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Sandy Hook in Monmouth County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

H.M.S. Assistance Tragedy Memorial

Halyburton Monument

 
 
<i>H.M.S. Assistance</i> Tragedy Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
1. H.M.S. Assistance Tragedy Memorial Marker
Inscription. On this spot were buried the remains of the Honorable Hamilton Douglas Halyburton, 1st Lieutenant, Royal Navy, son of the Earl of Morton, and James Champion, Lieutenant of Marines.

Together with twelve members of the crew of H.M.S. Assistance who died here at Sandy Hook in line of duty on December 31, 1783.
 
Erected 1939.
 
Location. 40° 26.895′ N, 73° 59.75′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in Monmouth County. Marker is on Hartshorne Drive. Click for map. Monument is on Hartshorne Drive, which is the only road in or out of Sandy Hook Recreational Area. Marker is in this post office area: Highlands NJ 07732, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Last Tragic Episode of the American Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); British Embarkation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nike Ajax Explosion Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Guns of Sandy Hook (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Dead House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Hospital Steward’s Quarters (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Best of Care (approx. 0.8 miles away); NOAA Fisheries Service (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sandy Hook.
 
Additional comments.
Two British Flags Fly over the Monument image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
2. Two British Flags Fly over the Monument

1. Names of the dead crewmembers
Lieutenant [Honorable Hamilton Douglas­-]Hallyburton**
Lt [James] Champion (Marines)
Midshipmen Mr Rt Haywood, Chas Gascoigne, Wm Spry, Geo. Towers, Geo. Faddy, Wm Scott, Davd Reddie, Alex. Johnstone, Andw Hamilton, Robt Wood, Wm Tomlinson
Seaman Jno McChain
    — Submitted December 13, 2008.

2. Loyalists' grave site found in Sandy Hook
An Asbury Park Press article written by Carole Ann Lang and published July 11 2005 reported, in part:

A detachment of 14 [Royal Navy crewmembers], led by 21-year-old 1st Lt. Hamilton Douglas Halyburton, began a hot pursuit. But shortly after leaving the ship, Halyburton and his men were attacked by a howling blizzard.

All those in the company perished and were eventually found frozen to death in a Sandy Hook salt marsh. The deserters were never found, never caught, but the [crewmen] were buried in a common grave.

Later, Lt. Halyburton's mother, the dowager Countess of Morton, had a monument erected over the resting place of her son and his comrades.

But vandals destroyed the marker so completely that the grave site was lost. Fortunately, the bodies were found in 1908, when a group of workmen grading a railroad
H.M.S. Assistance Monument and Plaque image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
3. H.M.S. Assistance Monument and Plaque
bed for the U.S. Army came upon the burial site under the sands of the peninsula.

The bones were taken to Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, where they now truly rest in peace.
    — Submitted December 13, 2008.

 
Categories. War, US RevolutionaryWaterways & Vessels
 
Memorial on Sandy Hook image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 20, 2009
4. Memorial on Sandy Hook
Plaque Describing the H.M.S. Assistance Tragedy image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
5. Plaque Describing the H.M.S. Assistance Tragedy
A Last Tragic Episode of the American Revolution


On New Year's Eve 1783, British forces were evacuating New York City as part of their final withdrawal from the new American Nation.

The British warship H.M.S. Assistance was anchored in Sandy Hook Bay when 11 seamen deserted the ship. 1st Lieutenant Hamilton Douglas-Halyburton led a party of 13 seamen to apprehend them.

While searching Sandy Hook, a blizzard overcame the Halyburton detachment. They were discovered frozen to death in a salt marsh meadow along the bay, and buried in a common grave.

By 1808, the monument that commemorated the incident and the gravesite were lost. A century later, workmen grading an army railroad bed discovered the crypt. The remains were re-interred at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The present stone monument and memorial grounds were erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1937.
Unusual Pipes with Threaded Caps on Either Side of Monument image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
6. Unusual Pipes with Threaded Caps on Either Side of Monument
I'm not sure what these were. Probably not for flowers and I can't think of any reason to attach chains to the pipe caps.
Metal Plugs on Slate Sidewalk that Leads to Monument image. Click for full size.
By R. C.
7. Metal Plugs on Slate Sidewalk that Leads to Monument
There might have been a small naval cannon here at some point in time.
Honourable Hamilton Douglas Hallyburton Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 4, 2009
8. Honourable Hamilton Douglas Hallyburton Memorial
This memorial to Lt. Hamilton Douglas Halyburton is located in Trinity Church in Manhattan.

At Sandy Hook lye interred
The Remains
of the Honourable Hamilton Douglas Hallyburton, Son of Sholto Charles Earl of Morton and Heir of the Ancient Family of Hallyburton of Pitcurr in Scotland, who perished on this coast with twelve more young gentlemen and one common Seaman, in the spirited Discharge of Duty
on the 30th or 31st of December 1783
Born on the 10 of October 1763.
A youth who in contempt of hardship or Danger, though possessed of an ample Fortune served seven years in the British Navy with a manly Courage and seemed to deserve a better fate.

This plain Monumental stone is erected by his unhappy Mother Katherine Countess Dowager of Morton to his dear memory and that of his unfortunate companions.
James Champion     Lieutenant of Marines
Alexander Johnstone, George Paddy, Robert Haywood
Midshipmen
Charles Gascoigne     William Tomlinson
Andrew Hamilton     William Spry
William Scott     John McChain
David Reddie     Robert Wood
Young Gentlemen
George Towers     common seaman
Cast away, all found dead and frozen, and buried in one Grave.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,947 times since then and 15 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.   8. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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