Old Cemetery
Old Burial Ground
Chapel
 
 
Contacts us
   Phone: 429-3372
   Fax:         429-9952
   Nextel:     817*3196
 
Our History

The British Cemetery began its activities in 1834, when Her Britannic Majesty's Consul in Lima and Callao obtained a Supreme Decree from the Peruvian Government granting him the right to purchase a plot of land for the construction of a cemetery exclusively for burials of members of the British Colony.

For the proper management of this cemetery, in 1835 the Government of His Majesty King George IV sent money through a British Parliament Act (Art. 6, Chapter 85, Paragraph 14), under the supervision of the British Consul in Peru. This marked the beginning of the British Cemetery Association, which has since then been protected by its Statutes.

To corroborate the above, the Peruvian Government issued a supporting regulation under a Decree dated 5th May 1836, authorizing the burial of members of the British Colony.

After more than 160 years, the British continue to be responsible for the Burial Ground Society (now the British Cemetery Association), with 2 British Cemeteries - the Old Cemetery in Bellavista - Callao and the New Cemetery in Av. Colonial, also in Callao, named that way for strictly chronological reasons.

 

OLD CEMETERY - BELLAVISTA

Among the tombs at the Old British Cemetery in Bellavista, one can find the names of people of many other nationalities:

Germans, Polish, Swedish, Danish, Hungarians, Czechoslovakians, Yugoslavians, Russians, Swiss, Chinese, Japanese, North Americans and many others, as well as an endless variety of religions.

People of these and other nationalities participated in the development of Peru after the war of independence from Spain in 1821.

One of the men who fought for Peru's Independence was the English General (subsequently named Peruvian Marshall) William Miller, who was originally buried in the British Cemetery in Bellavista upon his death on 31st October 1862, at 66 years of age. Years later, his remains were transferred to the " Official Pantheon of Heroes" on 16th October 1926, under the mandate of President Don Augusto B. Leguia, a great anglophile.

However, not only illustrious people are buried in Bellavista. General Miller's favourite cook, a black man named William Hanam born in Kingston, Jamaica, died at the age of 60 from hydrophesia and was the 17th person to be buried in the Old British Cemetery.

The very first person to be buried there was the youngest son of General Sir Gordon Drummond G.C.B., Lieutenant William Russell Drummond, who died when his leg was amputated on 1st January 1835 after being shot in an ambush while on duty.

Several foreigners who died in the Battle of Angamos during the Pacific War between Chile and Peru were also buried there; others who survived the battle were later also laid to rest in the Bellavista Cemetery, including Samuel MacMahon, the first engineer of the Peruvian Monitor Huascar, who witnessed and survived the Battle of Angamos.

During the same war, Bernard Fleming, a 17 year-old who was born in Lima of British parents, died in the Battle of Miraflores on 15th June 1881. His colleagues laid his body to rest in the British Cemetery. There are many other anecdotes like these.

Thanks to the documents kept in the Cemetery, we have a record of diseases and plagues of medical interest, such as the Yellow Fever plague in Lima in April 1868, when more than 200 Germans died within only a couple of months, without counting the British and Peruvian casualties of this disease. Another incident recorded was the Smallpox plague in 1879, a disease that has been very rare on our coasts since the discovery of the smallpox vaccine.

Many members of the British and American colonies who helped develop the cemetery are also buried there, such as:> William Pitt Adams, Business Manager and a prominent and well-known member of the British Delegation in Peru and one of the promoters of the Cemetery.

Also buried there are the remains of the son of the former secretary of the American Treasury, the honourable A. Adms. Captain Alexander Dallas, Commander of the American Squadron in the Pacific.

Europeans and their descendents include families like the Backus family, founders of the breweries, as well as descendents of the famous railway entrepreneur Mr. Enrique Meiggs who built the Souuthern Railway (Mollendo - Arequipa) during the Balta Government and, subsequently, the Central Railway. It is also the resting place of Scottish engineers who arrived to build the railway to La Oroya and died of the dreaded malaria. Crew members, officers and employees of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, which ran a fleet of ships that sailed between our coasts and Europe, are buried there as well.


NEW CEMETERY - CALLAO

Eventually, when there was no more room in the Old Cemetery in Bellavista, another plot of land was purchased on 4th September 1955 on Avenida Colonial, where a second cemetery was built and consecrated by the then Bishop of the Falkland Islands, the Rt. Rev. Bishop D. Ivor Evans, together with representatives of the Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches.

At the present time, there are spaces available in both cemeteries, as in 1993 a plot of land adjacent to the Old Cemetery in Bellavista was purchased in order to expand it. In these new facilities, we provide various additional services, such as a modern and spacious Ecumenical Chapel in which wakes, masses or responses can be held.

In addition, we have a modern crematorium which is available to the general public.

 
 
Av. Mariscal Oscar R. Benavides (Ex. Av. Colonial) Nro 2141 - Callao
Cementerio Británico Antiguo 1835 - Prolong. Zarumilla s/n Bellavista - Callao