Private Jacob Hess Memorial Dedication

by Clare Stewart & Iain Sneyd

A service of commemoration was held at the Church of the Resurrection (Hamilton) on Sunday October 6, 2019.  Archdeacon David Anderson presided at the service, during which a memorial stone was dedicated in honour of Pvt Jacob Hess. 

Hess family gravestones
Reassembled gravestones for Charity Hess, Jacob Hess, and Michael Hess. Charity and Michael were Jacob’s parents. The gravestones were vandalized in the 1990s and are now kept in the church building. Photo © CCI Images 2019

Hess, who served in the 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia during the War of 1812, was commemorated with an 1812 Veterans stone and a historical plaque. The event took place in a space adjacent to the cemetery where Hess is buried.

Jacob Hess memorial stone
The monument in recognition of Jacob Hess. In addition to the War of 1812 Veteran’s stone there is a historical plaque about Jacob and his family. Photo © Steven Thacker 2019

Approximately 70 people attended, including descendants of the Hess family, veterans, and a current serving member from the parish, as well as re-enactors from the 2nd Regiment Lincoln Militia.

Service Participants
Participants in the service. L to R: Clare Stewart, ON, MA, Chair of Church of the Resurrection Archive Committee and 4th/5th great granddaughter of Jacob Hess; Hon L/Col Glenna E. Swing, ON, CD, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) delivering the Call to Remembrance; Mr. Frank Arnold, 2nd World War and Korean War Royal Navy veteran; Mr. Dunstan Jordan, ON, Royal Engineer veteran, who laid the wreath; Mr. John Dolbec, Canadian Grenadier Guards veteran, who read the scripture passage. All are parishioners of Church of the Resurrection. Photo © Steven Thacker 2019

After the event attendees were invited to view displays which had been set up in the Fireside Room of the church which included the remnants of Jacob’s gravestone and information about the Hess family. There was also an information display by the Hamilton Branch of the United Empire Loyalists.

Unveiling the monument
Descendants of the Hess Family unveil the monument to Jacob Hess. In the background are Re-enactors of the 2nd Regiment Lincoln Militia, led by Capt Raiffe Sculthorp, far left. Photo © CCI Images 2019

As a lead-in to the event, local author John Terpstra delivered a talk in September about his recent book Daylighting Chedoke which deals with the history of this area and the importance of the Hess family to the west mountain area of Hamilton.