Prince Albert Volunteers

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The Prince Albert Volunteers or Prince Albert Rifles were a historical body of militia organized in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, which served as Canadian government militia during the North-West Rebellion.

"Gentleman" Joe McKay, an Anglo-Metis scout of the North-West Mounted Police was sent to Prince Albert from Fort Carlton to enlist about 20 men as volunteers on 20 March 1885. On the 21st, 22 men were sworn in before Lieutenant Colonel Sproat. The volunteers were commanded by Captain Moore, who had retired from the Canadian militia. On the 23rd they arrived at Fort Carlton and were armed with Snider-Enfield rifles.

They saw their only action fighting alongside the police against Gabriel Dumont's Metis forces at the Battle of Duck Lake on March 26, 1885, where they suffered the heaviest casualties of combatants involved: of the forty-one Volunteers sent, nine were killed.[1] Most of those who died are buried at St. Mary's Anglican Church cemetery just west of Prince Albert. Nine of them were killed at Duck Lake, their bodies left on the field until emissaries from Louis Riel arranged for their safe retrieval by citizens of Prince Albert.

For the remainder of the rebellion the volunteers stayed penned up in the stockade at Prince Albert, safeguarding the community until relieved by General Frederick Middleton and his Northwest Field Force after the Battle of Batoche.

Members killed at Duck Lake[edit]

  • Constable Joseph Anderson
  • Constable James Bakie
  • Constable Skeffington C. Elliott
  • Constable Alexander Fisher
  • Constable Daniel McKenzie
  • Constable Daniel McPhail
  • Constable Robert Middleton
  • Captain John Morton
  • Corporal William Napier


  1. ^ Stanley, George F. G. (1960). The Birth of Western Canada: A History of the Riel Rebellions. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

Other source:

  • Light, Douglas W. (1987). Footprints in the Dust. North Battleford: Turner-Warwick Prineters Inc.