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Colonial Expressions of Identity in Funerals, Cemeteries, and Funerary Monuments of Nineteenth-Century Perth, Western Australia

Sandra F. Hayward
Independent Scholar, Perth, WA 6001, Australia
Genealogy 2018, 2(3), 23;
Submission received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cemeteries and Churchyards)


A general cemetery was established in 1829–1830 for the town of Perth, Western Australia, and during the rest of the nineteenth century, other cemeteries were added to the complex to cater for various Christian denominations as well as for Chinese and Jewish communities. In all, seven contiguous cemeteries were used over the colonial period in Perth. By 1899, when the cemetery complex was closed, approximately ten thousand people were buried there. The deceased or their bereaved loved ones chose funerals, epitaphs, burial locations, and funerary monuments to express social, ethnic, religious, familial, and gendered identity. These expressions of identity provide more information than just birth and death dates for genealogists and family historians as to what was important to the deceased and their family. In the first half of the nineteenth century, identities were dominantly related to family, whereas later in the century, identities included religion, ethnicity, and achievements within the colony of Western Australia. Some expressions of identity in Perth contrast with those found in other Australian colonies, especially in regard to the use and types of religious crosses in the Christian denominations.

1. Introduction

In December 1828, when the future Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia received his instructions from the British Colonial Secretary before sailing to establish the colony, the instructions included directions on establishing cemeteries. These instructions were specific, and based on the scientific experience in Britain of the increasing necessity for remains to be buried away from habitation. In Britain, where church graveyards were full, they were considered insanitary, and extramural cemeteries were being planned and built on the outskirts of cities and towns. Similarly, established Australian colonial church graveyards in Hobart and Sydney had filled up and were causing health concerns. According to J.S. Curl, a cemetery is a burial ground designed for the interment of the dead, and is not associated with a place of worship such as a church (Curl cited in Rugg 2000). Julie Rugg expanded the meaning of cemeteries to encompass large tracts of land often run by secular authorities, whereas Meyer added that the site helps enshrine the identity of the deceased when living (Meyer, cited in Rugg 2000). Cemeteries in Britain and Australia have only been in existence since the nineteenth century and were established for either general or exclusive use by either religious communities or ethnic minorities (Meyer, cited in Rugg 2000). In Perth the burial ground was surveyed in December 1829 and controlled by the Lieutenant-Governor and the government. New cemeteries in Britain and Australia allowed families to buy and hold private plots for long periods of time, upon which mortuary monuments could be erected (Houlbrooke 1989; Richardson 1989). In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Britain and Australia, there was a change in attitude to death, from a practical one of inevitability to one more aligned with memory of the loved one (Tarlow 1999). Lynn Rainville explained that the evangelical religious movement encouraged a more sentimental and emotional attitude to death, which, in turn, created a romantic movement in Britain, the U.S., and elsewhere, and included beautifying the cemetery landscapes (Rainville 1999). Tom Laqueur suggested that the funeral became an outward expression of the deceased’s worth in life, and Ruth Richardson extended the concept to include benefit for the survivors, for whom respectable funerary displays and mortuary monuments were an expression of social attainment or aspiration (Laqueur 1983, cited in Hurren and King 2005; Richardson 1989). Permanency or long-term tenure of private burial plots appealed to all social classes, and because lower classes were able to save for funerals in funeral funds and burials in burial societies, they too could have mortuary monuments (Liveris 1999). British and Irish immigrants to the Western Australian colony and Perth brought their religious and cultural traditions and attitudes to death with them. In the East Perth Christian cemeteries, some monuments from the nineteenth century showed the pragmatic attitude of the inevitability of death in epitaph or symbolism, but the overwhelming attitude during the nineteenth century was one of memories of the deceased (Hayward 2017). It was the combination in Perth of being able to create a long-lasting external commemoration, together with the desire to convey meaning of their loved ones’ lives, which motivated the bereaved to actively define identity in the funerals, cemetery, and monuments in their new home.
Increasing British and Australian congregations in non-Church of England Protestant denominations meant that denominations other than the Church of England had to be recognized, so Australia passed a Church Act in 1836, whereby governments in Australian colonies were no longer in exclusive partnership with the Church of England (Strong 2010). In Australia, the Church of England is now referred to as the Anglican Church, and the latter term is used for consistency within the context of the Australian setting and current literature. The immediate impact upon Perth and Western Australia was that exclusive aid given to the Anglican Church was shared more equitably amongst other Christian denominations (Strong 2010). There was a lack of extra money in the Western Australian colony; it depended upon Britain’s sponsorship for the establishment of the colony, but Britain was suffering an economic crisis after the expense of the Napoleonic War and the ongoing expenses of convict transportation and maintenance of eastern Australian convict sites. Accordingly, the Anglican Church’s exclusive control over (limited) available funds ended with the Australian 1836 Church Act. Revenue-raising commenced in churches by renting pews, sourcing donations, and appealing to the Mother Church in Britain. When the governor of Western Australia allocated control of the East Perth Cemetery (Lot R1) as a public cemetery to the Anglican Church in 1842, this control would have helped the Anglican Church raise further revenue through sale of gravesites and fees payable to the Anglican minister for funeral services. Another implication for Perth was that the governor could allocate cemetery land to other Christian denominations. Allocations to other denominations started in 1848, prompted by the presence of the Roman Catholic Bishop Brady and his missionaries who arrived in 1843, and was sequentially done on the basis of congregational sizes to other denominations (Strong 2014). Separate cemeteries in East Perth allowed the denominational ministers to hold their own denominational burial services in their own cemetery.
The East Perth cemetery complex comprised seven contiguous cemeteries allocated to Christian denominations and other religions over the course of the nineteenth century with approximately ten thousand burials in total (Figure 1). Approximately eight hundred monuments of headstones and horizontal gravestones which were erected there still exist, and represent many more deceased as many graves had multiple interments. During the nineteenth century, the cemetery area was referred to as “Perth”, not “East Perth”. The burial ground (Lot R1; Figure 1) was allocated by the government as a general cemetery and set on a hill well away from defined settler residential zones, as per the British Colonial Secretary’s instructions. It is unknown how the cemetery was administered during its first thirteen years, but in April 1842, Lot R1 (Figure 1) was allocated to the trustees of the Anglican Church to be run as a public cemetery. The western third of Lot R1 was allocated for family vaults and brick graves; all other burials were interred in soil in the eastern two-thirds, which included burials of all Christian denominations and other religions until each separate religion gained their own cemetery lot. Lot T27 was allocated to the Anglicans in 1882, but was never used (Figure 1).

