by Port Maitland, “On the Grand” Historical Association

On a clear yet dark morning of May 7, 1850, a ship had only moments before it left Port Maitland with soldiers from the Reserve Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd Foot) as it headed out onto Lake Erie.

Shortly after 12:10 a.m. their ship, the Commerce was struck by a steamer ship, the Despatch. This resulted in the deaths of at least thirty-nine soldiers, and family members.  It is unknown how many in total perished, nor is it known how many were buried in Christ Church Cemetery at Port Maitland.  We do know that the bulk of them were interred there.

On Sunday April 29th at 11 a.m. a communion service will be held at Christ Church where a scroll with the names of the thirty-nine known souls will be presented to the church by Port Maitland, “On the Grand” Historical Association.  All are welcome!

This might be a perfect time to ask our citizens to join with Christ Church in their ongoing cemetery restoration.  Envelopes will be in the seats in which you may place a donation toward this project.  Income tax receipts will be issued.