John Bazalgette

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Colonel John Bazalgette (15 December 1784 – 28 March 1868) was an army officer actively involved in the affairs of Nova Scotia for forty-three years.[1] He was born in London, the second son of Jean Louis Bazalgette (1750-1830), a French immigrant born in Ispagnac, in the Lozère department in southern France, and Catherine, née Metivier (c.1762-1785), also from a French family in London. His nephew was the prominent Victorian civil engineer, Sir Joseph William Bazalgette (1819-1891)

Bazalgette had previously served with the British army in other colonial posts before arriving in Nova Scotia in 1811. A Lieutenant in the 80th Foot, he was promoted Captain in the 99th Foot (later renumbered 98th Foot) without purchase in 1805. By 1830 he was a Major in the 98th Foot. In 1837 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army. He was made administrator of the provincial government for Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Harvey from 30 May to 30 September 1851 and from 22 March to 5 August 1852. This period included the debate on Joseph Howe's railway policy. It appears from correspondence with the Colonial Office that he had a good sense of balance between colonial needs and his responsibility to England.

While stationed in Bermuda, he married Sarah Crawford Magdalen Van Norden (1794-1866) and the marriage produced 15 children, 6 girls and 9 boys, of whom seven in turn went into the Army.

By 1854 he was a Colonel and Deputy Quartermaster-General of Nova Scotia. In that year he purchased the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 2nd West India Regiment. He returned to England the same year and retired in 1858. His long tenure in Canada shows an unusual loyalty to a colonial posting by a British officer of that time.

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