2. Results

In the nineteenth century, individual and communal identities were expressed or implied in the funerals, cemeteries, and monuments of Perth. Typically, choices by the survivors of the deceased would be based upon their religious and cultural background in Britain or Ireland; therefore, funerals and monuments would have been similar to those of relatives back in their homeland. Sarah Tarlow explained that grave markers were relevant in historical analyses, as artefacts provide textual and material evidence, together with a date and social context (Tarlow 1999). Each individual commemorated by a monument may have had many types of identity conveyed through the entire funerary process, so identities incorporating religion, ethnicity, social status, family, and gender were displayed in many ways to mourners at a funeral and to visitors to the cemetery. Layers of different identities for individuals or families were common. Collective or communal identities were also conveyed, through the association of the deceased with the family, community group, work, or religion, and these identities were important for the social and religious status of the bereaved. This paper provides rich detail in forms of identity and case studies so that comparisons may be made by other researchers with other nineteenth-century cemeteries around the world. The identities have been separated into facets of an individual’s life for information, but actually combine to form part of a complex identity which forms an individual. Identities were made through the choice of cemetery, location of burial (vault versus brick grave versus soil grave), symbolism, monument, and epitaph. These identities are restricted to an understanding of the cultural landscape created by the burials and the existing headstones and monuments of the cemetery complex.
The extant epitaphs in the East Perth cemetery complex conveyed names, loving phrases, and identifying information about the deceased. The length of the epitaphs indicated that the Perth community was literate, as few memorials had just the initials or the name of the deceased as the sole information on the stone.

2.1. Religious Identity

There is a uniformity to the Christian monuments in the cemeteries: nearly all monuments and headstones in the extant Christian cemeteries have the epitaph facing (approximately) east, in keeping with Christian tradition of eastern light falling on the name on the day of resurrection. Even on monuments with plinths or chest tombs, the name is preferentially inscribed on the eastern face. For plinths with multiple burials (especially in the Anglican-General Cemetery), the second person’s epitaph was inscribed on the southern face, which in the British and Irish (northern hemisphere) tradition, was the aspect with more light than the north. Conversely, as Western Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the northern aspect has more light, but this was ignored in favor of the British tradition of using the southern aspect. Exceptions to this easterly trend included the plinth for the Wesleyan ministers and the second headstone for the second Anglican Bishop of Perth, where the headstones were traditionally placed to the west and epitaphs face west (or south for a second minister on the same monument), so that the ministers could sit up and face their flock at the resurrection. Religious symbols on monuments were also used to create a religious identity for the deceased, but are not covered in this paper for brevity. These symbols included bibles, doves, ivy, rocks (of faith), and altar cloths. Each faith also created an identity in their own way.

2.1.1. Anglican

The Anglican–General Cemetery (Lot R1; Figure 1) is now signposted as the Anglican Cemetery, but this first cemetery in Perth was for the burial of all people, irrespective of faith, and was run by the government until 1842 as a general cemetery. The Colonial Chaplain, who was an Anglican minister, performed the burial rites in the cemetery, and continued to do so when the government gave control of the cemetery to trustees of the Anglican Church in 1842. The cemetery was divided into a western third with vaults and brick graves, and a two-thirds eastern portion of single soil graves. Up to the allocation of separate cemeteries for each denomination and religion, all deceased people were buried in this cemetery, so no religious identity can be definitively ascribed to the deceased who were buried in the General portion of the Anglican–General cemetery (Lot R1) without biographical and other information. However, as this was an English colony, many of them were most likely to have been Anglican. Throughout the nineteenth century, the Anglican Church were required to continue to allocate space in the single soil grave area for public burials. The government paid for the burial of paupers, convicts, and hanged criminals, irrespective of their personal religion, in this cemetery. After the Roman Catholic Cemetery was opened in 1848, all Protestant deceased were still buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery until their faiths were allocated their own cemetery. So, especially for the first twenty years of the colony (until 1848), being buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery was not an indicator of Anglican faith. Anglican identity in this cemetery was also blurred from the 1860s by Anglican High Church use of symbols most commonly associated with Roman Catholic usage (discussed in Section 2.1.3).
Anglican identity was most likely expressed by being buried in the vault and brick grave portion of the Anglican–General Cemetery, where it signified both social status and Anglican religious affinity. The dominance and importance of the Anglican community within the colony was reinforced by the large size and location of the cemetery, on the gently sloping flank of a hill. The cemetery was bounded by roads, trees, and a fence, and traditional funereal vegetation such as cypress trees were planted within the grounds. This cemetery with north–south rows of burials was designed before the later garden movement in cemeteries in Britain and Australia, where curved drives and gardens made the cemeteries a pleasant place to visit. Multiple tiers of burials were planned for the two-thirds of the East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery where single soil graves were sold cheaply. This practice most likely occurred, as the area where the earliest gravesites were denoted on rare plans now has the occasional later nineteenth-century monuments on them, which gave Anglican identity to the burials in the general section. The mortuary chapel, which was consecrated in 1871 and later converted into St Bartholomew’s church, stamped the religious identity of this cemetery as Anglican, and was a stand-out feature of the entire complex, as no other denomination built a chapel.
Religious identity is shown by the denser community of monuments in the brick and vault areas of this cemetery than in any of the other East Perth Cemeteries. A variety of monuments are displayed in the cemetery, including chest tombs, ornate headstones, crosses on headstones (Adkinson, Figure 2a), and free-standing crosses, as well as slabs and neoclassical urns on plinths. This variety may be a function of both the varied experiences and background of the colonists back in Britain, as well as of social identity. Mixtures of identity can be seen from the use of crosses for religious identity and tall plinths for social identity, such as for Sir Luke Leake. Similarly, Robert Napoleon Bullen had a closed Celtic cross erected over his Anglican grave to denote his Christian religious identity, and he had a Masonic emblem of the set square and compass in the central circle of the cross for community identity.

