History of the Rottnest European (Settlement) Cemetery 1849—present
By Lyn Myles
The European Cemetery was originally designed as two separate cemeteries based on denomination and surrounded by a limestone wall. The larger cemetery was designated as Church of England and the smaller rectangular one was Roman Catholic. Correspondence between the Rottnest Superintendent W.H. Timperley and the Fremantle Colonial Secretary Malcolm Fraser dated 14 April 1885 confirmed that the two cemeteries were consecrated.
A Cemetery photo taken by Will Dawson in 1902 and another c1899, shows the cemetery had dry limestone walls surrounding the two areas. Paul Rigby and Kirwan Ward’s book called Rottnest Island Sketchbook (1969) described them as being 5 foot tall. Later additions / changes to the Cemetery include the replacement fencing for the cemetery when the stone walls were removed, being post and wire put around both cemeteries making it into a combined single area. On the Digby Drive side it was constructed of wooden post and rail fencing. This was possibly done around 1912 when the Boys Reformatory building was upgraded for tourism and made into a State Hostel.
Published by Swan Genealogy
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