ROCK GATE CEMETERY - COSPICUA

 

After the French capitulation in September 1800, the British Forces moved into Valletta and Three Cities area, plus all the Forts previously occupied by the French.  With further additions to the number of British troops stationed on the island, plus the Royal Navy, and civilian arrivals it was necessary to provide suitable sites for cemeteries.

 

For the men stationed in the Three Cities, of Senglea (Isola), Vittoriosa (Birgu) and Cottonera (Bormla), a plot of land close to the Cottonera Bastions was selected, and became known as Rock Gate Cemetery. The spot was in close proximity to the Naval Dockyard and Naval Arsenal, and therefore the cemetery was used by the Royal Navy, plus the civilians employed in these establishments.

 

It soon became full, as indicated by a letter dated 5th May 1866 now preserved in the National Archives – Rabat, which was sent to the Assistant Military Secretary at the Governor's Palace, and reads:

 

Sir,

The new Military Cemetery at Rinella, Cottonera, having been consecrated and taken into use the Major General Commanding has given orders for no further Military burials to take place in the Rock Gate Cemetery which for some time past has been reported to be in such an overcrowded state, as to render it impossible to dig a grave of a proper depth without disturbing the remains of some body already buried there. Moreover the ground is so impregnated with decomposed matter, as, when turned up, to become most offensive, and, it is conceived injurious to the health of the persons living in the vicinity of the cemetery.

 

This being the case the Major General is of the opinion that the Cemetery should be entirely closed, and that no further burials whatsoever should be allowed to take place in it. If it were purely a Military Cemetery this matter would rest with him but it appears that Civilians who may be protestants and persons employed in the Royal Naval Dock Yard have from time immemorial had the privilege of burying there.

 

Under these circumstances I am to request that the subject may be brought under the notice of the Civil Government with a view to such steps being taken with regards to this cemetery as in the opinion of the Government may be deemed advisable for the benefit of the population generally. If some place could be found for the interment of the civilians there would seem to be no reason why the employees of the Dock Yard might not be buried in the Naval Cemetery at Bighi.

 

The Superintendent of Police also wrote at a similar time on this subject. This letter dated 9th May 1866 was sent to Sir Victor Houlton, Chief Secretary to the Government, and is also in the National Archives, Rabat.

 

Sir

With reference to my report of 30th August 1865, I have to state for the information of the Honourable Officer Administering the Government, that His Excellency Sir Henry Storks has instructed me to see that such Military cemetery at Rock Gate be properly covered with rubble at the commencement of spring, such work to be paid for by the Military Authorities, and that I consider this the best season for executing the work in question.

The Chief Police Physician is of opinion that by covering said cemetery with one foot of rubble to one and the same level, the inconvenience complained of will be removed.

The Collector of Land Revenue and Public Works, or the Engineer Department are the only departments capable of ordering such a Work, they having the proper officers to control it.

 

Being close to the Dockyard, the whole of the Three Cities area was extensively bombed during WWII, and those parts of the old Rock Gate cemetery that survived were destroyed from 1947 to 1950 when reconstruction work was undertaken in the Cospicua area. Part of the old cemetery land was used when the Silver Jubilee Road was built, and Triq Cottonera, the road leading to Zabbar was widened.

 

 

A few fragments of headstones from Rock Gate Cemetery have been taken to the Msida Bastion Cemetery for preservation.

 

Known burials in Rock Gate Cemetery include:

 

Emma Eliza ABBOT, aged 13 months, the daughter of Ann and Thomas Abbot, Naval Arsenal, buried 14th July 1811

 

William BALDWIN, aged 23 years, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, buried 27th February 1860, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

Amelia Ann BARIE, the daughter of Richard Barie, Naval Arsenal, buried 18th November 1810

 

Samuel BEECH, aged 23 years, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, buried 29th November 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith

 

William BENSON, aged 31 years, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 4th January 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Robert BLOGG, Private, Royal Engineers, buried 2nd September 1857, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

William BOOTH, aged one year five months, the son of Private William Booth, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, buried 20th September 1860, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

Sarah Jane BOWLER, aged nine months, the daughter of Colour Sergeant John Bowler, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, buried 21st August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

James BRAY, Master Shipwright, Naval Dockyard, buried 12th September 1812

 

Joseph BUTTON, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 20th December 1859, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Augustus Frederick CASTLE, aged 13 months, the son of Samuel S. Castle, Naval Arsenal, buried 14th June 1810

 

Thomas CASTLEDGE, Gunner, Royal Artillery, aged 24 years, buried 15th September 1859, by Reverend William Watson Wood C.F.

