In August 1856 construction of the Victoria District Church was completed on its site atop Church Hill, where the British Columbia Law Courts are situated today. While the church was still under construction the first known burial took place in a small parcel of land adjacent to the Church Reserve. This followed exactly the vision which Governor James Douglas had enunciated as early as 1853, that when churches were built in the colony, burying grounds would be laid out around them.1
The first documented burial in the new site was on February 20, 1855 when Father Lootens interred the remains of “Adélaïde femme Stékine, épouse de Léon Morel” and noted in his register: “Nouveau Cimetière”.2 However, the new burying ground was not formally staked out until May 1855 by Acting Colonial Surveyor B. W. Pearse, who allocated half to the Catholic Church and the other half presumably to the Anglican Church, according to Roman Catholic Bishop Modeste Demers. A year later the Catholic section was fenced and gated by George Deans and the Bishop informed his congregation that “we now had a burying ground.”3 The entire cemetery was a small one by modern standards, barely a half city block. Nevertheless, in 1855 it probably seemed more than adequate for the small population of Fort Victoria.
Prior to 1855 the residents of the fort and surrounding farms had used the Fort Victoria Graveyard for burying their dead. This was a small site on the banks of the Johnson Street Ravine, where the corner of Douglas and Johnson Streets is today. Brothers Island which lies off the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour was also being used for burials of some Royal Navy personnel at this time.
According to the first written references, for some time the new cemetery on Church Hill seems to have had no formal name. For example, an entry in the diary of Martha Cheney Ella describes the funeral of her uncle, Thomas Blinkhorn: “Poor Uncle was Buried in Victoria churchyard, by the Revd Edward Cridge Vancouver’s Island, Oct. 16th, 1856.”4 Several other names in both English and French were informally bestowed on the burying ground, but eventually the name Quadra Street Cemetery was adopted for it. After 1908 when it was converted into a park it was given the name Pioneer Square, and now it is referred to as the Old Burying Ground.
For the first few years the Old Burying Ground may have appeared to many people such as Martha Cheney Ella to be an Anglican churchyard, considered part of the Church Reserve for what some presumed was the Established Church in the Colony of Vancouver Island. The Anglican Victoria District Church (later Christ Church Cathedral) sat across Quadra Street half a block away, so the burying ground gave every appearance of belonging to that church. When the first Anglican Bishop, George Hills, arrived in the colony in 1860 appearance gave way to reality, at least in Hills’ mind, and he attempted to exert his ecclesiastical authority over the entire Old Burying Ground.
Hills exerted his supposed authority by the simple act of placing Bishop’s Close, his own home and garden, on Church Reserve property adjacent to the south side of the burying ground, and in 1860 having a fence with a narrow gate erected around them. By doing so he effectively obstructed the access of hearses to the gate which George Deans had put in for the Catholic Church four years previously. Although Hills had a new gate for the Catholics installed off Meares Street on the north side of the grounds, he did so without notifying Bishop Demers. Unfortunately, however, in wet weather the road to the new gate was very bad, so in order to gain easy access to their portion of the cemetery, the Catholics “had to take the coffin out and carry it a distance of about an acre” through Bishop Hills’ yard in order to take it through the old gate!5
In May 1861 Demers won a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Vancouver Island over Hills with regard to gaining unobstructued access to the burying ground. This landmark case refuted the notion that the Anglican Church was the Established Church on Vancouver Island6 and proved that, in spite of its appearance, the Old Burying Ground was not the churchyard for Christ Church Cathedral, but was, in fact, Victoria’s public cemetery.