2.1.2. Roman Catholic Denomination

Roman Catholic identity was expressed by being buried in the East Perth Roman Catholic Cemetery, which was separated from the other cemeteries by roads and fences. This cemetery was important to those of the Catholic faith, because prior to the establishment of the Roman Catholic Cemetery in 1848, Catholic deceased were buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery with possibly Anglican rites. No monuments were erected before 1848 that identify the deceased as being Roman Catholic in the Anglican–General Cemetery, nor are there any monuments for Roman Catholics in their cemetery which refer to re-interment after initial burial in the Anglican–General Cemetery. Of the existing monuments, the earliest headstone was for James Horan in 1850, who was a private in the 99th Regiment. Richardson and Davies (1986) reported that the layout of the cemetery included family vaults in the southern portion of Lot T41, as well as family brick graves in the southern portion of Lot T42, whereas children were buried in the north of Lot 41 (Figure 1). In the northern portion of Lot T42 there was room for free graves and a small area of unconsecrated space. Additional lots were given to the faith in 1876 (Lots T43 and T44), but it is believed that T44 was not used.
Crosses were an important affiliation with religious identity for Roman Catholics buried in the East Perth cemetery. From the beginning of cemetery use in the 1850s, inscribed or sculpted crosses were employed on the monuments. The Celtic and Latin forms, together with Calvary crosses, were persistently used throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, with preference in cross style seen for Celtic forms (peaking in the 1870s) and Latin forms (peaking in the 1890s) (Hayward 2017). In contrast, Chris McConville has indicated that the Celtic cross was the most often chosen style by Roman Catholics in New South Wales in the 1880s, and Mary Mackay has similarly noted that Celtic crosses were the most popular in Sydney’s nineteenth-century Rookwood Cemetery (McConville 1997; Mackay 1989).
Within the cemetery, Catholicism was also identified for visitors in the epitaph. Entreaties to visitors included the rare epitaph “Of your charity pray for the soul of”, in order to help the soul move from Purgatory to Heaven, such on the headstone for Mary McCourt, and “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” in praising God for James Horan (Figure 2b). The Latin phrase “Requiescat in Pace” and its English equivalent “Rest in Peace” were used on grave markers to again identify with Catholicism and the religion’s roots with the Latin language, but the most prolific version was the simple abbreviation “R.I.P.”, implying long traditional use of this phrase and abbreviation in their birth countries. Whilst there was rare use of “R.I.P.” and the term “rest” in late-nineteenth-century Protestant cemetery monuments, the phrase appears to have been specific to the Roman Catholic faith in this cemetery complex.
Other typical abbreviations and phrases that denote Roman Catholicism included the abbreviation “IHS”, which, according to Katherine Hass, was the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek, then translated into Latin (Hass 2007). The monogram “IHS” was used from 1850 (Figure 2b) on headstones and in the center of Celtic crosses (Figure 2c), but there were no other symbols, such as the Agnus Dei depictions of a recumbent lamb, nor were there any crucifixes or sacred hearts on headstones (as seen later in the twentieth-century Karrakatta Cemetery in suburban Perth). The lack of Agnus Dei symbology from 1850 contrasts with the USA, where, according to Hass, the recumbent lamb symbology was phased out in favor of the IHS monogram on priests’ vestments only from 1879 onwards (Hass 2007). Use of the monogram “IHS” by Roman Catholic people was a part of their tradition and religious identity, but the abbreviation was also used on Anglican monuments in the East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery.

2.1.3. Use of Crosses and “IHS” Symbolism in Protestant Identities

Jane Shaw interpreted the practice of using the “IHS” monogram by Anglicans to be a revival of “high church” rituals in the nineteenth century (Shaw 2003). The persistent but minor use of “IHS” monograms by Anglicans in the East Perth cemetery from the 1860s may also be indicative of burials of individuals who practiced “high church” rituals. Harold Mytum also found these monograms on Anglican monuments in Britain (Mytum 2009). Use of crosses was also more widespread than just the Roman Catholic denomination.
The nineteenth-century East Perth cemetery complex contains carved or sculpted crosses on Anglican, Congregational, Wesleyan, and Presbyterian monuments. Pat Jalland has suggested that nineteenth-century Australian Protestants were reluctant to use crosses, considered to be a “papist” symbol, citing the 1898 Western Australian example of the Clifton family, who had correspondence on the choice of headstone for their patriarch (Jalland 2002). The East Perth cemetery complex has evidence to the contrary, with Protestant use of crosses from the 1860s. The mortuary chapel built for the Anglicans and consecrated in 1871 also had Latin cross finials at both ends of its roof line. Whilst the Latin cross was the most popular choice for Anglican use in their cemetery, the Celtic cross and Calvary cross were also employed, as well as other minor elaborate variations. Therefore, in the East Perth cemeteries, crosses cannot be used to uniquely identify a Roman Catholic burial, as there were many contemporaneous crosses in the Protestant cemeteries. Similarly, Dianne Hall and Lindsay Proudfoot noted that Celtic iconography was not uniquely associated with Irish Catholicism in nineteenth-century Stawell in Victoria (Hall and Proudfoot 2007).

2.1.4. Wesleyan (Methodist) and Congregational (Independent) Denominations

The Wesleyan (Methodist) and Congregational (Independent) denominations were allocated a cemetery lot each in 1854 (Figure 1; Lot T40 for Wesleyans, Lot T39 for Congregationalists). There are two monuments for Nonconformists which imply they were buried earlier in the Anglican–General Cemetery, but have had their monuments erected in the Wesleyan and Congregational Cemeteries to be identified with their chosen denomination. For example, John Crisp died in 1837 before the Congregational Cemetery was established in 1854, but has his stone located in the Congregational Cemetery, so must have initially been buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery; and Marmaduke Hutton, who died in 1843, has a Wesleyan Cemetery epitaph which says “remains interred near this place”.
In order to have contiguous cemeteries, the Wesleyans were first allotted ground (Lot T40) which moderately sloped to the north (Figure 1); the slope made it harder to dig and process funerals, and would have been seen in the community as having less ideal conditions and status than the gently sloping Anglican–General Cemetery. This less-ideal site may have been perceived as describing a hierarchy within the landscape which paralleled the religious culture in the Perth community, with the Anglicans having the best ground and contrasted with the Wesleyans having some of the worst ground. Despite the topography, the Wesleyans carefully planned the layout of their cemetery, by placing a wide central aisle and cross aisle. This cultural landscape was reminiscent of a British garden layout, but was simpler than the curving garden cemetery design inspired by John Claudius Loudon, such as at the later cemeteries at Boroondara in Melbourne and Rookwood in Sydney. Some of the still-existing trees are very tall and may have been planted in the nineteenth century. The burial plot for the first Wesleyan ministers was located at the intersection of the two aisles, and their tall pedestal, column, and urn monument was reminiscent of the urn monument for John Wesley in Britain and a focal point for the Lot T40 Wesleyan Cemetery. Prominent Wesleyan families, other ministers, and lay preachers were also buried along the wide central north–south walkway, which would have expressed religious identity in being so close to the ministers’ burials, and social identity in being close to the ministers and on an important walkway. The second allotment granted later to the Wesleyans (Lot 28½), across a road from the other Wesleyan ground, was on the gentle apex of a hill known in the colony as “Cemetery Hill”. One Wesleyan family, the Mongers, took advantage of this high point, and built the most prominent monument in all of the East Perth cemeteries on this ground (Figure 1c).