 

Isaac CATO, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 18 years, buried 5th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Elizabeth CLARKSON, the daughter of Colour Sergeant Clarkson, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged three years six months, buried 3rd August 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Alfred COATES, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 31 years, buried 17th September 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Aaron COLLETT, Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 17th March 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Octavia Louisa Mary COLLINS, the wife of Master Tailor Collins, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 48 years, buried 20th May 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Thomas COOK, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 21 years, buried 20th July 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith

 

John CORRISON, the son of Drum Major Corrison, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged eight months, buried 12th June 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Richard John CORRISON, the son of Sergeant Corrison, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged three months, buried 18th November 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith

 

Robert CROW, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 26 years, buried 20th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Joseph CROWTHER, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 24th July 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith

 

Henry DAVIS, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 18 years, buried 19th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Richard DAVIS, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 23 years, buried 30th January 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Mary DAY, the wife of John Day, Naval Arsenal, died about 10 days after childbirth, buried 12th October 1810

 

John DEAN, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 21 years, buried 15th November 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith

 

Susanna DENBY, the daughter of Private E. Denby, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged three months, buried 26th December 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Charlotte Susan DILLON, the daughter of Thomas Dillon, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged six months, buried 30th September 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

William DORAN, Captain, Paymaster, 76th Regiment, aged 33 years 9 months. He died in his quarters in the Inquisitor's Palace, Vittoriosa, on 9th June 1851

 

Joseph DUKE, Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 27th June 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Richard DUNN, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 2nd January 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

William Henry FARNWORTH, the son of William Farnworth, aged 16 months, buried 20th January 1811

 

Antonia FARR, 3rd Class Schoolmistress, Royal Artillery, aged 19 years, buried 2nd January 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Catherine FITZGERALD, the wife of Sergeant William Fitzgerald, 15th Regiment, aged 38 years, buried 9th April 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

William FOULES, Naval Officer, HMS Tortoise, buried 14th November 1812

 

Anthony Vincent GARDNER, aged 34 years, buried 23rd November 1841

 

William Henry GLADWIN, the son of Private H.J. Gladwin, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 8 months, buried 7th February 1860, by Reverend

Edwin Smith C.F.

         

Richard GOODYER, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 18th January 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Isabella GORTLAND, the daughter of Lance Corporal Thomas Gortland, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged one year one month, buried 4th October 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Edwin GRAHAM, Gunner, Royal Artillery, aged 28 years, buried 14th September 1860, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

Mary Elizabeth GRANT, the daughter of Sergeant Grant, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged one year four months, buried 4th February 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

J. GREY, Assistant Surgeon, 44th Regiment, aged 25 years, buried 15th July 1850, by Reverend William Hare C.F.

 

Ann HADAWAY, the wife of Dixon Hadaway, of No. 3 Sta. Margarita, aged 28 years, buried 20th November 1811

 

James HALIN, the son of Private Thomas Halin, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 12 days, buried 30th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

John HARRISON, Private, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 22 years, buried 11th February 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

John HART, Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 25 years, buried 2nd July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Joshua HAWKINS, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 26 years, buried 26th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

         

John HEDGCOCK, aged 85 years, died at his daughter’s residence, Garden House, Cospicua. He served at sea for several years, and in the battles his country had won under Admiral Duncan and Admiral Nelson. Buried 23rd April 1849

 

Emily Sarah HENDERSON, the daughter of Sergeant George Henderson, aged 3 days, buried 26th March 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Peter HEPBURN, died 1st April 1852, aged 75 years. For most of his life he was employed in the service of the Navy. He left a large family of children and grandchildren

 

John HILL, the son of Harriet Alice and Sergeant William Hill, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, died 4th July 186*, aged

 

Thomas HILL, Lance Corporal, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 23 years, buried 4th September 1859, by Reverend William Watson Wood C.F.

 

Denis HILLIER, the son of Private Hillier, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 3 years, buried 12th May 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

John HILLIER, the son of Private Hillier, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 29 days, buried 20th January 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Jacob HUGGINS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 24 years, buried 27th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

George HUME, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 32 years, buried 15th December 1859, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Henry HUNT, Private, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 19 years, buried 24th September 1860, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Manuel JAMES, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 1st October 1859, by Reverend William Watson Wood C.F.

 

William JEFFREY, the son of a soldier in the 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged one year five months, buried 23rd October 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Charles Henry JESSE, the son of Sergeant James Charles Jesse, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged eight months, buried 1st March 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

John JOHNSON, the son of Private Aaron Johnson, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged one year and five months, buried 1st July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

William JOHNSON, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 22 years, buried 1st February 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

George James JONES, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 25 years, buried 6th December 1859, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Thomas JONES, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 27 years, buried 27th November 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Ellen KING, the wife of Colour Sergeant Abraham King, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 21 years, buried 17th August 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Benjamin KITT, Gunner, Royal Artillery, aged 28 years, buried 22nd September 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Edward KOYLE, Private, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 24 years, buried 26th December 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Richard LANE, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 17th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

George LAURIE, the son of Nicholas Laurie, Naval Arsenal, buried 22nd May 1813

 

Edward LEES, Private, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 28 years, buried 31st July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Joseph LOWCOCK, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 22 years, buried 27th January 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

James McATEER, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 20 years, buried 7th May 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Ellen McINTIRE, the daughter of Corporal McIntire, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged one year nine months, buried 14th July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Henry James MACKS, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Macks, Naval Arsenal, buried 3rd October 1812

 

Daniel MARSHALL, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 22 years, buried 7th May 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Elizabeth MELMOTH, the wife of Private Melmoth, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 44 years, buried 12th March 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Henry William MONK, aged 14 months, the son of Mary and Jabez Henry Monk, buried 22nd June 1811

 

Catherine MOORE, the daughter of Private Moore, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged nine months, buried 25th July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Mary Anne MOORE, the daughter of Private Samuel Moore, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged nine months, buried 31st May 1862, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

William MORRIS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 19 years, buried 11th September 1859, by Reverend William Watson Wood C.F.