The only clergy in Victoria to officiate at funerals during the early years of the Old Burying Ground were the Anglican Reverend Edward Cridge and the Roman Catholic Bishop Demers and his church colleagues such as Father Louis Lootens. Each church kept its own burial registers, but sometimes included the burials of those who were not members of their respective churches. However, after the Gold Rush of 1858 clergy and missionaries of many other denominations arrived in Victoria and took over the task of conducting funerals for their own congregations. Records from 1868 onwards were maintained by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, but unfortunately, after an exhaustive search the records earlier Presbyterian records have not been located and none have been found for Methodist, Baptist and Congregational burials, although they almost certainly were kept. In the records that have been located for the period 1855-1872 there are about 630 entries in the Anglican register, which account for the vast majority of interments in the burying ground, there are about 225 in the Roman Catholic register; and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian records include eighty-eight entries. 7
Apart from the arbitrary division of the Old Burying Ground into two halves in 1855, according to Edgar Fawcett distinct areas for Royal Navy personnel (in reality a corner of the Anglican portion) and for Chinese (after 1858) also existed.8 In a series of articles about Victoria’s old cemeteries in Island Events in 1948 Cecil ffrench also claimed that an area for Kanakas (Hawaiians) was allocated adjacent to the Chinese section.9 Edgar Fawcett maintained that individuals held outright ownership to specific plots,10 and there is evidence from at least one person that the cemetery was laid out in consecutively numbered plots, but no key to this plan has yet been located.11
In 1859 the removal of corpses and headstones from the abandoned Fort Victoria Graveyard was started in response to a petition by two hundred people who complained about the condition of the old ground. The work was done by the chain gang, but still was not complete two years later. At least two stones that made the move have survived and are the oldest known headstones now in British Columbia. One is for Eliza Kennedy who died in 1850 and the other is for Sarah Jane Finlayson who died in 1853.
With the influx of newcomers to Victoria came critics of some of the established institutions and ways of doing things. The Old Burying Ground did not escape their criticism. As early as January 1859 The Victoria Gazette contained a letter entitled “City of the Dead” which severely criticized the location and appearance of the old burying ground:
The grave yard of Victoria, on Church Hill, is to me one of dreariness, desolation and gloom; my very blood chills as I pass by, to look at it; nothing of nature is left to beautify or adorn it; but, barren and desolate, it seems like a place where the dead are deposited only to be forgotten. From its location, it will soon be surrounded with the homes of the living, and the time is not remote when it must be closed, and the remains now resting there be removed to other places.
The writer went on to wax eloquent about the type of “Rural Cemetery” which he envisioned taking the place of the Old Burying Ground. He suggested that the civic cemetery should be moved to a more appropriate place before bodies were moved into it from the former Fort Victoria Graveyard. The new cemetery would be a place:
where our children and our children’s children, as they wander through the winding avenues of that “City of the Dead”, or sit within the shade of some secluded dell . . . [may] look upon the mossy locks hanging from the ancient and venerable trees . . . [and] call to remembrance the early dead, and contemplate upon the mighty past.
He concluded with a sentiment that might summarize the feelings of many even today. Cemeteries, he wrote, “. . . are like an open book, and the curious can there read upon each monument a page in the history of the town.”12
In keeping with the opinions expressed in the Gazette, In 1861 Robert Burnaby introduced a motion in the Colonial Legislature “to close cemeteries existing within the limits of Victoria Town and to provide for and regulate an Extra-Mural Cemetery in their stead.”13
From both the letter in the Gazette and from Burnaby’s motion, it is clear that the Old Burying Ground did not meet the criteria for what some thought a cemetery should be like. It was an anachronism in a city bent on progress. In its place they wanted a cemetery that fitted into the model then popular in Britain, France and the United States where cemetery reform had been in practice for several decades. 14
One of the best contemporary descriptions of how the old burying ground functioned came from the pen of Edgar Fawcett whose excerpted account here was published in 1912 in his Reminiscences of Old Victoria:
As a boy, I had a great weakness for funerals, and living only a block from Quadra Street, I attended scores in my day. I naturally liked the naval funerals best, for there were soldiers and sailors, and bands of music, with three volleys over the grave, so I missed few. The funerals came from Esquimalt, generally by water, in large boats propelled by oars, and landed at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s wharf.
By the inscriptions, a large majority were young men and sailors, and many were the result of accidents in Esquimalt harbor by drowning.
I well remember the funeral of Captain Bull, of H.M. surveying ship Plumper, who died at the age of twenty-seven years, the coffin being fastened to a gun carriage and pulled by bluejackets. The state of Victoria’s streets at that time was such that it required a great deal of power to propel any vehicle, and especially was this the case with Quadra Street. I have often seen a funeral come to a dead standstill and the hearse dug out of the mud, as also teams loaded with stones for the monuments in the cemetery.
