The website for the War of 1812 Veteran Graveside Recognition Project
launched today June 18, 2013 - the 201st anniversary of the declaration of
war by the United States. This site contains all the information required to
apply for a plaque to honour a veteran of the War of 1812, and also allows a
process to upload your biography of the veteran.
To access the website simply search www.1812veterans.ca .
We would like to thank everyone for your patience in getting this project up
and running and we look forward to viewing the biographies of our War of
1812 veterans that you have researched.
Lyn Downer & David J. Brunelle
Historic Military Establihsment of Upper Canada
Overview of the Project
The Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada is proud to announce a
project that is unique in Canadian History since it will see us map, and
identify rank and file veterans of the War of 1812, and mark their graves
with a bilingual black granite plaque with the 1812 commemorative medal
inscription identifying them as veterans, so all Canadians can honour their
service. The details of this bicentennial project can be viewed at a
recently launched website by searching 1812veterans.ca
The Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada is a non-profit living
history group that brings the War of 1812 period to life through heritage
displays, re-enactments and education programs. In its many years of
heritage programming this organization has brought the War of 1812 period to
life for tens of thousands of Canadian school children.
The recognition of War of 1812 veterans has not been done in our history,
and has been an oversight in terms of recognizing the efforts of Canadians
of all cultures who joined together in a common cause and defended our
nation during the War of 1812. These veterans are buried in cemeteries all
over Canada without any way of identifying them, or honouring their service.
The Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada, has taken on the
project to ensure that the War of 1812 veterans get the recognition that
they deserve, not only in the defense of Canada, but also for their
dedication in building the foundation of the Canada that we live in today.
War of 1812 veterans have never had a distinctive headstone, or a way of
identifying them as founders of our nation. This project will remedy that
situation so that anyone visiting a cemetery in Canada will be able to know
that they are standing at the gravesite of a War of 1812 Veteran.
This project was fortunate enough to receive funding from the Federal
government War of 1812 Commemorative Fund and we thankfully acknowledge the
support of the Government of Canada for this Bicentennial initiative.
This is a national project that will also have a website dedicated to
providing a searchable data base of the biographies of War of 1812 veterans
for the use of students and researchers alike, a data base that until now
has never been attempted. Each plaque placed at a War of 1812 Veteran's
gravesite will relate to corresponding biographies of the veterans with the
location of the grave on our website. Over the first phase of the project we
hope to honour up to 1000 War of 1812 veterans across the country and post
the biographies that will tell the stories of these Canadian heroes.
The project's website is intended to make the visitor aware of the people,
the places, and the foundations that our forbearers made, sometimes in the
face of extreme hardships.
The first two plaques to be placed will be at St. James-on-the-Lines
Anglican Church in Penetanguishene, Ontario, an historic jewel in our midst,
a church built by veterans of the War of 1812, and a living legacy, left for
our use by the very veterans we will be honouring. One plaque honouring
Captain James Keating of the Royal Artillery and the other honouring Captain
James Moberly of the Royal Navy, both storied veterans of the War of 1812
with fascinating personal histories, and both responsible for the creation
of the church.
The black granite plaque design contains a copy of the Upper Canada
Preserved Medal, a medal struck in 1813 and meant for War of 1812 veterans,
but very few ever received them. One side of the medal has the words "For
Merit, Presented From A Grateful Country". The Upper Canada Preserved Medal
was created by the Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada, that
ultimately could not agree on the distribution of the medals, so they were
melted down in 1840. The funds generated from the precious metals were used
to help sustain the Toronto General Hospital.
On June 18, we will be taking the first step on a long overdue journey to
acknowledge the courage and resolve of these founders of our nation. After
200 years, we will finally deliver the medals that their service to the
country has warranted, in the form of a permanent bilingual black granite
plaque marking their graves.
The website will feature the biographies of these long forgotten veterans as
well as a map to show their final resting places.
Canadians wishing to post a veteran's biography and apply for a plaque can
do so at www.1812veterans.ca