Happy Davies. There is more detailed biographical material on him in this article. 

http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/9021.46.2/4.html

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