In the spring of 1898, HMS Cordelia paid a courtesy call in St. Augustine. During their visit, the ship’s officers attended the annual Charity Ball at the magnificent Ponce de Leon Hotel and the crew lost to the American team in a game of cricket. All was not fun and games, however. On March 23rd, Able Seaman James McCormack passed away at the young age of 28. He was buried with full military honors in the St. Augustine National Cemetery.
Sacred to the Memory of
Able Seaman of
Her Brittannic Majesty’s
Ship – Cordelia
who died Mar. 23, 1898.
aged 28 years.
Like a lot of forest trees we stand
But some are marked to fall
The axe will smite at God’s command
And soon must smite us all
The stone erected by
His shipmates as a mark of esteem.
- “BRITISH TAR BURIED IN FLORIDA; United States Troops Join the Crew of H.M.S. Cordelia”. New York Times.
- Florida. National Cemetery, St. Augustine, Florida: Index-Guide, Preliminary Report. Special archives publication, no. 44. St. Augustine, Fla: State Arsenal, 1988.