Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society

The mission of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society is to stimulate and encourage the commemoration of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in its customs, traditions and affiliations and to appropriately honour and preserve their legacy for future generations.

Veteran’s Service Recognition Ceremony- Sgt Joseph Corbett 1845-1915

In Memoriam-Sgt Joseph Corbett
Newfoundland Constabulary

Sergeant Joseph Corbett was born at Otterbury, Newfoundland in 1845, the son of Philip and Margaret Corbett. Joseph married Catherine Morrissey on June 13, 1878 in the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, and they had five children together.

Joseph Corbett was a distinguished member of the Newfoundland Constabulary, known for his exemplary service and dedication to maintaining law and order in Newfoundland. Born in 1845, he joined the reorganized Newfoundland Constabulary in 1871, marking the beginning of a remarkable career that spanned over four decades.

Corbett’s contribution to policing in Newfoundland was particularly significant in the outports, where he spent the majority of his career. As a police officer, he played a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of these coastal communities. His commitment to upholding the law and protecting the rights of the citizens earned him respect and admiration among the people he served.
In 1892, the Great Fire ravaged St. John’s, causing widespread destruction and chaos. In the aftermath of this catastrophic event, Sgt Joseph Corbett was transferred to St. John’s, where he continued to serve as a key figure in the re-establishment of order and rebuilding efforts. His experience and expertise were indispensable during this challenging period, as he worked tirelessly to restore a sense of stability to the city.

Tragically, just a few years after his transfer to St. John’s, Sgt Joseph Corbett passed away on November 3, 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I. While his life was cut short, his legacy as a dedicated and courageous police officer lives on. His unwavering commitment to his duty and his selflessness in protecting the people of Newfoundland left an indelible mark on the history of the Newfoundland Constabulary.

Sgt Joseph Corbett’s contributions extend beyond his policing duties. His involvement in the Newfoundland Constabulary during a time of significant transformations in the province’s history highlights his resilience and adaptability. By serving in both the outports and St. John’s, he demonstrated his versatility and his willingness to serve wherever he was needed.

Moreover, Sgt Joseph Corbett’s commitment to maintaining law and order during a time of great adversity showcases his bravery and dedication. The challenges he faced, particularly during the aftermath of the Great Fire, required not only physical endurance but also a strong sense of leadership and compassion. His actions helped instill a renewed sense of hope and security within the community.
In conclusion, Sgt Joseph Corbett’s contributions to the Newfoundland Constabulary are immeasurable. From his early years stationed in the outports to his transfer to St. John’s, he exemplified the qualities of a dedicated and compassionate police officer. Despite his premature passing, his legacy lives on and serves as a reminder of the profound impact that one individual can have in upholding justice and protecting the well-being of a community.


Click below to see a flipbook of text and photos of the event

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