We will suppose the hearse has been dug out, and in the cemetery near the grave, in many cases men might be seen bailing out the grave, one below and one on top; especially was this the case with the Roman Catholic ground. And I have known when it was necessary to hold the coffin down in the water with shovels or have a man get down and stand on the coffin until enough soil was thrown on it to keep it down. What must the friends have thought at this time, as the dirty water was forcing its way into the coffin?15
Throughout the 1860s the Old Burying Ground continued to be used, but with the growth in the size of Victoria’s population it was inevitable that the place would soon be full. Its appearance was similar to that of older style cemeteries elsewhere: a forest of upright monuments of sandstone, white marble or wood, most surrounded by grave fences. From a distance the overall effect of the wooden or cast iron fences may have been similar to row upon row of turned bedposts. 16
Among the grandest monuments erected were several of special note. The Sutlej Obelisk was erected to men of HMS Sutlej who had died while serving on the Pacific Station; the broken mast honoured Lieutenant Charles Rufus Robson who survived a heroic ordeal at sea while rescuing a foundering ship, only to die a few weeks later when thrown from his horse; the Pritchard Tomb, likely the finest nineteenth century tomb in British Columbia, commemorates that wealthy family and was designed by Thomas Trounce and John Teague, two of Victoria’s most prominent architect builders at the time; the Carroll Monument was designed by Edward Richardson, son of a famous London sculptor, and it featured a tall cross flanked by two winged angels on top of a sandstone and marble pillar adorned with Classical columns, Gothic tracery and winged cherubs’ heads.
BC Archives. G-07204. The Pritchard Tomb is one of the finest
nineteenth-century cemetery monuments in British Columbia.
In spite of the elegant monuments, however, the Old Burying Ground became a mess.
A public meeting was convened in 1868 to improve the condition of the cemetery which was then in a state of great neglect. It seems wandering cattle, swine and vandals had taken their toll on numerous monuments that lay toppled and smashed, while unchecked vegetation threatened to engulf the grounds. A subscription list was opened under the trusteeship of three prominent citizens, and by January 1870 $438 had been collected and spent to grade and gravel paths, renew the gate, and plant shrubs and trees. They concluded by requesting the colonial government to appoint cemetery trustees to ensure that their work would be kept in order in the future. 17
In 1868 another serious problem concerning the Old Burying Ground had come before Victoria City Council. It was the recurring problem of drainage, partly “on general sanitary grounds” as well as “the inconvenience arising from the Graves becoming filled with water.” A committee of three appointed by Mayor and Council recommended that the situation could best be rectified by building a network of costly box drains around and through the burying ground. Instead, however, it conceded that a cheaper single drain could be constructed, but as part of the solution suggested “the desirability of discontinuing interments in the present Cemetery as soon as a suitable burying ground can be obtained at a greater distance from the centre of population.”18
The Carroll Monument in its day was one of the finest in the Old Burying Ground. On the left detail of a winged cherub’s head; on the right the monument as it appeared in the early 1980s. The whiter marble insert has since been removed.
In 1870 Governor Musgrave appointed three men to serve as the first Cemetery Trustees for Victoria. They began a search for a new cemetery site which culminated in the selection of Ross Bay Cemetery in 1872. When it opened in March 1873 the Old Burying Ground was officially closed.
While attention was focussed on the new cemetery which was laid out according to many of the accepted principles of the day, the old burying ground fell into greater disrepair. Over the next several decades newspaper editors and leading citizens frequently returned to the topic of the deteriorating cemetery right in the middle of town. For example, Charles Hayward, a local undertaker and politician, wrote to Mayor and Council in 1884 to draw their attention “to the disgraceful condition of the old cemetery”. This is what he described:
A large portion of the fence has fallen down, and the gates are insecure; the result being that many of the valuable monuments &c. there have been broken or defaced. There are at present at least two vaults that have been willfully broken into and left exposed.
I have been instructed by private parties within the last few days, to repair some of the damage, and now find that the new work has already been injured.19
When the City of Victoria asked the provincial government to help remedy this situation, it agreed, provided that the Corporation in the future would be responsible for all upkeep in the old burying ground. 20
In spite of the Provincial Secretary’s dictum that the City of Victoria assume responsibility, however, a decade later the situation was as bad as ever because the local government had not kept up its part of the agreement. In 1899 Mayor and Council were reminded of their earlier obligation by Harry Helmcken, MLA, whose own mother’s bench tomb was situated in the derelict burying ground. “I ask, therefore,” he wrote, “that you will be pleased to have the old Churchyard placed in decent order.”21 Nevertheless, nothing was done at that time.
