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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Henry “Harry” Collister (1898-1975)

Police officer.

Born on the Isle of Man on 24 February 1898, son of W. H. Collister, he came to Canada and, in 1915 at Camp Hughes, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He received a medal for meritorious service and was later discharged with the rank of Sergeant. He then joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and served 22 years, retiring from the detachment at Brandon. In April 1947, he became Police Chief of Brandon, serving until retirement in March 1963. On 28 November 1975, he went shopping for snow tires and was never seen alive again. His abandoned automobile was found in a wooded area northeast of Brandon on 8 February 1976 and his body was later found nearby. The cause of death was ascribed to exposure to winter conditions. He was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.

Sources:

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Collister new police chief at Brandon,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 March 1947, page 10.

“Collister quest draws a blank at U.S. Border,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 1975, page 3.

“Ex-police chief’s body found,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 April 1976, page 74.

“Collister case remains puzzle,” Brandon Sun, 3 March 1977, page 2.

“Former chief dead at 72,” Brandon Sun, 20 March 1979, page 1.

Burial transcription, Brandon Municipal Cemetery.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 January 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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