December 5, 2023

1812/UEL Grave Marking Ceremonies

A first for Northumberland —  Ceremonies at Warkworth, Stones & Cramahe Hill Cemeteries

Article by Sue Dickens/Images submitted

Warkworth –  Grave marking ceremonies to honour the veterans of the War of 1812 and United Empire Loyalists (UELs) will be happening in Northumberland for the first time.

The grave marking event will take place on Sat., June 18 at three cemeteries: the Warkworth Cemetery at 10 a.m.; the Stones Cemetery at 11:30 a.m.; and Cramahe Hill Cemetry at 2 p.m.

Bill Russell of Warkworth

Bill Russell, Regional Vice President of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada and the president of the Kawartha Branch UELAC, is one of the organizers and he lives in Warkworth.

Another Warkworth resident, Troy Easter is assisting as well as David Smith who is a reenactor soldier.

“This all started when Troy went with his wife to Stone’s Cemetery to look at his wife’s great grandfather’s monument. When he got there, he saw that the monument was all covered in moss and you couldn’t really read it so he contacted Arlington military cemetery down in the United States. They told him how to clean the stones properly without damaging them so he went back and cleaned the stone but while he was there, he saw that others needed cleaning and thought he’d clean them up too. Once he cleaned the moss off, he saw one of other monuments was inscribed “Michael Cryderman, United Empire Loyalist.” it was inscription on the stones and that’s what got the ball rolling because we didn’t know there were any UEL’s buried in this area,” Russell told Trent Hills Now.

United Empire Loyalists settled in Canada arriving here from the American Colonies and finding places to live in the region from Niagara Falls to the Maritimes. “A lot of them actually walked and crossed over at Niagara Falls or in the Cornwall area and settled along the lakeshore from Cornwall to the Bay of Quinte,” said Russell. It is estimated 30,000 Loyalists came to Canada.

“The event on June 18 is to mark the graves of veterans of the War of 1812 and United Empire Loyalists too,” he explained.

Grave marker

The grave marker is made of granite and has a picture of the last existing silver medallion which is in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and is the last of the many silver medallions the government decided to have made and given to each of the soldiers who participated.

The UELs were American citizens of British descent that supported the Crown (Britain) during the American Revolution. Also the Six Nations supported the British, they were led by leaders like Chief Joseph Brant, they were given land at the Bay of Quinte and Brantford area. Loyalists were also American African slaves, the British offered any slave that would join them freedom after one year of service, this story is depicted in the bestselling novel and movie, “The Book of Negroes” After the British were defeated, their supporters lost all their property, everything was confiscated and they were forced to leave the USA so some travelled by ships and those people settled in Nova Scotia and formed the new province of New Brunswick. Others wintered in Quebec and came by bateaus to the Bay of Quinte area.

The June 18, Ceremonies  will be to honour the brave soldiers who fought to keep Canada from United States control. Local army cadets from Lindsay and Campbellford will be alongside the Canadian Fencible Reenacting Soldiers in all their regalia. There will be members of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canda, dressed in period costumes also attending.

The Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry, or as it is more commonly known, the Canadian Fencibles, consists of a group of people dedicated to the memory of the original regiment and to accurately portraying the regiment’s uniforms, equipment, and drill and life of the period.

Their members come from many different backgrounds and from across Ontario with a focus in eastern Ontario.

1812 graveside ceremony at Stockdale, Quinte West

Not only does the ceremony mark the graves of veterans of the War of 1812, “We also have two soldiers who are veterans of the American Revolution…when they came to Canada, they were given land according to their rank. And then their sons and daughters also received 200 acres of land on turning 21. When the land along the Bay of Quinte was all given out, the government  started giving out land grants in the back regions of Frontenac, Hastings and Northumberland Counties.

As mentioned, this is the first time the organization has held a ceremony at the cemeteries here in Northumberland. In past years it has been held in other parts of eastern and western  Ontario including Frankford, Loyalist Township, Perth, Kingston Township, Essex and more.

“We have invited the families of the soldiers who are buried in any of the three cemeteries that we could find. What we do during the ceremony is we have a nice granite monument that says veterans of the War of 1812 and we lay that stone at the graves so people will know that they fought in that war,” said Russell.

“We will have around 50 reenactor soldiers coming from across Ontario, all dressed in period, military costume… We also have an artillery unit coming. They’re bringing a cannon and after the ceremony at each cemetery, they fire the cannon off three times,” said Russell.

The mayor of Trent Hills, Bob Crate, (who is also the County Warden) will be attending as well as MP Philip Lawrence and MPP Davd Piccini and UELAC  President Trish Groom who is also a Northumberland resident.

The Rotary Club of Campbell is sponsoring a free lunch at the Warkworth Legion for all those taking part in the event. The other sponsors are Peterborough Naval Association, Lighthouse Wealth Management, Glovers Farm Market, Roaming Valley Farms and the Kawartha and Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC.

For more information about the Canadian Fencibles go to:

List War of 1812 Veterans

Warkworth Cemetery Percy Township

Cpl. Benjamin Hicks 1794- 1876

          Died July 12, 1876

          Northumberland Militia / IMUC

Pvt. Isaac Ireland  1786 – 1854

     Died August 18, 1854

          2nd Leeds Militia

          Born in Schaghticoke, Renessaeler County NY

Sgt. John Kemp 1788 – 1861

    Died May 25, 1861

         Lennox & Addington Militia

Drummer James Johnson Merriam 1772- 1862

Born in Connecticut, USA

Died February 20, 1862

          Northumberland Militia

   Pvt. James Platt 1796 – 1839

         Died June 7th, 1839

         1st Prince Edward Dragoons

Capt. John Spencer 1794 – 1869

Died October 15th, 1869

         Northumberland Militia

Pvt. Joseph Young  1794- 1878

    Died April 6, 1878

         Prince Edward Militia

Stone Cemetery, Percy Township

   Pvt. Jacob W. Cryderman, 1787-1867

         Died March 19, 1867

         Prince Edward Militia

     Pvt. Johannes ( John ) Dingman, 1776-1853

         Died August 15th, 1853

         Northumberland Militia

     Pvt. Cornelius Oliver, UE 1757-1854

          1st Lennox Militia

      UEL Sign

      Pvt. Michael Cryderman, UE 1757 – 1837

      1st Battalion, King’s Royal Regiment of New York

      Enlisted May 6th, 1777

Cramahe Hill Cemetery, Morganston

    Pvt. Garerett Dingman, 1792-1875

          Northumberland Militia

    Pvt. Jacob Dingman, 1785-1864

          Northumberland Militia

     Pvt. Joseph Gould, 1789-1872

          Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles


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