James Cleland: b. Torfechan, Scotland, 13 July 1880 d. 19 February 1920
Marjory Cleland: b. 1906 d. 27 June 1920
James Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 28
Marjory Cleland: Block F, Row 15, Plot 29
James “Scotty” Cleland was born in Torfechan, Scotland, on 13 July 1880. He joined the Edinburgh police in May 1900, where he served for seven years before immigrating to Canada in 1907. After a short period in Montreal, James moved west to Revelstoke in 1909, where he was employed by the local police force and promoted to Chief of Police in 1916. During his career, James suffered a gunshot wound while arresting a man attempting to rob the Dominion Express Office.
James died at the age of 39 in 1920, following complications from the flu. His funeral was well attended, many citizens lining the sidewalks on Second Street to say goodbye. He left behind a wife and four children: Malcolm, Marjory, Ina and James.
Tragically the same year, James’s 14 year-old daughter, Marjory Cleland, was drowned when her boat capsized on the Columbia River on the 27 June 1920. Three other young people from Revelstoke, aged 18 to 21 years, also lost their lives in the accident. Two months later, on 26 August 1920, the Cleland family home was burnt to the ground, allegedly caused by faulty electrical wiring in the front of the house. Only a few valuable papers and a pet canary were saved from the fire.