Created By: SFU
Robert McBeath was born in Kinlochbervie in Sutherlandshire, Scotland. From the early age of nineteen, he was involved in the line infantry regiment of the British army, the Seaforth Highlanders, largely associated with Scotland. He was one of the youngest recipients who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding accomplishments and heroism. Following his achievements in the military, McBeath decided to pursue a future in Canada with his new bride, Barbara MacKay, in February 1918. His eagerness to pursue a career in law enforcement led him to immediately find a position with the British Columbia Police, which was followed by a transfer to the Vancouver Police Department.
According to a report in the Vancouver Sun, in the Fall of 1922, McBeath, alongside his partner Detective R.S. Quirk, were at Granville and Davie Street when they noticed a car honking and swerving in a dangerous manner. Both officers initially failed to stop the car, but after they jumped onto the running boards the driver relented. McBeath attempted to take the driver, Fred Deal, to the patrol box, but his efforts were met with a struggle. Quirk took notice and approached the two, but quickly discovered that Deal was armed with a gun. Deal opened fire on the officers, and despite their best efforts both were shot and he managed to escape. While Quirk was able to recover from his injuries, McBeath was shot right below the heart and succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving at St. Paul’s hospital. Hours later, Fred Deal was arrested by the police who were able to locate him and the murder weapon negligently discarded on Davie Street.
Bibliography: Butts, Edward. “Constable Robert McBeath: Twice the Hero.” Line of Fire: Heroism, Tragedy, and Canada's Police. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2002. Google Scholar. Web. 18 May 2017.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scotland Walks Vancouver