Sir Sam Steele

Sir Samuel Steele (d.1919, aged 70).

Sir Sam’s story is the stuff of legends. Sir Sam Steele was a soldier and a police officer. He was born near Orillia, Upper Canada. In 1866 he joined the Canadian Militia and served during the Fenian Raids and as part of the Red River Expedition of 1870. He was one of the first to enlist in “A” Battery, RCA, on its formation in 1871. In 1873, he joined the newly organized Northwest Mounted Police (later the RCMP), and rose rapidly through the ranks. He served with the force for 30 years and became one of its legendary heroes. He was a member of the team that negotiated with the U.S. the terms of Sitting Bull’s exile in Canada. He took part in a 1000 mile march to the Rockies in 1874. In the 1880s, Steele was responsible for maintaining law and order as the CPR was being built across Western Canada. He served in the Northwest rebellion in 1885. During the Klondike Gold Rush he was in charge of the Detachments in the Yukon and in British Columbia.

In 1899, Steele took leave of absence from the NWMP to serve with the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment in the Boer War.  He commanded the LSH during World War I. On returning to Canada he commanded the Military District in Calgary and then Winnipeg.