A service to commemorate the life of US Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale was held in St George’s, with people coming out to pay tribute to the last victim of the War of 1812.
With piper Joel Cassidy and drummer Peter Profit, the TS Admiral Somers Sea Cadets led the way to St Peter’s Churchyard for a commemorative service conducted by Canon W. David Raths of St Peter’s Church and Revd Dr Erskine Simmons.
Wreaths were laid by various dignitaries, and Ms Lavern Daniels sang the American National Anthem. The service was followed by the annual dinner at Griffins Restaurant, arranged by The Friends of St Peter’s Church.
Midshipman Dale, 20, died in Bermuda in February 1815 of wounds received while fighting in the War of 1812.
His parents were very touched by the kindness locals had shown to their son and part of the inscription on the tombstone at St Peter’s reads, “This stone records the tribute of his parents’ gratitude to those inhabitants of St. George’s whose generous and tender sympathy prompted the kindest attentions to their son while living and honoring him when dead.”
For many years the U.S. Military commemorated Midshipman Dale on the anniversary of his death, however the event ceased once the U.S departed from their base in Bermuda.
However, the tradition was adopted by the Friends of St. Peters Church, who now gather every year at Midshipman Dale’s gravestone.
Photos by Gillian Outerbridge, click to enlarge: