The Importance of the Warrnambool Cemetery: An Historians perspective– PDG Ray Welsford

Ray informed the club that the first trustees of the Warrnambool Cemetery were appointed in 1854. Four current trustees linked to Rotary Club of Warrnambool East

As would be expected the backgrounds of the people buried at the cemetery are varied. Ray spoke about four groups, those with backgrounds in the military, police, convicts and doctors.

Those with a military background include John Wickenton who was said to have served at the Battle of Waterloo. When reading the names of people buried in military graves it is important to read them carefully, as many listed are not actually buried in Warrnambool but overseas or some instances the location is not known. On Anzac Day, at 8.30 am there will be a walk through the military section of the cemetery.

Graves of police who died in the line of duty, one of these was William Sharrock who drowned on the Nestor motor launch when it sank in the Hopkins River.

There are three convict graves including Hannah Murphy.

A number of parliamentarians are buried at the cemetery including Ronald Mack and John Murray who was Premier for 3 years.

There are also a number of doctors including William Boyd who served in Crimean War alongside Florence Nightingale.

One of the problems facing the cemetery is the matter of space, which is compounded by some families owning plots but leaving the area, leaving these plots unused. Many of these families are difficult to locate.