The small charming chapel at Veterans Cemetery is unique. It was constructed by Royal Navy personal using many different kinds of wood from all around the British Commonwealth, including camphor, teak, ironwood and mahogany. The chapel was never consecrated so that it could be used by all religions but the cemetery was consecrated by Right Reverend George Hills on July 14, 1868. The chapel was renovated in 1945 but still retains it’s original character. Plaques along its walls commemorate the Royal Navy ships and their crews and remind us of the time of “wooden ships and iron men”.
The Veterans Cemetery or God’s Acre as it is commonly called, is located in Esquimalt off Colville Road near the Base Hospital. It is the final resting place of some 2,500 military personal who have served since 1868.
On July 8.1868, Rear Admiral George Fowler Hastings purchased an acre of land from the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson’s Bay Company. With this purchase, he created a Royal Navy Cemetery for “deceased officers and men” He paid $250 for this small piece of what was the Constance Cove Farm. In 1947, the Department of Veterans Affairs took over the management of “God’s Acre” cemetery.
For further information, visit Veterans Affairs website https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canada/gods-acre