Portrait of Victoria Police Officers in front of the old Station (now City Hall)


The Victoria Police Department in the First World War (1914-18) was active not only in maintaining order in the City of Victoria, but also in supporting the war effort abroad. Seventeen police constables, inspectors, and officers enlisted for military service. For two, it would be their last time to see the city they protected while for the others, they would return and resume their work prior to enlistment.

There were men who enlisted from the Victoria Police Department who had previous military service. Some police officers were originally from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. When they came to Victoria, they continued to serve in the  50th (Gordon Highlanders) Regiment, raised in Victoria, while protecting the public as officers of the law.

As for those who continued serving as police officers in Victoria, they proceeded to protect the city during the riot of May 1915 following the sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania. During this period, the Victoria Police Department accepted two women as police officers.

It is apparent that these seventeen men answered the call of duty protecting their home by serving abroad. And those who remained behind continued to protect Victoria and kept the peace during several events. It is clear that the Victoria Police Department contributed to the war effort both overseas and at home.

Many thanks to the Victoria Police Department, the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) Regimental Museum, University of Victoria Special Collection and British Columbia Archives for their hospitality and support for this project.

All sources used may be found in “References” while photographs and images can be found in the “Gallery.”

*This project was created by Clayton King, Isobel Griffin, and Joseph Yuson in collaboration with the Victoria Police Department and University of Victoria.