Great Britain and the United States in 1859 agreed to a joint
occupation of San Juan Island until the water boundary between
the two nations could be settled, it was decided that camps
would be located on opposite ends of the island.
after the British and American governments affirmed Lieutenant
General Winfield Scott’s proposal to jointly occupy San Juan
Island, the Royal Navy started looking for a home for its
British Royal Marine Light Infantry contingent.
Satellite in Bellingham Bay
James Prevost, commander of the H.M.S. Satellite,
selected the site on Garrison Bay — 15 miles northwest of
American Camp — from among seven finalists. He’d re-
the bay shore from explorations 2 years earlier as a part of
the water boundary commission survey of the island. At that
time, one of his officers, Lieutenant Richard Roche, had
commented on seeing abandoned Indian plank houses nestled among
a vast shell midden.
described the ground as "well-sheltered, has a good supply
of water and grass, and is capable of affording maneuvering
ground for any number of men that are likely to be required in
that locality..." He added that a trail, 11 miles long, led
from this area to the Hudson’s Bay farm at Bellevue.
The marines landed on March 21, 1860.
March 1860 - Landed in a bay completely land-locked, our Camping
Ground being on a shell bank - the acumu- lation of years,
evidently, as it averaged ten feet high, from thirty-five to
forty feet through, by 120 yards long. It was the work of Indians,
as they live very much on a shell-fish called "Clams",
and of course deposit the shells just outside their huts, hence
the bank I mentioned. The brush wood grew quite down to the
water's edge, in the rear the forest was growing in undisturbed
tranquility, yellow Pine, White Pine, cedar, Alder and Willows in
the low flat ground are the general features of the North end of
Sergeant William Joy, Royal Marine Light Infantry, describing the
landing at Garrison Bay.
marines brought along the necessary materials to erect
the first building, a commissary about 40 by 20 feet
(which still stands). The camp commander,
Captain George Bazalgette, RM, then placed a requisition for
"84 tin pan nikins, 36 tin plates, 3 'dishes',
10 camp kettles, 18 lanterns, 1 measures set, and a
small quantity of stationery."
command consisted of two sub- alterns (junior officers), an
assistant surgeon and 83 noncommissioned officers and men.
clearing the shore of its thick growth of trees, they erected
the commissary and planted a small garden where the formal
garden lies today.
cooking houses, and other vital structures quickly followed,
especially after Rear Admiral R. Lambert Baynes visited in June
and pronounced the need for extra pay for the men to prepare the
camp for winter.
R. Lambert Baynes
"San Juan is almost forgotten.
A company of English Marines have landed on the Northern end of the Island in a mosquito trap as Captain Bazalgette called it."
--23 April 1860, Joseph
NA Boundary Commission
Journal Of Bishop Hills
2 1861. - The offer of a passage in the Grappler to the
disputed Island of San Juan found me on my Horse this
morning at 8 o' clock or soon after, on a very muddy road to
Esquimalt harbour. The gun boat was weighing anchor
when I hailed her and we were soon away. A few hours
more and I was comfortably housed in the Quarters of Captain
Bazelgetti commanding the detachment of 80 marines in the
very snug and very beautiful cove at the north part of the
B. was at the American camp 12 miles off as the gun boat
passed the Southern part of the Island and came off
immediately, reaching this soon after our arrival.
Camp between 1866 and 1870
describes the American officers as in a state of great
excitement, not knowing what to do - Captain Pickett is a
Southern, others of his officers are Northerners. They had a
feud the other day but this is made up again. They
expect the Dissolution of the Union - know not what will
become of them. One of their troubles is arrear of pay
and inability to get even U.S. treasury Bills cashed.