2.1.5. Presbyterian Denomination

Burial in the Presbyterian Cemetery expressed identity with the Presbyterian faith and Scottish ethnic community. The East Perth Presbyterian Cemetery no longer exists, but some of the headstones were retained and are now located in the closed portion of Horatio Street, between the Anglican–General Cemetery (Lot R1) and the second Wesleyan Cemetery block T28½ (Figure 1). This cemetery was allocated in 1881 to the Presbyterian community, which was later than all other Christian denominations, due to the small number of Presbyterians in Perth and in Western Australia in general. Only fifty-seven headstones still exist from the original seventy-one headstones transferred from the Presbyterian Cemetery before it was cleared in the 1950s. There are no distinct denominational expressions or symbols, including a lack of St Andrew’s crosses. Many of the Presbyterian monuments are relatively plain in style, although their minister Reverend David Shearer has a tall neoclassical urn on a column (Figure 2h). Those of the Presbyterian faith were most likely to be of Scottish ethnicity, which is discussed in the next section.

2.1.6. Jewish Faith

Jewish identity was signaled by burial within the Jewish Cemetery (Lot 72), established in 1867. In 1867, a letter of thanks sent by two Jewish men to the Governor was published in a newspaper, in which it explained that the Jewish Cemetery had its first burial after the body of David Joseph was exhumed from the Anglican-General Cemetery where it had been interred earlier in the year (Rosenberg and Harris 1867). The letter went on to say that that a portion of the cemetery allotment had been fenced for future burials. Aerial photographs of the cemetery from 1948 and 1953 show two short lines of trees bordering the burial ground in the southeast of the allotment. Little is known of the East Perth Jewish Cemetery, apart from its original location and the extant monuments which were removed before the site was cleared. These eight monuments were initially placed in a closed road within the remaining cemetery complex, but were later relocated back to their approximate original location in a closed garden of an apartment complex. Religious and ethnic identity are also shown by the use of Hebrew lettering (and most also in English) and Gregorian (standard) year notations as well as Hebrew year designations. The bilingual epitaphs were an indication of how the Jewish people balanced their faith and traditions with everyday demands in the English-dominated colony. The Hebrew epitaph began with the traditional “Here lies”, whereas the English epitaph began with a memory statement similar to the Christian denominations’ headstones, such as “Sacred to the memory of Lipman Kaufman”. The monuments used were typical of the period and were similar to those used in Christian cemeteries; Norman (rounded) and Gothic headstones were used, as well as a shield and a square plinth with a draped urn. Only the latter two stones are believed to be original. These stones were a physical reminder to cemetery visitors outside of the Jewish community that the Jewish people were to be seen as conforming to and part of the wider Perth community. There were no Star of David symbols, but there is one example of the Jewish spread of two hands for Abraham Kott. Two monuments (including Kott’s) also had the Masonic symbol, signifying the inclusion of Jewish men in the Perth Masonic Lodge.

2.2. Ethnic Identity

Ethnicity is presented to the mourner and cemetery visitor through the use of language, description of birthplace, and symbology associated with that birthplace. For descriptions of birthplace, many said “born in”, but descriptors such as “native of” and “late of” were also used less commonly. For the people of some faiths, ethnicity and culture were affiliated with their religious identity, such as the Jewish people with their religion, the Irish people most commonly following the Roman Catholic denomination, and Scottish people generally following the Presbyterian denomination. The hegemonic rule of the English in the colony, and over 70% of the colonists being English, ensured that the English language was the dominant spoken language, and it was also the dominant epitaph language (Straw 2004). Throughout the cemeteries, epitaphs were more likely to describe family relationships than ethnicity. There is, however, evidence of diverse ethnicity in Perth over the nineteenth century in the epitaphs and symbology.

2.2.1. English Ethnicity

To a degree, English ethnicity was assumed in the dominantly English colony, and contemporary nineteenth-century visitors to the cemeteries who read the epitaphs and symbology were predominantly English. Only thirty deceased in the entire cemetery complex have epitaphs which include English birth places. This small number may seem surprising, but the writers of the epitaphs assumed visitors to the cemetery would know that the deceased were English. There are only twenty-two surviving memorials in the East Perth cemetery complex which date before 1850. Of those monuments, only one epitaph contains details of birthplace, for Anglican John King, who was born in “Lewknor, Oxford”. Similarly, in the second half of the nineteenth century, Anglican Andrew Amos’ epitaph only mentioned the town and county: “St Ibbs, Hertfordshire”; and James Dyson, who was buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery in 1888, had only the town of his birth in his epitaph (“Manchester”), as his survivors appear to have assumed that epitaph readers would know England well enough to be able to locate the town. Leigh Straw estimated that English migrants made up about 70% of the population in Western Australia in the early years of the colony to 1850, and this figure would have also reflected the proportions in the Perth population (Straw 2004). Similarly, Hall and Proudfoot found that English origins were the least likely to be noted in epitaphs of British and Irish colonists in the Stawell Cemetery in Victoria (Hall and Proudfoot 2007).
English ethnicity was predominantly a male-gender-specific description in the epitaph. For example, Sir Luke Leake was described as being born in “Stoke Newington, England”, just outside of London. Of the thirty epitaphs found to nominate English ethnicity in all of the cemeteries, only six of those epitaphs pertain to women. Whilst Anglican Elizabeth Barrett Lennard’s English ethnicity was not described in the epitaph, her husband’s surname and heraldic crest symbolically implied English ethnicity for the family. Ethnicity may not necessarily be where a person was born; Sir Archibald Burt and his wife Louisa had listed in their epitaphs that they were born on the island of St Kitts in the West Indies, but their association with Anglican faith indicates their English ethnicity.
People in Victorian England used flowers as symbols to convey feelings and thoughts without words; it is possible that some of the floral decorations (especially rose types) on the monuments in the second half of the nineteenth century gave clues to English ethnicity, or ethnicity within particular regions, but this has not been interpreted here. No Welsh birthplaces were nominated in the epitaphs from the cemetery complex. Other ethnicities were identifiable within the cemeteries.

