Stuart Taylor Wood, 9th Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (1889 - 1966)

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About Stuart Taylor Wood, 9th Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_Taylor_Wood

Stuart Taylor Wood, CMG (October 17, 1889 – January 4, 1966) served as the ninth Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, from March 6, 1938 to April 30, 1951.

Born in Napanee, Ontario, Wood's father, Zachary Taylor Wood, served in the North-West Mounted Police from 1885 to 1915 and was Acting Commissioner of the Force.

Wood attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario where he graduated in 1912. Shortly after he secured a commission in the RNW Mounted Police. Wood himself served in World War I as a lieutenant in the cavalry in France and Belgium. He served in the Yukon upon returning to Canada in 1919 as Justice of the Peace, Coroner, Sheriff, Game Inspector and Customs Officer.

When Wood became an Acting Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner he initiated many changes. Through 1945 and 1946 he established a system of registration for aliens, and dealt with espionage cases. In the North, he recruited new policing detachments. He organized a permanent Royal Canadian Mounted Police Band, (later disbanded by Commissioner Inkster in 1994). He established the first RCMP scientific laboratory and museum in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Wood also established a horse breeding station at Fort Walsh. He improved wireless communication and broadcasting and instituted a preventive policing program for youth. He negotiated provincial policing contracts for Newfoundland and British Columbia. Under his leadership the RCMP force grew gradually and scientific methods of crime detection improved enhancing law enforcement and crime prevention. Wood retired from the RCMP in 1951 and died in 1966. He was buried in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Wood was the great-great grandson of U.S. President Zachary Taylor. President Taylor's third daughter, Anne, married Robert C. Wood, a U.S. Regular Army surgeon, who served the Union during the Civil War, though their two sons served the Confederacy. One of their sons, John Taylor Wood, had been an officer in the U.S. Navy, but with the outbreak of the Civil War resigned, later joining the Confederate Marine Corps, and later served as an officer in the famed ironclad Virginia/Merrimac during her encounter with the USS Monitor. He afterwards became a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army. After the war John Taylor Wood relocated to Canada.

Stuart Taylor Wood's two sons, Constables John Taylor Wood and Herschel Taylor Wood, also served on the Force. His son Herschel was killed on duty in 1950. Both Herschel and his father are buried in the RCMP Depot in Regina, Saskatchewan. Wood's son John retired from the RCMP as Superintendent in 1988.

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