From 1899 to 1907 a barrage of newspaper articles and letters to City Council were critical of the continuing “neglect and decay” at the Old Burying Ground. Edgar Fawcett was one of the most vocal and in 1907 he and his colleagues succeeded in convincing the City to develop a plan to improve the situation. The work of reviewing the options was assigned to the Cemetery Committee whose recommendations were accepted by Council in November 1907.22
The plans in their day must have seemed quite drastic. They called for the burying ground to be transferred from provincial to civic ownership, for photographs, an inventory and plan of the existing graves to be made, for unsightly growth and rubbish to be removed, for all monuments and stones to be relocated to the eastern edge of the grounds, and for a memorial fountain to be erected in the middle. In spite of such unprecedented intervention, however, in 1908 the plan was carried out almost to completion, but never was entirely finished.
The view on the left from the steeple of the second Christ Church Cathedral shows the Old Burying Ground in the late 1800s very overgrown. The view on the right was taken soon after the site was cleared and converted into a park in 1908.
The work that was actually done totally transformed the Old Burying Ground into a grassy lawn, devoid of all but a few of the larger monuments. About half of the estimated more than two hundred grave markers23 and fragments were taken away or buried and all but about twenty-five (which found their way eventually to the patio of a private home) have never since been seen. All grave fences were removed except that around the Pritchard Tomb, but it, too, was taken away later. Eight of the tallest monuments were left standing, along with six box tombs, but about nineteen other box tombs were dismantled and the tops only were placed flat in the ground to form the outer semi-circle of a new grouping on the eastern edge of the cemetery-cum-park. Behind them were arranged six other semi-circular rows of monuments containing about one hundred in total. No recorded rationale for the selection or new placement of monuments has been found recorded and none is apparent. Likely, however, preference was given to the monuments that were grand in scale or design, commemorated a famous person, and were least damaged, although some stones in almost perfect condition were among those discarded.
One contemporary reaction to the cleanup was written by Rev. A. E. Alston, an Anglican clergyman from England who visited Victoria in June of 1909 after an absence of over thirty years. He was born in the city in 1862 and moved away when still a boy. His observations were published in the Colonist on November 28, 1909 and are quoted here in part:
Looking up a street to the right I caught sight of an obelisk in the distance. “There is the Old Cemetery,” thought I, “and I will go and visit my Mother’s grave.” On getting nearer I fairly gasped with dismay! Here was no cemetery, but a sort of “People’s Park: Keep Off the Grass!” A few monuments in bad repair were standing here and there, but the grave that had been one of the chief objects of my pilgrimage was nowhere to be seen. Noticing what seemed to be a stonemason’s yard on the far side of the ground, I went over to investigate, and there discovered a collection of woebegone monuments, symmetrically arranged like the books on the round table of a lodging house parlor, and among these was the large flat stone recording the burial of Elizabeth Caroline Alston in 1865. I was assured afterwards by those in authority that the best had been made of a bad job, but the reader will perhaps sympathize with the resentment that I felt at what seemed, and still seems, to be the unnecessary removal of a monument of considerable size and solidity, though others had been left untouched, and the banishment of the inscribed stone to the melancholy collection aforesaid. . . . I marvel that the place where the bodies of so many Victorian pioneers had been laid to rest should have been allowed by the present generation to fall into such a state as to warrant the drastic action of the city fathers.24
Rev. Alston was not alone in his negative opinions about the cleanup. In fact, the project proved to be so controversial it lead directly to the resignation of D.D. England, Superintendent of Parks under whose direction the work had been done. 25
Criticism of the cleanup in the old burying ground did not stop with the resignation of the Superintendent of Parks. Among those who complained the loudest from the 1920s through the 1950s was noted British Columbia historian and author Bruce McKelvie who wrote many articles describing the desecration of the Old Burying Ground. For example, in 1929 in the Province he condemned the repositioning of the grave markers as an “unsightly array” and likened the laying of some face up in the ground to “merchandise in a shop window”. 26
Bruce McKelvie was not the only newspaper critic to condemn the Old Burying Ground cleanup. Mae Garnet and Doris Milligan, two Vancouver journalists, spent a week touring Vancouver Island in 1931 and their opinions were reported in the Victoria papers:
The Quadra Street Cemetery, shadowed by the new Cathedral, could and should be made a beauty spot—a place at which visitors would stop to contemplate the magnificent story of this city and great province. Instead, those who do stop, must of necessity go away with but a poor opinion formed of the authority that would permit obvious neglect to take possession of what should be sacred grounds.