No one has confidence enough or patriotism enough to venture
to cash even the Government Bills upon Washington. The
same fate awaited the U.S. Revenue Ship Massachusetts the
other day at their own coal mine Bellingham Bay. The
Colliery people refused to supply the coals except for cash
and refused a Government Bill. The officers at the
American camp San Juan are very friendly and intimate with
the British Officers and they are frequently at each other's
evening at 1/2 past 7 I had a gathering of the men and the
Crew of the Grappler in a good sized Room - the new Mess
Room. We began with a Hymn which I led and they
heartily responded. Then the Litany. Then
another Hymn. I then read Daniel 6 and discoursed upon
the circumstances and character and prophesy of Daniel.
There was much attention. We concluded with the Evening
Hymn. The threat of the Den of Lions caused me to
speak of death and its fear. I was enabled to
illustrate the subject by an account of a young Serjeant
(Campbell) of the 49th Foot killed in the Trenches in the
Crimea. He was a brave soldier and a true soldier of
Jesus Christ. He needed not to fear death. No
doubt Daniel and he knew each other in Heaven. I saw
tears in the eyes of several and trust an impression was
left of a lasting sort. May God grant it.
found stretched upon his bed (in the Hospital of San Juan) a
young man in a very apparently precarious state. He
was however better. He had had fever. He was a
Roman Catholic. He told me he never prayed. He
could not read. I asked him if he had any objection to
my reading God's word to him. "Oh no, I should
like it, sir." I read and explained Col. 3.
He was very attentive. I showed him how Christ was our
life and He alone is our all prevailing intercession and let
him set his affection on things above.
Dinner at the Mess today proved the value of the island so
far as support life is concerned. There was excellent
MUTTON fed upon the downs and shapes around. VENISON
which is always to be had for a walk in the early morning.
SALMON and a rich small member of the tribe called OULACHAN
in size between a smelt and a herring caught in the bay of
the settlement and DUCKS shot nearby - all produced on the
difficulty of getting their pay and the refusal of merchants
to cash treasury Bills makes the American Officers very
anxious. They say they fully expect next month to be
paid. Troops if six months in arrears of pay may
disband themselves. "Here am I,", says
Captain Pickett, "of 18 years standing, having served
my Country so long, to be cast adrift!".
|Cap. George E.
3 Sunday - A lovely morning, clear sky and bright sun.
The beautiful scenery, the placid lake like bay and well
ordered quarters of the settlement were the pleasing view
from my window.
the morning ay 1/2 past 10 we had a goodly number of Royal
marines and Crew of the Grappler. I read the Morning
prayer. We sang three Hymns and chanted the venite, Te
deum, Jubilate and the glorias. I preached from that
most comprehensive passage Titus 2 11-14.
the afternoon after visiting and ministering to the patients
in the Hospital I met a portion of the seamen and soldiers
for a Scripture Exposition. We sang two Hymns and I
read several prayers and then took for our subject the
Soldiers of the New testament, the Four Centurions, The
Guards of the Synagogue, The centurion on Duty at the Lion,
Cornelius and Julius, the soldiers at the Crucifixion and
the soldiers who guarded the Apostle Paul in Rome.
Many interesting lessons were to be derived from this
investigation and those present took an evident interest
which may God have blessed to their Souls.
the evening at 7 the Evening Prayer was solemnized. We
sung three Hymns, chanted the Name Divinities and the
Magnificat. I preached upon the Circumstances of the
Crucifixion from the Text "and sitting down they
watched Him there". Matt 28. 36 considering and
commenting upon the things those soldiers did see and hear
as they watched the Lord. I perform the whole
three services the days work was not light. Yet it was
most cheering to my spirit to be able to then gather these
neglected Souls of Britain together and speak to them of
Jesus and their salvation. By these four services and
sermons last night and today I trust a forcible amount of
truth has been left with them and that the seed of the
Divine Word thus cast abroad may be blessed by fruits many
fold to the glory of our good and Merciful God and the
saving of souls.
4 1861 - Fine day. Came away from San Juan.
Arrived at Victoria about half past 1.
English Camp as it appeared
in the early 1860s, receiving typically southwest winds.
|"The San Juan difficulty still remains unsolved and three Marine Officers that I know have been wasting their
existence there for three years and still no prospect of relief".
