First Edmonton police officer killed in line of duty honoured 100 years later

WATCH ABOVE: In October 1918, Const. Frank Beevers was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton, and until recently he was buried in an unmarked grave. EPS Detective Aubrey Zalaski joined Global News Morning Weekend Edmonton to explain how his grave was found, and how the police service is honouring his sacrifice 100 years later.

An Edmonton police officer is being honoured 100 years after his death.

A ceremony was held on Thursday for Const. Frank Beevers, who was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.

Beevers was killed on Oct. 17, 1918, while trying to arrest a fugitive wanted for the robbery and murder of a local businessman. Three days later, he was laid to rest with full police honours at Edmonton Cemetery, but for unknown reasons, a permanent marker was never installed at his grave.

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Edmonton police decided to honour Beevers with a monument after it was discovered his grave was left unmarked.

“No one should be buried in an unmarked grave, especially after making the ultimate sacrifice protecting citizens,” Police Chief Rod Knecht said.

“We may never truly understand the background to the missing headstone, but today we have the opportunity to ‘set in stone’ our appreciation for Const. Beevers’ selfless service.”

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Local history enthusiast Sheila Thomas discovered Beevers did not have a headstone on his grave after looking up his records in 2016. Thomas approached Edmonton police with her findings.

A ceremony was held on Thursday for Const. Frank Beevers, who was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.

A ceremony was held on Thursday for Const. Frank Beevers, who was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.

Eric Beck/ Global News
A ceremony was held on Thursday for Const. Frank Beevers, who was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.

A ceremony was held on Thursday for Const. Frank Beevers, who was the first police officer killed in the line of duty in Edmonton.

Eric Beck/ Global News
1916 Market Square

1916 Market Square

Courtesy: Edmonton Police
1916-1919 Edmonton police department.

1916-1919 Edmonton police department.

Courtesy: Edmonton police

Edmonton Granite Memorials donated a headstone for the fallen constable.

Beevers was hired as a custodian with the Edmonton police department in 1915. Three years later, he was promoted to a constable. Edmonton police said he was regarded as a “conscientious and efficient officer with sterling character.”

“Const. Beevers was an exceptional officer who gave his life for the people of this community,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

“This headstone represents our enduring gratitude for his sacrifice and service, and is a testament to Edmontonians’ deep appreciation for the thousands of first responders who keep our city safe and healthy every day.”

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A distant relative of Beevers travelled to Edmonton from London, England, to participate in Thursday’s ceremony.

Graham Beevers said he was touched by all the efforts made his late relative.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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