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British Military Graves in Bermuda

Thousands of soldiers, sailors and families from Britain died from various fevers and were buried locally

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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us).

Military cemetery, St. George's

Our other files on military topics in Bermuda include:

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If you live beyond Bermuda and are searching for any kind of records of once Bermuda-based non-Bermudian (British UK) military or civilian personnel (a) at one time stationed in Bermuda and/or buried in Bermuda, please note the following: 

When the British Army and Royal Navy at the Bermuda Dockyard left Bermuda in the 1950s (except for a token presence until later in the case of the RN) they took most if not all their civilian and military personnel records re their once-active and subsequently de-activated Bermuda military bases and their employees with them back to the UK. Only (a) Bermudian and (b) locally-employed apprentices with got some personnel records. British Army and RN military and civilian personnel units then stationed in Bermuda were at designated sovereign military bases areas outside of local government and reported directly via their COs to the UK and were not in any way (except for contravention of local laws for speeding and other minor legal infringements) recorded by Bermuda's local civilian government. This may explain why certain sought-after information never appeared in local (i.e. civilian) records. In the UK, It may necessitate a search of British Army or RN records at Kew. It is not known if there is a particular place or office in the MOD or Kew that handles any records from the British Army units once stationed in Bermuda or the Bermuda Dockyard.

If you visit Bermuda anyway in search of any civilian records of a family member once based or stationed in Bermuda, it is recommended that your Bermuda search include, for any records of marriages, births or deaths, a visit to both the Registrar General and the Bermuda Archives. It is suggested you also check with the Anglican Church of Bermuda if they were C of E or another local church if they were not Anglicans. If they were church goers there might be a local register of parishioners. Or there might be records of births, church marriages or burials available directly and solely to interested family members to supplement what the Registrar General has. Bermuda Archives materials may also be limited. Genealogy/family history matters are beyond the remit of  http://www.bermuda-online.org but it is hoped the information given above and below will help.

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British Military Cemetery names and locations below

 The Bermuda National Trust (BNT) has a contract to maintain all twelve historic and military - and Commonwealth War Graves Commission - graveyards in Bermuda. It - not this author - should be contacted about any British Army graves in Bermuda. In the UK, best places to check are the regimental museums concerned, or British Army records. British military graveyards in Bermuda are not frequently visited. Sadly, some of the graves have clearly deteriorated greatly. Some can no longer be identified as their military plaques have disappeared.

Book: Bermuda Memorial Inscriptions. Hilary and Richard Tulloch. 2011. Bermuda National Trust and the National Museum of Bermuda. Gravestones at the Bermuda-based British Military graveyards of British Army personnel who died in Bermuda and were buried at the eastern end of St. George's Island and Royal Navy personnel including several Admirals buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery at Ireland Island. Inscriptions from all the memorials found in the naval, military and historic cemeteries of Bermuda, as well as memorials of sailors, soldiers, airmen, servants, slaves, merchants, mariners, convicts and consuls, both local and from overseas from the parish and community cemeteries. The volume also includes short histories of each of the naval, military and historic cemeteries now managed by the Bermuda National Trust. The husband and wife team, Hilary and Dick Tulloch, both come from military and families. While resident in Bermuda they noticed that many headstones in the local cemeteries were deteriorating and recorded the inscriptions.

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Ferry Reach Military Cemeteries

Ferry Reach Military Cemetery

St. George’s Parish. Ferry Reach Park. Two, with graves from the yellow fever epidemic in the 1860s. The first is the small walled cemetery close to the house at the end of Ferry Point and the second can be found just off the Railway Trail overlooking the North Shore to the east of Whalebone Bay, also a walled communal grave with a central cross memorial to those from the 2nd Battalion of the Queen’s Royal Rifles who died of yellow fever.

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Garrison Military Cemetery, Prospect

Garrison Cemetery, ProspectProspect Garrison Cemetery

Devonshire Parish. Greenwich Lane, off Alexandria Road, Fort Hill, from Middle Road. The cemetery until 1953 for the British Army in the 19th and 20th centuries when Prospect Barracks housed the central British garrison. In 1912, after the death in Bermuda while still in office and burial of Governor Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Walter Kitchener, he was interred here, in the cemetery's biggest and most ornate grave. He had served since 1908. He was given full military honours. He was the brother of British Army hero General Sir Herbert Kitchener, who as Commander in Chief of the Anglo Egyptian army, smashed the Mahdi Rebellion in the Anglo Egyptian Sudan at the Battle of Omdurman and was later created Lord Kitchener of Khartoum by Queen Victoria. In 1914, November, 6838 Private Allen Arthur Cuthbertson, one of the members of the Royal Canadian Army sent to Bermuda to relieve the Lincolnshire Regiment, died in Bermuda on 16 November and was buried here, Grave Ref 848.  In 1915, April, 7665 Private Joseph R. Marshall, another member of the Royal Canadian Army sent to Bermuda to relieve the Lincolnshire Regiment, died in Bermuda on 24 April and was buried here, Grave Ref 520. The cemetery also contains many fine examples of classic tombstone masonry  Later, it become the police cemetery and an assassinated Police Commissioner is buried here.

