Sam Steele


Sir Samuel Benfield Steele was born at Purbrook, Canada West (now near Orillia, Ontario on January 5, 1849. He joined the militia in 1866 during the Fenian troubles and was a private in the Red River Expedition of 1870.

He joined the Permanent Force Artillery in 1871 and, in 1873, became a sergeant major in the newly created NWMP. He achieved commissioned rank in 1878, and his first command was at Ft Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan) in 1879, where he was in charge of police detachments supervising the building of the CPR, In 1885 he was promoted superintendent and in 1898 established Canadian government authority during the Klondike Gold Rush. Steele was given command of Lord Strathcona's Horse in the South African War, and in 1915 he commanded the second Canadian contingent to be sent overseas in World War I.

In 1916 he was appointed general officer commanding the Shorncliffe area in England, a post he held until the end of the war and his retirement in 1918. He died at London, England on January 30, 1919.

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