Deceased Brethren

Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch (1892-1966) was a R.C.M.P. A/Commissioner who joined Temple Lodge No. 33 after moving to the Cowichan Valley following his retirement.

Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch in RCMP ceremonial uniform.
Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch in RCMP ceremonial uniform.

Here is a brief biography of Brother Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch taken from his obituary in the Cowichan Leader newspaper:

“Col. Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch, RCMP, retired, died Monday in King’s Daughters’ Hospital.

The funeral will be held today at 2 p.m. in St. Peter’s Anglican Church, with Rev. Neil Robinson officiating.

Col. Sandys-Wunsch was born January 9, 1892 in Knotsford, Cheshire, England and came to Winnipeg, Canada in 1910. For a year, he drove a team for W. Gorman of Birds Hill.

In 1911 he joined the RNWMP as a trumpeter and at the start of World War 1 bought his way out of the force and sailed for England where he attempted to enlist in the British Army.

Problems with his eyesight at that time made this impossible and he went to Brussels where he joined the 3rd Lancers Belgian cavalry as a volunteer.

He fought through the retreat to Ypres, was wounded and decorated with the Yser Cross by King Albert, for capturing prisoners and saving the regimental flag.

In 1915 he was made a temporary captain in the Royal Scots by the British Army and in the same year was wounded while serving in western Egypt during the Senusi revolt.

After graduating from staff college he served on General Allenby’s staff and during this time also served on the staff of the Fourth Command, met Lawrence of Arabia and Wavell and made a patrol with the Camel Corps to the Dead Sea before the attack on Jerusalem.

He later received a permanent commission as a reward.

In 1919 Col. Sandys-Wunsch returned to Canada after resigning his commission and rejoined the RNWMP as a sergeant. A few months later he was promoted inspector.

During the next 27 years he served the RCMP both behind the desk and trekking through every province as well as the eastern Arctic and the Yukon. Prior to his retirement he was the third senior officer in the entire force, while located at Winnipeg.

He was in charge of escorts in the Duke of Windsor (the Prince of Wales), the King of Siam and President Roosevelt on their visits to Canada. He was a member of the Bisley rifle team in 1923 and adjutant in 1928.

In 1921 he established a world’s record – that still stands – when he fired 19 consecutive hits in a one-inch bulls eye with a .45 Colt service revolver. He set a Canadian rapid-fire record in 1923 that has been tied once, but not beaten.

Another record, never equalled, was travelling 75 miles alone on foot in 27 hours in the Liard River district of northern B.C., when Asst. -Comm. Sandys-Wunsch and two constables trekked 600 miles north to find and bring to justice five Indians who had killed another Indian.

In 1937 he was shot in the head by an insane trapper after an attempted arrest.

He was promoted to superintendent in 1935 and assistant commissioner in 1941 when he went to Winnipeg as head of D Division. He was awarded the OBE in 1946 and was a serving brother in the Order of St. John.

Asst. – Comm. Sandys-Wunsch was a president of the Boy Scouts’ Association here for several years. He was a member of Temple Lodge, No. 33, A.F. and A.M.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, at Maple Bay Road residence; a son, Rev. John Sandys-Wunsch, Victoria; two grandsons, Michael and Donald; a sister in Abersoch, North Wales, and an elder brother, Donald, in New Plymouth, New Zealand; two nephews and a neice.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, 27 July 1966 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives files)

Here are some sites with more information on Theodore Sandys-Wunsch:

Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch in RCMP uniform.
Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch in RCMP uniform.

Theodore Sandys-Wunsch is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican Cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.

Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch grave, St. Peter's Quamichan Anglican Cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.
Theodore Vincent Sandys-Wunsch grave, St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican Cemetery, North Cowichan, B.C.

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