July 21, 2019

War of 1812 Bicentennial Graveside Recognition Project-Honouring Our 1812 Veterans

War of 1812 Bicentennial Graveside Recognition Project-Honouring Our 1812 Veterans

On Sunday October 27th, members of the Richmond Hill Historical Society took part in the ceremony organized by the Bicentennial Graveside Recognition Project www.1812veterans.ca . Members, Greg Hunter and Dinah Cruse-Hunter organized the ceremony with the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church to honour 5 men who were veterans of the War of 1812. With the continued commemorations of the War of 1812, battles have been recognized, heroes have been recognized but the last remaining recognition never completed, was honouring those who fought in the war. Large medals were struck at the time and few men received them, having left militia units and gone home to their families. Now a plaque showing both sides of the original medal will be laid on each honoured veteran’s grave site. The men who were honoured with the plaque in Richmond Hill were: For their service with 1st Regiment York Militia

John Arnold 1769 – 1855 Captain, Colonel (initial commanding Officer)

David Bridgford 1791 – 1868 Private, Sergeant, Captain, Colonel

John Langstaff 1774-1865 Sergeant

James Marsh 1776 – 1849 Private, Sergeant, Captain

James Miles 1776 – 1840 Lieutenant, Captain

The honorees include very well-known names from the early beginnings of Richmond Hill and Markham. Founding fathers in the Town of Richmond Hill. The Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church stepped proudly up to the plate and the morning service, delivered by Minister Duncan Jeffrey included the history of Richmond Hill, the honouring of the men and Remembrance and its importance. The ceremony was held near the 5 men’s grave sites and each man ‘s history was given and the plaques unveiled. All levels of government were represented along with the Masons’ Grand Master and Dinah Cruse-Hunter who’s Great-Great-Great Grandfather was Colonel Bridgford – as presenters. Greg and dinah Hunter are 1812 re-enactors and many of thier co-horts joined in and wore the uniforms of the War of 1812 and others were in costume of the period. It was a touching ceremony.

The Richmond Hill Historical Society was very proud to witness the ceremony. We thank everyone who organized this initiative. It was well organized and everyone took great pride in being part of it. Please visit the website for further information.