Burwood Cemetery is considered one of the oldest cemeteries in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia. Situated 14 kilometres east of the Melbourne centre, Burwood Cemetery dates back to 1857, a time of high demand for land due to the influx of people from the Victorian Gold Rush. The cemetery and the police station were central to the Ballyshanassy settlement area, which was later renamed as Norwood and then again as Burwood in 1879.
The cemetery cascades down two slopes to meet in a valley and is noticeable from the main roads of Burwood Highway and Highbury Road due to the picturesque structures, monuments and sculptures set in established gardens. It reached capacity in the 1980s and burials are now limited to existing plots, although the columbarium is still available for new placements.
Burwood Cemetery has many interesting examples of sculptures, monuments and ironwork, and is the last resting place of many people with fascinating stories which can be found in records, or remain to be written.
Notable inhabitants, whose stories will be explored in later posts, include:
- Sir Charles Powers (1853-1939), politician and high court judge.
- Frank Cumbrae-Stewart (1865-1938), professor and barrister
- Zina Cumbrae-Stewart (nee Hammond) (1868-1956), Frank Cumbrae-Stewart’s wife, a notable philanthropist and champion of women’s contributions to society.
- Harold Edward Elliot (1878-1931), major general in the Australian Army and later politician.
- Francis William (F.W.) Thring (1883-1936), film director, producer and exhibitor.
- John S. Clark (1885-1956), entomologist and myrmecologist in the study of Australian ants.
- Christina Cock (1887-2002), Australia and Oceania’s oldest person, who lived for 114 years.
- Edward William (Bill) Tipping (1915-1970), activist, journalist and social commentator.
June 19, 2017 at 2:27 pm
Harold Edward Elliot was known as “Pompey” Elliot during WW1. He was a popular but rebellious leader of the 7th Battalion 1st AIF. He landed at Gallipoli with the 7th on the 25th April 1915 but was wounded on the beach and evacuated the same day. Returning in June “Pompey” fought courageously at Lone Pine, distinguishing himself as a fierce fighter. After Gallipoli “Pompey” Elliot was promoted in 1916 to Brigadier In order to lead the 15th Brigade on the Western Front. In Australia after the War “Pompey” Elliot became a Nationalist senator. However he never really recovered from grievances of the War and committed suicide in 1931. The Friends of the 15th Brigade apparently meet each year before his grave in the Burwood cemetery to commend an individual leader of courage & distinction. His tomb is marked: “This was a man”.
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June 20, 2017 at 6:54 pm
Hi kannicue, thanks for your interest in this post, and for your writing on ‘Pompey’ Elliot. I’d really like to repost this if you are happy for me to do so – we are very keen to see others with a love of history posting on this blog too!
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