A walk to the cemetery

Today was clock change day, when the clocks went forward for summer. Typically it was a damp day, threatening rain, so we went for a walk up to the town cemetery.

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As Beechworth’s an old town, the cemetery’s pretty old as well, dating from 1856.

There had been cemeteries before, in Loch Street and Albert Road, but the bodies there were disinterred and moved to the new cemetery,

In Australia, the whole church and churchyard thing didn’t really happen, except for a few very early churches round Sydney.

Mostly cemeteries were public facilities on the outside of town, and divided into sections for the various denominations – Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, a section for people who belonged to odd sects, and unusually a Chinese section for the 2000 or so Chinese miners who died here

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I havn’t checked closely, but I don’t think there are any Orthodox, Jewish, or Moslem graves, but again, they might be put among  the independents.

Unlike in England, where quite often country churchyards are unkempt, especially where the church has fallen out of use, and provide a refuge for wildlife and plants, the cemetery is mowed, but interestingly some of the older graves which are surrounded by metal fencing providing a refuge for native grasses

 

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although in some, the native plants have been outcompeted by lillies that have taken root.

But it’s not all botany and wildlife – there are some interesting graves as well, including this one

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The 71st regiment of Foot is well attested to, having fought in various colonial wars and the Peninsular war in Spain.

I know nothing of John Drummond, or where he served, but it is fascinating to think that someone who was at Waterloo ended up as one of the early settlers in Beechworth …

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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