2.2.2. Irish Ethnicity

Evidence of Irish ethnicity was predominantly found in the Roman Catholic Cemetery and was defined by Irish surnames, symbolism, birthplace in the epitaph, and poems on the grave stones. Surnames in the cemetery such as O’Dea, O’Keefe, and Murphy generally implied Irish ethnicity. The most prolific symbol of Irish ethnicity was the shamrock, typically used as a decorative feature on thirty-six Roman Catholic monuments to show alliance with Ireland. Most of these symbols (n = 28) were used later in the 1890s and 1900s, when the population of the colony quadrupled due to gold rushes. Hall and Proudfoot considered the use of epitaph and symbolic birthplace identities to indicate the existence of subaltern populations within the British hegemonic society (Hall and Proudfoot 2007). These late-nineteenth-century shamrock representations may be indicative of a greater Irish patriotism held by Irish inhabitants and new migrants alike at the end of the nineteenth century. Irish patriotism resulted in the early twentieth-century independence of Ireland from British rule.
The use of the shamrock was not gender-specific. Teresa Quinlan (d.1904) had shamrocks, an Irish harp, and an Irish poem adorning her Celtic cross monument to proclaim her ethnic identity (Figure 2c). Only three monuments had shamrock symbols amongst the nine memorials which also specified birthplace. The birth information typically gave specific place and county information, as well as specifying “Ireland”, such as for Netterville R. Davies who was “of Kentstown, County Galway Ireland”. John Curran (d.1899) had shamrocks and was described as “of Tarralgon Gippsland Victoria, who was born at Kilkenny Ireland”, showing both his origins and giving him credence with time in the Victorian colony. There were a few Protestant Irish deceased as well, such as William Hall of “Granville, Tyrone, Ireland”, who was buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery. In contrast, Irish buried in the Stawell Cemetery emphasized their county of origin, rather than both county and country like in Perth (Hall and Proudfoot 2007). Another Irish Protestant was Anna Kross, who was born in Limerick, Ireland; she had a rustic Latin cross with shamrocks for herself and her second husband August Kross (Figure 2d) to denote her ethnicity in the Wesleyan Cemetery (East Perth Cemeteries Website 2018).

2.2.3. Scottish Ethnicity

The Presbyterian faith originated in Scotland, so symbology associated with this denomination was expected to encompass Scottish ethnicity in some way on the headstones and monuments. There are no obvious Scottish symbols such as thistles, plaid buckles, nor St Andrew’s crosses. At East Perth, ethnicity was defined by birthplace, name of home in the colony, or surname in the epitaph. Four of the Presbyterian monuments contain birthplace information, such as for the Reverend David Shearer who came from Canisbay in Scotland. Unlike the Irish birthplaces which specified counties as well, the Scottish birthplaces for Presbyterians were listed by town followed by “Scotland”. Two Scottish Congregationalists and one Roman Catholic also followed this pattern of birthplace naming. Names starting with “Mc” or “Mac” were typical of Scottish (or Irish) ethnicity in Perth, with Donald MacPherson and James MacLagan being good examples of both Scottish and Presbyterian colonists. Ethnicity may also be derived from the name of the colonist’s farm: Donald MacPherson named his farm “Glentromie” after an area near his birthplace around Inverness and called his horses names from his homeland like “Rob Roy” (Straw 2004). Leigh Straw has noted that there was only a small proportion (5%) of Scottish people in Western Australia between 1829 and 1850, that most went to rural farming areas in the large colony, and that they identified themselves with dual identities as both Scottish and British (Straw 2004). In Perth and the adjacent Fremantle and Guildford, Straw estimated that people of Scottish ethnicity comprised only 1% of the white population. This is why it took a long time to build up the numbers to have a Presbyterian church and dedicated Presbyterian minister in Perth, after which a cemetery was allocated in 1881.

2.2.4. Japanese Ethnicity

There was no dedicated Japanese cemetery in the East Perth Cemeteries complex, but there are a few known Japanese single burials. The ethnicity of the deceased has been identified by their name, the use of Japanese writing characters, and the word “Japanese” on the headstones. In the East Perth Wesleyan Cemetery (Lot 28½; Figure 1), four of six headstones have Japanese characters written below an English epitaph with a similar meaning (Pearce 2017). One example is the tall rounded Norman headstone of Tobe Takahashi in the Wesleyan Cemetery (Lot 28½), which has epitaphs in both English and Japanese; the English epitaph begins “In loving memory of Tobe Takahashi Japanese” and has an angled Latin cross with ivy embellishments in the tympanum (Figure 2e). The deceased’s epitaph is continued in Japanese which translates as “Grave of Mr Tobe Takahashi” with his death year in the Japanese Emperor time frame “Meiji 32”. Another headstone with only English is for a baby, Kazuo Ota, who had a small Latin cross above a small headstone. A Wesleyan headstone with only Japanese characters was for Shinfuji Hanae, a lady who died in Meiji 35 (1902); the translation was more difficult, as the characters appeared to have been carved by someone unfamiliar with Japanese characters (Pearce 2017). It is interesting that the Japanese did not take on Westernized first names. The location of most Japanese monuments in the Wesleyan Cemetery and use of crosses implies a dual identity of Japanese ethnicity with belief in Wesleyan faith. Circumstantial corroborating evidence was from a newspaper report of a double Japanese fatality in the gold rush town of Kanowna in Western Australia, which reported that there was a British–Australian understanding that approximately one-quarter of the Japanese on the goldfields were of the Christian faith, and those two Kanowna-based Japanese people were buried according to Wesleyan rites (Anon. 1898). Another Japanese headstone is located in the Presbyterian Cemetery group, and is nearly all in Japanese calligraphy; only a date is in English. One other Japanese gravestone located in the Roman Catholic Cemetery has been identified as of Japanese ethnicity by the incumbent’s name and description, “Mrs O’Toki Japanese”, which only used English in the epitaph.

2.2.5. Chinese Ethnicity

Many Chinese people came to Western Australia when gold was discovered in the late 1880s and 1890s, and the East Perth Chinese Cemetery was created in 1888 (Lot T69). Chinese ethnicity was expressed by burial in the Chinese cemetery. A newspaper report of a Chinese funeral from 1896 described “eight to ten” little headstones as being present at that time, but no headstones are now known to exist (Anon. 1896). The cemetery was razed in the 1950s, and no headstones were moved to the road reserves between the cemeteries, so they may have disappeared before that time. A few Chinese funeral rites in Perth were described in newspaper reports from the 1890s because they followed a different tradition to most Christian rites. However, not all Chinese were buried in the Chinese cemetery.
One Chinese man, William Ah Mong, is known to have been buried in the East Perth Congregationalist Cemetery, and on his headstone he had both Chinese and English epitaphs inscribed for himself and his British wife who predeceased him. A newspaper reported in his obituary that Ah Mong had converted to Christianity, so the deceased used the location of his burial to define his religion and the epitaph in Chinese writing characters to imply his Chinese origins.