What evil influence ever impelled those who should have known better to collect the headstones . . . and spread them out, face up to the weather, at the back of the lot? Perhaps, however, it was a proper move, for kindly time will eventually obliterate the names that were graven there in grateful remembrance when Victoria was young—and so those pioneer names that so obviously mean little to Victorians of today will no longer be shamed in the eyes of those who come to visit Victoria. 27
However, in spite of such harsh words, virtually nothing was done to overcome the problem. In fact during the 1930s little attention was paid to the preservation or better placement of the old monuments; instead new ones were added.
The original plan for Pioneer Square, as the Old Burying Ground began to be called during the 1930s, included a fountain in the centre, but this was never constructed. Therefore, in 1938 when the 16th Canadian Scottish Regiment was searching for a location for a memorial cross to honour its members who had died in France during World War I, the vacant space was available. City Council endorsed their application and the Parks Committee subsequently approved the installation of a wooden cross which had once stood at Vimy Ridge. In 1951 it was replaced by a tall gray granite stylized Celtic cross surrounded by granite pillars and a chain.28 By its size, color and position, this monument became the dominant feature in the park and overshadowed the few crumbling sandstone tombs that still lay nearby. The old wooden cross now is proudly displayed at the Canadian Scottish Regimental Museum in Victoria.
Columbia Historical Association received permission from the City to install six cement markers beside the monuments of prominent pioneers: Dr. J.S. Helmcken, Hon. David Cameron, Hon. John Work, Capt. Charles Dodd, James Murray Yale, and the Cridge family. The new inscriptions were to replace the originals that were eroding away, but unfortunately the new markers have weathered worse than the originals and after fifty years are rough and difficult to read themselves, while the old inscriptions are still partially legible.
If the new additions to the Old Burying Ground were intended to improve it in the eyes of the former critics, they did not succeed. Clearly, the work in the 1930s did not address the main complaint, namely that the original monuments were relegated to a back corner and placed in such a way as to increase their deterioration. Bruce McKelvie for one was just as adamant in his condemnation after the changes. In 1944 he lauded the Historical Association for having done something in the absence of civic effort, but still called the old burying ground “a disrespectful mortuary junkheap” and suggested that it was almost too late to do anything to rectify the situation. “In any other country,” he wrote, “the ground hallowed by their mortal remains would have been treasured and their graves would have been carefully preserved.”29
Then in 1957 in a Colonist article entitled “Victoria Shames the Heroes” McKelvie recommended that Victoria not be allowed to participate in the 1958 British Columbia Centennial celebrations unless it do something to preserve the old monuments.30 Once again the situation remained unchanged, yet Victoria did take an active part in marking the one hundredth anniversary.
In spite of the protests of such people as Rev. Alston, Mae Garnet and Bruce McKelvie, however, nothing at all was done to right the wrong. To make matters worse, the vandalism and natural decay of the stones was allowed to continue unchecked and, until well into the 1980s monuments that crumbled or were toppled over in most instances were taken away and dumped. Fortunately by the mid-1980s the Parks and Recreation Department began to recognize the importance of keeping the grave markers and began to store them instead of discarding them. In the early 1990s the Old Cemeteries Society was given permission by City Council to remove most of the remaining monuments and put them into storage with the others. Lack of space prevented all of the monuments being removed in this way. Removal was considered a temporary means of saving the stones that were being vandalized or otherwise destroyed at a rate of at least three per year in the 1980s.There is no exact tally of how many had been lost previously.
- Letter from Governor James Douglas to Archibald Barclay, Fort Victoria, May 27, 1853 (BC Archives A11/74 f. 188d-189).
- “Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1849-1871” folio 37, located at St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Victoria.
- Colonist, 3 – 11 May, 1861. These issues carry a full coverage of the “Church Reserve Case” in which Bishop Demers sued Bishop Hills and others for unobstructed access to the Catholic section of the old burying ground.
- James K. Nesbitt, “The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856,” in British Columbia Historical Quartlerly, vol. XIII, No. 2, p. 269.
