When the Klondike Gold Rush began, the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in the Yukon were soon overwhelmed. On March 21, 1898, the Yukon Field Force (YFF) was formed to assist them. Commanded by Major Thomas D. B. Evans of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (he was promoted to acting Lieutenant-Colonel for the duration of the FYFF duty) the Yukon Field Force consisted of 3 officers and 46 men from the Royal Canadian Artillery, 3 officers and 130 men from the Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry, 1 officer and 16 men from the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and a headquarters staff of 5 officers.
Fort Selkirk was chosen as the primary base for the YFF. Upon their arrival after a grueling journey along the "All-Canadian" route that started in Wrangell, Alaska, a sawmill was constructed, and civilian contractors joined in erecting 11 large log buildings.
The 203 soldiers were a force in name only, as they were sent to protect Canadian sovereignty with only 2 Maxim machine guns, 2 seven-pound field guns, and their Lee-Enfield rifles. In October 1898, 2 officers and 50 other ranks with a Maxim gun were sent to Dawson City, although the main force remained in Fort Selkirk.
In June 1900, with the gold rush largely over, the Yukon Field Force was recalled, leaving behind their buildings, and the graves of 1 member in Dawson City (in the Police Cemetery, and 3 members in Fort Selkirk: