York County Police
April 17, 1930
Sergeant Thomas Kirk, a York County police officer, was appointed to the York County Police Force in 1920 and was stationed in Newmarket during the 1930s. He was a respected member of the community. The following is an account of his death as reported by A. Wallace in The York County Constabulary:
“About two o’clock on the morning of April 17th Kirk, accompanied by Constables W.M. Shadwick and R. Hull, was driving south on Yonge Street. About one mile north of Thornhill his car was sideswiped by a north-bound car and went out of control, going over the radial tracks, striking a post and turning over several times. The occupants were thrown out. Kirk’s body was picked up about sixty-five-feet from the crash with a neck broken and being terribly disfigured. By whim of fortune the only damage to the other car was a flat tire and a smashed rear mudguard.”
Sergeant Kirk was laid to rest April 19, 1930. His funeral was one of the most impressive in Newmarket’s history at that time, with over 100 cars forming the funeral cortege. A large number of uniform officers and 200 members of the Tuscan Masonic Lodge attended the service. Unfortunately, Constables Hull and Shadwick were still too badly shaken to attend.
As a direct result of Sergeant Kirk’s death, the County Warden and Commissioners reported to the Council that they believed that Constables should be insured under the Workmen’s Compensation Board Act. By December of the same year, each Constable was insured for $2,000.