The RCMP/GRC National Memorial Cemetery
at Beechwood Cemetery
The RCMP National Memorial Cemetery (N M C) at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa is a means of recognization for the significant contribution and sacrifice made by members of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The RCMP Honour Roll attests to the number of members of the Force who, beginning in 1873, have given their lives for Canada.
On Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, Mrs. Grete Hale, President of the Beechwood Foundation and Mr. Al Rivard, President of the Ottawa Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association, formally signed a Tri-Partie Agreement for the governance and stewardship of the RCMP NMC at Beechwood Cemetery.
This historic event took place on the new site of the National Memorial Cemetery. The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries and invited guests, including former and current executive members of the RCMP Veterans’ Association, Ottawa Division. The Tri-Partie Agreement is a legally binding document that defines and specifies the roles and responsibilities of each of the parties and, in particular, highlights the leadership role of the Ottawa Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association for the continuing development, expansion and beautification projects for the Memorial site.
The North West Mounted Police (NWMP) was founded in 1873, the same year in which Beechwood Cemetery was designated a National Historic Site. The unique designation to Beechwood was an honour bestowed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada on September 29th, 2002. Beechwood is indeed a place to discover, an oasis shrouded in a protective canopy of leaf and vine, with its storied pathways, stately elms, maples and evergreens, magnificent gardens, architectural splendor and landscaping rich in beauty.
Each year, hundreds of visitors stroll through this real botanical garden with its many nature trails. Visitors can discover over three hundred varieties of hostas, colorful spring tulips and numerous small gardens that are among the finest in the City of Ottawa.
Beechwood Cemetery contains 160 acres of natural beauty. It includes elegant monuments, including an exclusive NWMP Monument in honor of Constable Marmaduke Graburn. Constable Graburn was the first member of the NWMP to be killed on duty. Beechwood reflects the imagery of the NWMP roots and the ongoing history of the RCMP.
The RCMP NMC, lies near to the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces, and is strategically located in the heart of Canada’s National Capital Region and within the grounds of Beechwood Cemetery. This site is truly a place of reverence, a visual testament to the proud traditions of the NWMP, the RNWMP, the RCMP as well as RCMP Public Service Employees.
This initiative originated within the Ottawa Division, RCMP Veterans' Association and since the official dedication ceremony in October 2004, many enhancements to the beautiful site have been successfully achieved, including the completion of two cobble stone pathways, a parade square at the base of the main monument, and dedication of the majestic black granite monument.
Thus far, over four hundred serving and retired members have pre-arranged and committed to the RCMP NMC at Beechwood as their final resting place and that of their loved ones. About one hundred members of our extended police family have been laid to rest since the summer of 2004. Members of the Force who have been killed on duty also rest in the National Memorial.
Ottawa has been the Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for over 85 years, and a centrally located RCMP National Memorial Cemetery exclusively for our deceased members and their families, including Public Service Employees having twenty continuous years of service with the RCMP, is a legacy befitting Canada’s national police service.
The RCMP NMC is meant to compliment the Regimental Cemetery at ‘Depot’ in Regina, SK and provides an option to all former and serving members in choosing their final resting place in a dignified sanctuary of peace exclusively dedicated to our police family.
The legacy pathway of the RCMP NMC is modeled on the Northern Ireland Royal Ulster Constabulary St. George’s Garden of Remembrance which is a learning pathway that attests to the history of the RUC and a fitting memorial to the 308 Officers killed during the thirty years of the period commonly known as 'the Troubles'.
The RCMP NMC pathway will reflect the Force’s storied history so that visitors and school classes will have an opportunity to learn and understand why there is national pride in the RCMP as an organization with proud international recognition.