Episode 7: The Absent Gravestone

hero-shot-of-sheila-thomas
This month’s curious Edmontonian, Sheila Thomas.

Constable Frank Beevers was the first Edmonton police officer to be killed in the line of duty. Sheila Thomas asks: why is his grave unmarked?

Listen first, then read more below.

spoilers below

A black and white photograph of Constable Frank Beevers, wearing small round glasses.
Frank Beevers.

Sheila Thomas is a history enthusiast and family genealogist. A while back, she happened upon the story of Frank Beevers.

The Edmonton Police Service counts Beevers as the first Edmonton police offer killed in the line of duty. Yet the Henderson’s directories list his occupation as a janitor at the Police Court Building.

The Edmonton Bulletin told the strange story of his murder on October 17, 1918, and the subsequent trial and hanging of killer Joseph Cameron (aka Joseph Arthur Campbell).

A wide angle of the slush and grass at Frank Beevers' gravesite - Sheila Thomas stands to one side, holding a file of information about him.
Sheila Thomas at the Edmonton Cemetery. Frank Beevers’ gravesite is in the bottom centre of the frame here.

Sheila found Frank Beevers’ gravesite at the Edmonton Cemetery through the City of Edmonton Cemeteries database. To her surprise, there was no grave on the site.

Jeff Awid (left) and Sergeant David Hawthorne (right) at the Edmonton Police headquarters.
Jeff Awid (left) and Sergeant David Hawthorne (right) at the Edmonton Police headquarters.

Our journey took us to meet the Edmonton Police Service’s Jeff Awid, video producer in the EPS Digital Media Unit, and Sergeant David Hawthorne, co-commander of the EPS Historical Unit.

Sheila Thomas at the Edmonton Police headquarters
Sheila Thomas at the Edmonton Police headquarters

Sheila found a wealth of fascinating documents about Frank Beevers’ life, including his will.

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