For three years, three Britishers had the honour – or the bad luck – to be the inhabitants of the most northerly outpost in the world.
Two of them were Ulstermen – Constable Arthur Munro, of Belfast, and Constable R W Hamilton, Co Tyrone – and the third was an Englishman, Corporal Stalworthy. They all belong to “The Mounties” (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
This little force was stationed at Bache Peninsula, eleven degrees from the North Pole, and their only companions were an Eskimo, and his son, who are special constables.
It is a land of eternal snows, ice-bound waters, and ice-glazed mountains.
Corporal Munro is in Belfast enjoying two months leave after his long sojourn in this bleak place.
“When I was up north,” Constable Munro said, “we lived in a wooden shack, and our food was all tinned stuff. We made our own bread. Just before we left the grub was beginning to run short.”
Constable Munro is 29 years of age. He served with the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles for five years before joining the “Mounties”.
When asked, “do you like the job?’, he answered: “Well, I’ve just completed three years with them and I’ve signed on again. I would not mind going to the far north again. It was lonely, but very interesting.”