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Annual salute in memory of Midshipman Dale

Sea Cadets lay the flag at the grave of Midshipman Dale as part of the annual commemoration held at St Peter's Church (Photograph supplied)

A poignant ceremony celebrating the kindness shown by East End residents to US Navy Midshipman Richard Sutherland Dale, the last casualty of the War of 1812, was marked this weekend with the laying of wreaths at his grave.

Midshipman Dale died in 1815 at the age of 20 after being wounded in action against the Royal Navy. Although a peace treaty had been signed in Europe in December 1814, the news had not yet reached North America.

He was brought to Bermuda as a prisoner, and cared for by sympathetic St Georgians, but died from his injuries, and was buried in St Peter’s churchyard. His grateful family saluted the kindness shown to their son in the inscription at his grave, where a ceremony honouring his memory was begun in 1932.

The ceremony faded with the departure of US forces from Bermuda in 1995, but was brought back in 2006.

It was held on Saturday with Governor John Rankin inspecting the TS Admiral Somers’ Sea Cadet unit, which then led the way to the churchyard, accompanied by piper Joel Cassidy and drummer Peter Profit,

A service was conducted by Canon W David Raths of St Peter’s Church and the Reverend Dr Erskine Simmons.

Wreaths were then laid by Mr Rankin, along with Linda Rosalik representing the Consul General, Captain Rodgaard, retired, of the US Navy, representing the Naval Order of the US, and by Judith Pearson for the 1805 Club. Wreaths were given by Mrs Louise Hall Reider and The Friends of St Peter’s Church. Lavern Daniels sang the American National Anthem.

The service was followed by the annual dinner at Griffins Restaurant, arranged by The Friends of St Peters Church.