In many ways, we ran the NWMP like the army. Perhaps this was because many of our officers had served in the army or militia before joining the NWMP. Our days started early and ended late. Some days were very busy, others were very quiet and we busied ourselves in the daily routine.
Did you know that each division had its own bugler? The bugler woke us in the morning, let us know when it was time for different chores and meals, and when to go to bed. He was almost like a clock. We had to listen carefully because he played different tunes, or bugle calls, for different things. Of course after a while you just got used to the routine and the calls were a reminder. One of our most famous buglers was that scamp, Fred Bagley. He joined when he was just 15 years old! His father, a good friend of Commissioner French, let him come on the March West as long as he was home in six months. Young Fred did not go home for 14 years!
There were many different men who lived at the forts with us. There were of course all the NWMP men and officers, a doctor, a veterinary surgeon, cooks, and a blacksmith. At some posts there were carpenters, armourers, saddle and harness makers. These people helped us perform our duties by keeping our buildings and wagons, rifles and hand guns, saddles and harnesses in good working order. Many later established shops in the communities next to the posts.
Outpost at Wood Mountain Blacksmith shop at Fort Calgary.
Saddlers, carpenters, blacksmiths and other craftsmen at Fort Macleod.