2.2.6. Indigenous Ethnicity

The only known Aboriginal person with a monument in the East Perth Cemetery complex was Tommy Dower, who guided surveyors and explorers including John Forrest, the future first Premier of Western Australia. The Dower memorial is in the Anglican–General Cemetery, and is a large rock, in keeping with traditions of using natural elements to protect the burial. Approximately fifty Aboriginal people have been identified to date in records as being buried in some of the East Perth cemeteries (East Perth Cemeteries Website 2018). It is assumed that most of these Aboriginal people would have been Whadjuk Noongar people from the local area. These burials were not durably memorialized in stone, but they may have had temporary wooden headstones. Conversion to Christianity is evidenced in a few of these cases, which explains their presence in a particular cemetery: seven-year-old Emily Bobinett was baptized five months before her death in 1876, and she was buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery; fifty-year-old Dingo died in 1899 and was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, so it is assumed that he had converted to that faith (East Perth Cemeteries Website 2018). Keeping in mind the paucity of records kept in all cemeteries in Perth, the small number of Indigenous burials in the records over a period of seventy years (1829–1899) may indicate that the bereaved Indigenous people chose to bury their dead in alternative places according to their own customs. Alternatively, with the perspective of settler colonial theory, the colonial authorities may have chosen to hide the presence of the Aboriginal people buried in the cemetery, and thus assert their dominance and claim over the cemetery land. It should be noted, however, that many other groups of people were buried with no permanent monument in this cemetery during the nineteenth century, and this absence of markers is discussed in Section 2.6.

2.2.7. Other Ethnicities

Other European ethnicities were implied through the use of other languages for the epitaph, such as German for the child Emilie Walkemeyer and Spanish preceding English for Jose Pujals Morell. European birthplaces were only rarely mentioned in the epitaph, such as Charkow, Russia for Heinrich Kranich. The use of other languages was more intimate, for the bereaved to speak to their dead loved ones or fellow bereaved, or to cater for visitors who could speak that language and appreciated the ethnic identity.

2.3. Social Identity

Social identity was an important attribute expressed in funerals and in the cemeteries. Social identity reflected the individual and/or familial social status in Perth society, or the social association with community groups, or the social aspirations of the bereaved. These social identities were defined in funerals, choice of cemetery, and location of the burial site within the cemetery, as well as on monuments and grave fences. Expensive funerals for social status phased out in Perth the 1870s, but the expression of social identity in terms of elaborate or large monuments continued in the East Perth Cemeteries until they closed in 1899, and into the 1910s as seen in early monuments of the Karrakatta Cemetery. At the start of the Western Australian colony in the 1830s and 1840s, social identity in the cemetery would have been conveyed by the survivors having enough to pay for a monument, rather than just an unidentified burial plot. Later on, with more wealth in the colony and the ability to buy a mass-produced “blank” headstone, more people potentially could have a monument. Not all monuments have survived; jarrah headboards have disappeared, and broken stones over the years have been removed in cemetery tidy-ups. Hence, social identity may only be described for the extant monuments.

2.3.1. Social Identity in Funerals and Monuments

The funeral in 1847 of Andrew Clarke, the governor of the Western Australian colony, was a grand affair, described in detail in newspapers of the time (Anon. 1847a). The extensive size of the funeral procession and the detail of the funerary accompaniments show that this funeral was organized to show respect to the office of governor of Western Australia. It was also designed to show Britain and the rest of Australia that even in an isolated and economically challenged colony, proprieties of British society were being followed. Clark’s funeral procession was led by Her Majesty’s 51st Light Infantry with arms inverted, followed by pall bearers from senior government ranks, then the deceased governor’s caparisoned horse, with black drape on the saddle and white drape wrapping the reins (Anon. 1847b). The acting governor, Major Irwin, was one of the Chief Mourners, and a procession of mourners from the government, gentry, and merchants in pairs went firstly to St Georges Cathedral and then on to the Anglican-General Cemetery. Clarke’s chest monument was likely purchased through the public purse or by donations (but not written on the inscription), and made in London by stonemasons Noakes and Pearce. On the top, Clarke’s full list of honours (both military and civil) were listed together with flattering comments on his character. The monument is located along the row of vaults which house the elite of the colony on the western edge of the Anglican-General Cemetery, and is surrounded by an iron enclosure with pointed tops and a military motif of battle axe tops in the centre of each iron panel. Similarly, the colony gave Major Crampton a grand funeral in 1871, even though he had already publicly expressed the wish to have a simple funeral (Anon. 1871). This sentiment is similar to the sentiment generalized by Jalland, that, by the 1870s, Australian people favoured modest funerals rather than the more elaborate and expensive funerals before that time in Australia (Jalland 2002). Major Crampton, the second Commandant of the Forces in Perth (including the Pensioner Guards in charge of the convicts), died unexpectedly and was given a funeral attended by the Governor, Executive staff, the Chief Justice, nearly all of Legislative Council, and the general population, as trade was suspended for the afternoon. Crampton most likely also wished for a simple headstone. His grave stone is located in the Church of England brick grave section, and, in contrast to Clarke’s monument, it is simple in keeping with his (Compton’s) wishes, comprising a Norman-styled headstone with cut away shoulders and a footstone with his initials. His headstone has only an inscription for himself, his wife, and infant children who had all predeceased him.