 

Samuel MULLOCK, Bugler, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 20 years, buried 17th July 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Matthew MURRAY, the son of Sergeant Murray, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged one day, buried 7th June 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

George NEWMAN, Private, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 40 years, buried 11th June 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

John Roper NORRISH, Chief Clerk, Naval Dockyard

 

Henry OSBORNE, Private, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 23 years, buried 20th November 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Edwin OXLEY, the son of Private William Oxley, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged two months, buried 27th December 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Ermina OXLEY, the daughter of Private Oxley, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged one year eleven months, buried 11th October 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Thomas PARRY, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 30 years, buried 22nd November 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Arthur Samuel PEARSON, the son of Sergeant Frederick Pearson, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged one year 3 months, buried 23rd August 1859 by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

William PENDLETON, the son of Private William Pendleton, 15th Regiment, aged two months, buried 16th April 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Charlotte Ann PLATT, the daughter of Private Platt, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged one year five months, buried 28th November 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Martha PRICE, the daughter of James Price, Instructor of Musketry, 21st Fusiliers, aged one year one month, buried 3rd September 1859, by Reverend William Watson Wood C.F.

 

John REED, aged 44 years, a resident of Burmola, buried 1st April 1813

 

John RENNISON, Private, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 26 years, buried 4th January 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

William REVILL, Private, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 25 years, buried 15th June 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Thomas REYNOLDS, Gunner, Royal Artillery, aged 23 years, buried 21st December 1861, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

Samuel RICHARDS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 30 years, buried 24th June 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

James Fergusson RICHARDSON, aged 4 months, the son of Catherine and William Richardson, buried 10th December 1810

 

Thomas SANDALL, Private, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 19 years, buried 13th July 1861, by Reverend Henry Hare C.F.

 

George SEAL, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 20 years, buried 2nd March 1859, by Reverend R.B. Howe, Chaplain Royal Navy

 

John James SEAMAN, the son of Private John Seaman, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged five months, buried 19th July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Elizabeth May Ann SHAW, the wife of Colour Sergeant William Shaw, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 29 years, buried 18th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Marshall SKEVINGTON, Private, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 20 years, buried 29th March 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

George SMITH, Private, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 28 years, buried 22nd February 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Henry SMITH, Private, 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, aged 27 years, buried 25th November 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Joseph SMITH, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 30 years, buried 24th September 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

John SOWBRIDGE, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 5th June 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Jane STARTON, aged 11 months, the daughter of James Starton, Naval Arsenal, buried 2nd June 1811

 

Edward TAYLOR, aged 9 months, the son of William Henry Taylor, buried 11th March 1813

 

Philip THOMAS, the son of Sergeant G. Thomas, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 3 months 2 weeks, buried 20th June 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

David THORN, the son of Bombardier David Thorn, Royal Artillery, aged one year two months, buried 12th October 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

James Henry THORPE, the son of Sergeant J. Thorpe, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged six months, buried 1st July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Joseph THORPE, Private, 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, aged 24 years, buried 1st March 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Elizabeth Ann THOROUGHGOOD, aged 2 years 4 months, the daughter of Francis Thoroughgood, of the Naval Arsenal

 

William H. TOMKINS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, buried 17th July 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Susannah TROTMAN, the daughter of Colour Sergeant Charles Trotman, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged eleven months, buried 28th August 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Amelia VINCENT, the daughter of Timothy Vincent, Naval Arsenal, buried 29th September 1811

 

William WALKER, Sergeant Major, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 40 years, buried 8th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

William WARD, Private, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, aged 18 years, buried 31st August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

T. WATSON, Private, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 24 years, buried 24th August 1859

 

Alfred WATTS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 20 years, buried 17th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Elizabeth WENHAM, the wife of Armourer Sergeant W. Wenham, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 24 years, buried 16th December 1860, By Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Frances Jane WENHAM, the daughter of a soldier in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged 1 year, buried 28th June 1860, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

Eliza WHITE, the daughter of Private William White, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, The Buffs, aged one year four months, buried 23rd September 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

John Abel WILKINS, the son of Elizabeth and Isaac Wilkins, buried 20th December 1810

 

Hannah WILKINS, aged 17 years, the daughter of John Wilkins, Boatswain, Naval Arsenal, buried 14th February 1811

 

Philip WILLIAMS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 24 years, buried 5th August 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

 

Thomas WILLIAMS, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 18 years, buried 7th March 1859, by Reverend Dudley Somerville

 

William WILLIAMS, Private, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment, aged 21 years, buried 7th June 1861, by Reverend Edwin Smith C.F.

 

John WOOLLARD, Armourer Sergeant, 2nd Battalion, 15th Regiment, aged 26 years, buried 15th July 1859, by Reverend F.F. Thomson C.F.

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