- For a more complete discussion of this issue see Vincent J. McNally, “Victoria: An American Diocese in Canada”, in CCHA, Historical Studies, 58 (1991), pp. 143-165.
- First Metropolitan United Church which incorporates First United (previously First Presbyterian) and Metropolitan United (previously Metropolitan Methodist) and the B.C. Conference Archives of the United Church of Canada in Vancouver have all failed to produce burial or death records for their respective churches during the period before 1872, although they do have baptism and marriage records for the period, and some burial records for later periods. The search for them continues. The burial records of the Anglican Church are located in Victoria at the Archives of the Anglican Synod of B.C., with copies in the BC Archives. Catholic Church burial records as far back as 1849 are housed at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Victoria, with copies in the BC Archives.
- Edgar Fawcett, Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria, Toronto, William Briggs, 1912, pp. 129 – 143.
- Cecil ffrench, “Burial Places in Early Victoria, Part 3”, in Island Events, vol. 7, no. 7, Aug. 1948, p. 14.
- Fawcett, Reminiscences, p. 132.
- Rev. A. E. Alston, Delectus Victorianus, 1909, unpublished typescript in collection of Ron Greene, p. 43. Alston refers to his mother’s grave as being Lot 4 and a pencil notation on the same page refers to a consultation with Edgar Fawcett about the location, but Alston seems to have another undisclosed (and now seemingly lost) reference to plot locations.
- The Victoria Gazette, Jan. 8, 1859.
- James E. Hendrickson, ed., Journals of the Colonial Legislatures of the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1851-1871, vol. II, Victoria, BC Archives, 1980, p. 285.
- For a complete description of the cemetery reform movement see James Stevens Curl, A Celebration of Death, Constable, London, 1980.
- Fawcett, Reminiscences, pp. 130-131.
- Two Richard Maynard photographs in the BC Archives collection that show the overall landscape of the Old Burying Ground from the roof of Christ Church Cathedral are No. HP9442 and No. HP9443.
- Letter from W. J. Macdonald, E. G. Alston and John Ash to the Colonial Secretary, March 16, 1870, in the Colonial Correspondence, BC Archives.
- Letter from Thomas Alsop, J. Russell and J. McKay to the Worshipful Mayor and Council of Victoria, Dec.1, 1868, Victoria City Archives (Series Man. 11, Box 1, File 4).
- Letter from Charles Hayward, Undertaker, to His Worship the Mayor and Council of Victoria, April 2, 1884, Victoria City Archives (Corr. Inwards, Series I, Box 3, File 5).
- Letter from John Robson, Provincial Secretary, to James D. Robinson, Acting C.M.C., May 7, 1884, in Victoria City Archives (Series I, Box 3, File 5).
- Letter from H. Dallas Helmcken to His Worship the Mayor and the Corporation of the City of Victoria, April 8, 1899, in Victoria City Archives (Series 11, Box 3, File 12).
- Cemetery Committee’s Report to City Council, Nov. 16, 1907, in Victoria City Archives (Series Man. 4, Committee Reports, City Clerk’s Office, File 10/4).
- The cleanup plan called for an inventory and photographs to be taken, but their whereabouts is unknown. A typescript in the Vertical Files in BC Archives containing about two hundred partial monumental inscriptions may be the inventory, but it omits numerous monuments that other evidence indicates should have been there at the time. The search for this important document continues.
- Colonist, Nov. 28, 1909, p. 11.
- This was the opinion expressed by Chartres Cecil Pemberton in a typescript he prepared in the 1930s entitled “Evergreen Columns in Beacon Hill Park Commemorative of Armistice Day”, now in BC Archives (Add. Mss. 522, vol.1, p. 5). Pemberton was a keen observer and critic of matters pertaining to the natural and human history of Victoria.
- B.A. McKelvie, “They Who Held With The Past Rest In Hallowed Ground In Victoria,” in The Province, March 17, 1929.
- “Claims Victorians Should Be Ashamed of Old Cemeteries,” in Colonist, July 5, 1931.
- Letter from Municipal Clerk to President 16th Battalion Canadian Scottish Association, July 19, 1938, in Victoria City Archives.
- B.A. McKelvie, “Quadra Cemetery’s Neglected Graves,” in The Vancouver Daily Province, August 12, 1944, p. 3.
- Bruce McKelvie, “Victoria Shames the Heroes,” in Daily Colonist, January 20, 1957, p. 2.