2.3.2. Social Identity in Epitaphs

Epitaphs were a powerful means of expressing social identity, and in nineteenth-century Perth, many people were able to read them. Lionel Gilbert summarized that it is not only the content of the epitaph which will tell us about the social identity of the deceased, but also the way it is presented and the nature of the monument itself (Gilbert 1980). Social status was conveyed by association with a prominent parent, such as for the Wesleyan Evan Haines: “son of Field Marshall Sir Frederick Paul Haines”; or a prominent Anglican husband and wealthy Wesleyan father for Lily Saunders: “Lily, Beloved wife of Henry J. Saunders and seventh daughter of the late George Shenton” (Figure 2f). The use of the heraldic family crest and motto “La Bondad Para La Medra” was important for the Anglican bereaved of Elizabeth Barratt Lennard to express her family’s high social status. When the deceased had important positions within the government or society, they were emphasized, such as for Anthony O’Grady Lefroy C.M.G., who “was Treasurer of this Colony for 36 years”. Higher education or social status was also shown by the use of different styles of inscribed calligraphy or lead lettering on the stone, such as the six different inscribed fonts for Anglican Mary Sutherland, second daughter of H.C. Sutherland. Gilt or gold lettering appear to have been used for monuments of Anglicans John Gooch and John Arthur Leake, although this gilt is interpreted from the brown rather than black coloration of the oxidized lead lettering. Social status was also shown by the importation of monuments from the eastern states of Australia or Britain, like for Bernal Osborne, whose monument came from interstate: “Chambers and Clutten, Lonsdale St. Melb.”.
As the Western Australian Colony progressed, there were more acknowledgements to people who had been in the colony from the start, or for a long time, or who had died serving the colony. From the 1860s, newspapers wrote obituaries as articles (rather than advertisements of family death notices). Young explorers Panter, Harding, and Goldwyer were murdered in the north of the Western Australian colony in 1864; their obituary in the newspapers and public funeral in Perth brought the public together in a large funeral and a prominent obelisk monument was erected near the Anglican mortuary chapel. Newspaper obituaries in the second half of the nineteenth century were more likely to feature old colonists who had arrived in the early years than epitaphs, where descriptions as a “colonist”, “pioneer”, or nominating an early ship arrival were rare. One rare epitaph example is for George Haysom, “an old and respected colonist”.
Social identity of the deceased was also expounded in epitaphs for community members of less renown. This identity was important to the bereaved to describe their relative’s contribution to society, and also to establish or maintain a collective social identity for the ongoing bereaved family and friends. Service to Britain, or service in Australian communities, was listed on some epitaphs, such as for Roman Catholic James Horan: “Private H.M. 99 Reg” (Her Majesty’s 99th Regiment). Sergeant Joseph Naughton’s epitaph had a more detailed military origin: “formerly of the 2nd Battalion Bengal Fusiliers”. Schoolteacher and Anglican James MacLagan died in a carriage accident, and his epitaph read “Teacher of method under the government”. James Fleming in the Anglican -General Cemetery was described as the “First Superintendent of Telegraphs of this colony”.

2.3.3. Social Identity Manifested in the Monuments and Location

The mortuary monuments themselves were also important for defining social identity, in terms of their existence, composition, size, height, and location. Social identity for the deceased and the survivors was shown by the existence of a monument in the cemetery. The height of the Monger memorial (Figure 1) as the tallest monument in all of the East Perth cemeteries emphasized the social identity of the entire family. This monument is located on the peak of a hill and central to the second lot allocated to the Wesleyans, which also makes it a focal point for that denomination. Other tall memorials are scattered around the complex for Sir Luke Leake in the Anglican–General Cemetery; Patrick Kelly in the Roman Catholic Cemetery; and Reverend Shearer in the Presbyterian Cemetery (Figure 2h). Beautiful sculpted crosses were used for social distinction, such as the rustic Latin cross with Madonna lilies for Lily Saunders (Figure 2f), and the fleury cross on top of a tall headstone for Anglican Bishop Parry. There were more unusual cross types to indicate higher social status, or gain attention from visitors, in the East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery than in any other denomination. The uniform orientation of monuments in all East Perth cemeteries was different to the nineteenth-century West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide, where Stephen Muller reported different orientations of monuments which were used to set them and their features apart to show higher social status and to attract visitors (Muller 2015). The rows of vaults and brick graves in the East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery were the most expensive to purchase and these are marked by impressive large and tall monuments. Proximity to gravesites for the governor, or the bishop’s family, or the mortuary chapel/church would have identified the deceased and their bereaved as holding a high community status and as likely a part of the hegemonic community. The use of marble for monuments became popular from the 1860s in all denominations, so there must have been importation of the raw stone or headstone blanks from that time (Tarlow 1999).

2.3.4. Public Identity versus Family Identity

Public commemoration for colonial settlers appears to have started in the 1860s, with the public funeral and publicly funded memorial for three explorers (Frederick Panter, James Harding, and William Goldwyer) who were murdered in the north of the colony. Their memorial stone (Figure 2g) is an obelisk on a square base, located in the brick grave section of the Anglican–General Cemetery, adjacent to the later-built (1871) St Bartholomew’s Church (Figure 2g). When some religious or important government men died in Perth in the nineteenth century, the affiliated organization or public may have subscribed to pay for the monument, but, in doing so, the deceased’s identity as a family or private man was ignored. For example, even though Maitland Brown served for a long time in the Western Australian government and as the Government Resident in Geraldton, he was most well-known because in 1864 he had retrieved the above explorers’ bodies from a remote area and brought them back to the city for burial in the East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery. Six years after his death in 1905, and nearly fifty years after he had brought back the explorers’ bodies, Brown’s body was removed from his grave at the Karrakatta Cemetery and interred into the explorers’ brick grave in the closed East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery. The epitaph and newspaper reports stated that Brown’s re-interment was at the insistence of Sir John Forrest and Anglican Bishop Riley, and with the consent of the family. The epitaph for Maitland Brown eulogized his courage in retrieving the explorers’ bodies, but no mention was made of his career of achievements, nor the typical family relationships mentioned on an individual’s monument organized by the family. The original stone, if one was erected in Karrakatta Cemetery before the transfer, is not listed on the Karrakatta Cemetery website. Another example of the displacement of private identity by public identity is the publicly funded memorial to the Presbyterian minister, the Reverend David Shearer; it is a plinth with an urn on top and all four sides of the plinth are inscribed with details about the minister and his life and ministry, but none of his family was acknowledged (Figure 2h). Similarly, Patrick Kelly from the Police Department had the tallest monument in the Roman Catholic cemetery, yet his family was not acknowledged, even though his colleagues who paid for the monument were recognized as a group as contributors and there is room on other plinth sides to add further information. Anglican Sir Luke Leake was the first speaker of the Legislative Council in the Western Australian colony, and when he died in London, his body was returned to Perth, even though he had been born in England. His resting place was then marked by a very tall memorial in the Anglican–General Cemetery which was erected using public donations, with an epitaph that began “In recognition of the services and in respect for the memory of Sir Luke Leake”, but his family is not acknowledged in the epitaph. In contrast, even though a monument was erected for Captain Edward Pickering by his Freemason Lodge (No. 712), Pickering’s wife (who predeceased him) was included on their stone. The epitaph had a short career biography for Pickering (“in H.M. Army”), and had three lines in his epitaph to describe his masonic benefactors (now too weathered to read).
Monuments were also erected by friends for single men in the community, and focused on the personal or community relationship between the deceased and the donors. The epitaph on the headstone for James MacLagan, a teacher, read “Erected by teachers throughout the colony, relatives and friends”. In comparison, the headstone for Congregationalist Albert E. Riley was erected by interstate friends: “Members of the Hotham Hill (Vic) Wesleyan Band of Hope”. Similarly, Henry E. Fletcher had a headstone “Erected by his N.S.W. friends in the Railway Department”. These latter two monuments were for the commemoration of men who moved to Western Australia during the 1890s gold rush, and it was important to their interstate friends that the deceased was remembered with a monument.