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Long Island

Long Island cemeteries

Warwick Parish. Two cemeteries. British Army and Royal Navy men who died of yellow fever were buried here until the middle of the 19th century. (Later, from 1902, in a nearby separate graveyard, Boer War prisoners of war who died in Bermuda were buried here).

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St. George’s Military Cemeteries

St. George's Military Cemetery

St. George’s Parish. Two, one at Grenadier Lane and the other at Secretary Road, north of the St. George's Golf Course, approximately 15 minutes walk apart.  They are north and east respectively of the old British Army Garrison Town of St. George's. Phone: (441) 236-6483. Bus Routes (part of the way only): 1, 3, 6, 10, 11. Admission is free. Both overlook the sea and are the final resting place of yellow fever victims of the 19th century, c.1850. One particularly interesting grave at Grenadier Lane is that of a surgeon. He served in the Crimean War at the battles of Balaclava and Sebastapol only to succumb to yellow fever in tranquil Bermuda. 

Over the hill to the west the Military Cemetery on Secretary Road has perhaps the most notable monumental sculpture of any of the Bermuda Military Cemeteries.  George Sampson, Victoria Cross holder of the Royal Naval Reserve, is interred here. Some older military graves are also included in the neighboring Secretary Road cemeteries.

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Royal Naval Cemetery

Royal Navy Cemetery Bermuda

Ireland Island South in Sandys Parish. On Malabar Road, approaching the former RN Dockyard. Phone: (441) 236-6483. Bus Routes: 7, 8. The Royal Navy purchased the land where the cemetery sits in 1909 and consecrated the ground in 1812. The cemetery grew in size and was open for burial to all Royal Navy personnel except convicts. Also known as ‘The Glade,’ it has memorials to many Royal Navy personnel from warships stationed here who died of the yellow fever that ravaged the British military in Bermuda during the mid-19th century. An Admiral is buried here. It also records the numerous accidents that befell the young servicemen in Bermuda, including deaths during World War 2 when Bermuda was a transit point in the Battle of the Atlantic.

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Somerset Military Cemetery

Somerset, Sandys Parish. GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 32.30459. Longitude: -64.85993. Includes 13 British Army personnel buried in Bermuda while serving there during and after World War 1.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission Find these records. Located west of Watford Bridge, off Mangrove Bay Road, immediately west of Watford Bridge behind bus stop. Phone: (441) 236-6483. Bus Routes: 7, 8. Admission is free.  The cemetery contains 13 Commonwealth war graves from WW1. Among them are West Indians and Canadians and three Bermudians of the Bermuda Militia Artillery, who died of accidental injuries in 1915. The cemetery was consecrated in 1903 and the latest memorial is dated 1918.

Somerset Island Military Cemetery

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  Watford Cemetery

Watford Island Military Cemetery

Somerset, Sandys Parish. Bus Routes: 7, 8. Admission is free. On the right going to Royal Naval Dockyard immediately after crossing Watford Bridge, hidden at end of footpath from car park. Contains memorials to soldiers and their families from 1853-1899. Here the Queen's Regiment honored their comrades, who died of yellow fever in the 1864 epidemic. This cemetery became the final resting place of four Grenadier guardsmen who died when the 2nd Battalion was stationed in Bermuda in 1891. Also here lie the graves of soldiers from other regiments. Includes graves of those and their wives and/or infants stationed at Boaz Island. Many of the tombs were erected by fellow officers or non-commissioned officers as marks of respect. Some were inscribed, complete with the regiment's insignia, while others were plain. So many died that it is impossible to show all their gravestones

Photos above by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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Graves British Army's 42nd Regiment (Royal Highlanders or Black Watch) 

Men who died from yellow fever when stationed here 1847-1851.

1847 military grave 1Military grave of 42nd regiment (2)

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

The men wore dark tartan to distinguish them from Guardsmen or Red Soldiers - hence the name Black Watch. Bermuda's Black Watch Well at the junction with the North Shore Road is named in tribute. It was dug in 1849. When the Governor ordered British soldiers to seek a fresh water supply for the poor of Pembroke Parish and their cattle during a prolonged drought, the Black Watch was the first to volunteer and dug so thoroughly the facility still exists today. One of the officers was Captain G. W. MacQuarie, who lived in St. George's at what was then Rendell House, later the Redan Hotel, now Clyde's Cafe. Several of this unit's soldiers are not in this graveyard but were buried at St. Peter's Church in St. George's. They include Ensign Maitland, Ensign Abercromby and beside them the grave of bandmaster Philip Goldbergh. 

In Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland, a monument - still there - was erected in 1887 to mark the enrolment in 1740 of the Black Watch as the 42nd Regiment of the line. The "Watch" as it was known originally was first raised in 1667 by various Whig clan chiefs "to be a constant guard for securing the peace in the Highlands and to watch upon the braes."  