-- Lt. Anderson RE, 2nd May 1862
|15 January, 1863.
The English camp presents one of the most lovely
views in this part of the world: it is situated in a
|English Camp British Military Cemetery
San Juan Island, San Juan County,
T36N R4W Section 25
This cemetery belonged to the garrison of the British
Royal Marines who occupied a military base here from
1860 to 1872 during a boundary dispute between the
United States and Great Britain over the San Juan
Islands. When the British forces were evacuated in 1872
they main- tained ownership of this military cemetery,
and taxes have been paid to this day by the British and
Canadian governments. The cemetery is considered to be
an overseas campaign military cemetery. The entire
English Camp, together with the American Camp at the
other end of the island that was occupied from 1859 to
1874, form the San Juan Island National Historical Park.
This boundary dispute, the so-called "Pig
War," was the last time that US and British or
Canadian military forces were ever deployed anywhere in
opposition to each other. Please note that, despite the
polite language of the plaque placed a century later,
there were no boundary negotiations whatsoever during
this period, only an armed standoff eventually resolved
by binding mediation of the German Emperor. All
transcribed inscriptions are shown exactly as inscribed.
The following plaque is found beside the
In memory of seven members of the Royal Marine
Light Infantry and one civilian who died, here, during
Boundary Negotians 1860-1872 Erected by the University
Naval Training Divisions Royal Canadian Navy for the
Maritime Museum of B.C. August 1964"
Graves shown left to right, all inside a neat white
Thomas Riddy (no stone)
"In memory of G.E. Stewart Corp. Royal
Marines L.I. who suddenly departed this life June 1,
1865 Aged 28 years Native of Derby England"
"In memory of Jos. Ellis and Thos. Riddy Privats
R.M.L.I. who were accidently drowned Jany. 4th. 1863
This tabblet is erected by their comrads In the midst of
life we are in death 'R. Trendell'"
"Sacred to the memory of William Davis Pte. 109
Co. R.M.L.I. who was accidentally drowned May 7th 1868
aged 26 years this tablet is erected to his memory by
his surviving comrades 'Foster'"
"Sacred to the memory of William Taylor aged 31
years who was accidentally shot by his brother Jany.
26th. 1868 this tablet is erected by his sorrowing
brother 'Foster Victor Jr.'" (n.b. the National
Park Service transcription provided gives the inscribed
age incorrectly as 34)
"In memory of 109th. Co. Charles Wood Pte.
who died Jan. 8th. 1869 aged 28 years and 27th. Co.
James Wensley Pte. who was accidentlly drowned in the
adjacent harbour April 7th. 1869. His body was not found
"Therefore be ye also ready" Erected as a mark
of esteem by their fellow comrades of the above Cos. of
the R.M.L.I. 'Foster'"
Charles Wood (no stone)
Burials in order of death:
Ellis, Private Joseph Jan 4, 1863
Riddy, Private Thomas Jan 4, 1863
Stewart, Corporal G.E. Jun 1, 1865
Taylor, William Jan 26, 1868
Davis, Private William, 109th Co. May 7, 1868
Wood, Private Charles, 109th Co. Jan 8,
Wensley, Private James, 27th Co. Apr 7, 1869 (body
not in grave)
-Taken from: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/wa/sanjuan/cemetery/english.txt
the camp was at its peak for the enlisted men. One visitor
"We may remark here that the neatness,
cleanliness and good order observable throughout the entire camp
were the subject of general observation."
the arrival of a new comman- der, Captain William Delacombe, in
1867, the camp received a major face- lift. New officers’
quarters were built to house the captain and his family as well
as the camp’s second in command. Delacombe also di-
a formal garden be
con- structed at the base of the hill lead- ing
to the officers’ quarters.
Delacombe and Family
marines departed in November 1872, following the final boundary
decision of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany. They left behind a
facility so solidly built that the Crook family (who purchased
the site from the U.S. government) occupied several of the
structures for more than 30 years.
the above information is courtesy of: