On 23 July 1949, a human skeleton was unearthed from the bank of the Nottawasaga River in Wasaga Beach by two young women vacationing in the area. The adult male skeleton was recovered with nothing more than a single military button determined as being of Scottish origin dating as far back as the War of 1812. Dr. RE Ives of Stayner examined the skeleton and was of the opinion that the bones were over 100 years old. The remains were found in close proximity to where the HMS Nancy, a British supply schooner, was destroyed after a battle with American forces on August 14th, 1814.
William Dukes was born c 1778 in Hindon, Wiltshire, England. At the age of 15 he volunteered for the Wiltshire Militia where he spent nine years. He was discharged at the rank of private and served as a private in the 59th Regiment of Foot for six months. After this he signed up for the 41st Regiment of Foot, 1st Battalion.