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2nd Battalion 56th Regiment (West Essex), 1851-53

Typical of the regiments that were decimated in Bermuda by yellow fever. In 1853 alone, nearly 230 of its officers and men died in Bermuda from yellow fever. One of them was Lieutenant Alexander George Woodford, who died on September 12, 1853 when his unit was stationed in St. George's - then a garrison town. He was buried at St. Peter's Church. The Woodford Memorial Tablet is still there. His father was Field Marshal Sir Alexander George Woodford. Others - included in a separate mention at the same church at the same time - included Captain E. F. Hare, Captain G. S. Hanson, Lieutenant F. H. Sykes and many more officers, men and their wives and children. The cemetery for yellow fever victims of this regiment is in Ferry Reach Park, St. George's Parish

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26th Foot Regiment (Cameronians or Scottish Rifles), 1854-59

The regiment dates back to when Richard Cameron the field preacher declared war on King Charles II. For his pains, he and his followers were cut to pieces by dragoons at Airdmoss outside Auchinleck on July 22, 1680.  But in the reign of King William III the organization came into its own and Camerons and men from Skye formed the left wing at Killiecrankie. It was where "Bonnie Dundee" was killed and the Stuart cause lost.  The 1st Battalion of the Cameronians is directly descended from the Cameronian Guard embodied in 1689.  In Bermuda, the regiment had a special instructor shipped out from England to give the men courses on the use of the Enfield Rifle. Many men died and were buried in Bermuda from yellow fever. Three of the graves are shown here, one opposite and two below. 

26th Foot Cameronians26th Regiment (Cameronians) 126th Regiment (Cameronians) 2

Bermuda graves at the main military graveyard in St. George's of 26th Foot Regiment (Cameronians or Scottish Rifles)

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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39th Regiment, 1859 - 1865

It was known to be here until at least 1864 because the 39th Regimental Band gave a concert in January of that year for amateur dramatics night of children of garrison officers. Members of the regiment, like this private, are buried in the military graveyard at St. Georges.

39th Regiment

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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2nd Battalion, 2nd Queens Regiment (Queen's Royals), 1864

At the end of the US Civil War in case of repercussions from the USA from the victorious North. It was feared the hawks of the North would try to attack Bermuda for the help Bermudians gave to the South despite a strict British Government order of neutrality. Many of this regiment's members died in Bermuda from yellow fever and were buried in the military graveyard at St. Georges.

2nd Queen's Regiment (Queen's Royals)

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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30th Regiment, 1864

Its 2nd posting to Bermuda. It came from Montreal to Bermuda this time  to relieve other units of the British Army in Bermuda losing men from the effects of yellow fever.  One of its members, Dr. David Milroy, MD, FRCS, died and was buried in Bermuda on 3 September 1864, at the age of 38, from yellow fever, after treating men for it. There is this handsome grave to him in the St. George's military graveyard.

30th Regiment doctor

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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Royal Engineers (originally Royal Miners and Sappers), continuously

For the British Army, they built roads in Bermuda in the 1840s, long before the American military did in the 1950s. They paved and repaired the original military (now a civilian) road from Fort Prospect in Pembroke Parish to the Royal Naval Dockyard in the west and the garrison town of St. George's in the east - and erected the rifle range at what used to be the British Army training camp on the Old Military South Road - now the South Road - in Warwick Parish. Many died here from the effects of yellow fever, as did this officer.

Royal Engineer 1864

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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Royal Artillery, continuously

Especially after the 1840s. Many died here from the effects of yellow fever, as did these officers.

Royal Artillery 1Royal Artillery 2

Internationally copyright protected, taken by author Keith Archibald Forbes solely for Bermuda Online  

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1st Battalion, 15th Regiment (Yorkshire), 1868-70 

Until 1868, they were at St. John's, New Brunswick, Canada. In Bermuda, a unit under Major Wilkinson was relocated from St. George's in July 1868 to Boaz Island because of typhoid and yellow fevers. But it did not help. Ensign William Gaskin died at Boaz Island in 1868 and because it was so much closer than the British Army graveyards, was buried at the Naval Cemetery at Ireland Island. Two Sergeants, one drummer, and 13 Privates died and were buried in Bermuda British Army military graveyards. At HQ, Assistant Surgeon John Dennis Healy died at St. George's on 19 June 1868 and was buried there. To make up for these losses a draft of 102 men under Captain Moffatt arrived from the Depot at Chatham on October 24, 1868.

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British - non-military - graveyards in Bermuda 

They include several Anglican (Episcopalian) Parish churches where, during World War 2, civilians and Merchant Navy personnel who perished at sea as victims of German U-boat attacks against torpedoed ships, were brought to Bermuda for burial. One example is St. Paul's in Paget Parish.  For details of where outside of Bermuda British soldiers are buried overseas during world wars - not the case in any of the pre-1914 burials in Bermuda, but certainly so during World Wars 1 and 2, consult the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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Associated sites links:

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Authored, researched, compiled and website-managed by Keith A. Forbes. Last Updated: September 20, 2020
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