John Bailie

The tragic life and times of John Bailie 1820 Settler 1788 - 1852


  • Patrick Hutchison Border Historical Society


Captain John Bailie arrived at the Buffalo Mouth with a military wagon-train for transporting the Knysna’s cargo to King William’s Town a few days before the Knysna’s arrival. While awaiting its arrival, Bailie mounted the promontory east of the Buffalo mouth, known as Signal Hill and planted a Union Jack on its summit, thereby claiming the port for Great Britain.” The man credited with planting the Union Jack on Signal Hill, thus becoming the founder of East London in November 1836, was recognised by the city fathers a century later with an impressive memorial on that site.