From Dominion Police to RCMP: Albert John Cawdron

ALBERT JOHN CAWDRON – Section 24, Lot 72 SW

Albert John Cawdron was born in 1873 in Ottawa. As a young man, he joined the Dominion Police in 1897, and shortly after enlisted with the first Canadian Contingent going to the South African War.

South africa

He returned to Canada in 1901, having been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Back in Canada, Cawdron rejoined the Dominion Police and was put on plain-clothes detail – the secret service branch of the force.

Dominion police

In September of that same year, he worked as a special operative for the royal tour through Canada of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. He held a similar position again when they visited Quebec in 1908 as the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Royal tour 1908

Cawdron continued to rise through the ranks of the Dominion Police, and when then-Commissioner Sir Percy Sherwood left Canada for England in 1915, Cawdron was appointed a Commissioner of Police in his absence.

Only a few years later, in 1918, Sir Percy retired officially, and Cawdron became his successor. As Acting Commissioner, Cawdron reorganized the military service police, which had been formed to prosecute evaders of the Military Service Act during WWI.

In 1920, when the Dominion Police was absorbed in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Cawdron was named Superintendent and Director of Criminal Investigations. During the Royal Commission on Customs and Excise in 1926, he was the chief investigator, appointed by the government for the Commission. Cawdron was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in May of 1932, a position he retained until his retirement in 1936.

Sadly, Cawdron had little time to enjoy his retirement – he was killed in an automobile accident only a few years later, on September 8, 1938.