2.4. Familial Identity

Familial identity was defined by the burial of multiple family members in the same grave or vault. Husband–wife double burials were common, even in single-width graves, such as for Jessie and Donald MacPherson in the Anglican-General Cemetery. The Anglican Strickland family had twenty-six members interred in one double-width brick grave over the nineteenth century, and the open book memorial for the Strickland family listed the interred persons, with little room for detail of familial relationships, although there was room to note that the first Stricklands were pioneers who settled early in the colony. Monuments often had space on the easterly face for more epitaphs, implying that further burials in that space had been contemplated. The Roman Catholic cemetery also contained family burials, such as the Crogen family grave, which contained the remains of the father Edward and seven of his children, most of whom may have predeceased him (Figure 2i). In contrast, James Elder noted in his study of a subset of these monuments that the Roman Catholic Cemetery had more single interments than other East Perth cemeteries (Elder 2008).
Familial identity was commonly defined in the epitaph from the beginning of the Western Australian colony and throughout the nineteenth century. These relationships were defined using descriptors such as “son of” or “wife of”. An example of a parent burying and organizing a stone for their own child is “Evan Paul Arbuthnot Haines, son of Field Marshall Sir Frederick Paul Haines and Charlotte Jane Sophia his wife”. An example of a husband burying a wife was for Jessie MacPherson: “Jessie—the beloved wife of Donald MacPherson Esq.” Relationship notations beyond parent–child or spouse–spouse were rare, although some grandchild–grandparent relationships were acknowledged on a grave stone, when both were buried together. Unless the surviving children credited themselves in the epitaph for paying for the stone (which was rare), there was no intergenerational reference to the living children of the deceased, nor indication of the deceased’s heir. An example of a surviving child named on the stone is for James Dyson’s epitaph: “This memorial was erected by his son Andrew (Drewey)”.
The Victorian era of the nineteenth century was commonly marked by expressions of emotion in epitaphs, which were not faith-specific. These relationships were commonly incorporated with phrases such as “Sacred to the memory”, or “In loving memory”, or qualified with “beloved” or “much loved”. At East Perth, the phrase “In loving memory” was increasingly used in the second half of the century over the older phrase “Sacred to the memory” (Hayward 2017), in contrast to Sarah Tarlow’s study of the introductions of epitaphs from Orkney Island cemeteries, where “Sacred to the memory” was consistently used for a small percentage of monuments over the entire nineteenth century (Tarlow 1999). Some of the deceased were also described as “beloved wife”, such as for Roman Catholic Margaret Hoyne. Even the epitaph for Albert E. Riley began with a qualified emotional statement on behalf of his friends: “A slight token of love and respect”.
Familial identity in epitaphs also expressed importance within the family unit. The monument was not necessarily raised over the first interment, but rather waited for a prominent family member’s burial. The first person buried in any of the cemeteries who also had a known grave location was Anglican Louisa Jones (d.1830), yet it appears from the epitaph listing her husband Richard first on the gravestone that it was only erected when her husband died and was buried there forty years later. It appears to have been common to bury children who predeceased parents in the one grave, and only raise a monument when an older child or parent died and needed burial. James Crogen was named first on the family monument ahead of his children, some of whom predeceased him. Similarly, James Dyson was listed first on the monument when he was buried with both of his wives, and fourteen unnamed children in the Wesleyan Cemetery. Susan Buckham’s study of the York Cemetery also found that children were predominantly buried with adults in adult-sized graves (Buckham 2003). Buckham did, however, describe child-sized graves and small memorials in the York Cemetery especially along paths, but there appears to have been no deliberate accommodation, except in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, for children’s graves at East Perth, and an adult-sized grave had to be purchased. There are both large and small headstones for children in the cemetery complex.
Family members were included in the family memorial and identity when a family member died away from the family in order that a physical space could be defined for mourning that person. For example, twenty-three-year-old John Thomas Leake died in California in 1856, but was included in the epitaph for his grandmother and parents. Andrew Amos’ memorial also includes his wife, daughter, and son-in-law, even though the latter three were lost at sea in the Bay of Biscay in 1866. George Arthur Leake died at Gallipoli in 1915 but had a memorial erected in his memory in the Anglican-General Cemetery, even though he was buried near the Turkish battlefield. These epitaph inclusions and even separate memorials were important in the grieving process for the families, as they defined a personal and physical mourning space, together with buried loved ones, where the bereaved could mourn all family members who had died.
In cases where the deceased had no family in Perth, they were sometimes included in another person’s monument where there was a pre-existing relationship. McGuinness had been a friend of James Horan’s, both of whom had been in Her Majesty’s 99th Regiment, and McGuinness was buried with his friend 22 years after James died. Similarly, the Strickland family included Christopher Cooper, an Irish boarder at their hotel, in their family grave when he died at the age of twenty-seven years (Strickland 2018).

Familial Identity versus Religious Identity

In rare cases, families have been buried in cemeteries which are not associated with their chosen faith. Presbyterian Jessie MacPherson died in 1869, before the establishment of the Presbyterian Cemetery, so her husband Donald buried her in a brick grave within the Anglican-General Cemetery. When Donald MacPherson later died in 1887, he chose to be buried with his wife in the Anglican-General Cemetery, rather than in the Presbyterian Cemetery established in 1881, even though they were both Presbyterian. Similarly, John McCann was refused burial in consecrated Roman Catholic ground in 1880 as the priest had not administered the last rites before death, so McCann’s widow Mary had John buried in the East Perth Wesleyan Cemetery, and she was also buried there in 1915. Mary and her children converted to the Wesleyan faith after her husband’s burial, and even though she had a death-bed reconversion back to the Roman Catholic faith, she, too, was buried with her husband in the Wesleyan Cemetery (James 2011). In both of these cases, the familial identity of wife and husband together was considered more important than their religious identity.

2.5. Gendered Identity and Roles in Bereavement

There were societal rules about death and mourning in Britain, which were transferred to the Australian colony through the dominantly British community. There were also gender-specific rules about mourning, and for women they were more onerous.

2.5.1. Female Exclusion at Funerals

Exclusion of female relatives from male funerals in Perth appears to have been practiced through the nineteenth century amongst Anglicans. Even though it was the women who cared for the dying and then washed and laid the deceased out, during the nineteenth century in Britain, Ireland, and Australia, women were by social convention not allowed to attend their loved one’s funeral, thereby depriving the bereaved women of consolation in the funerary rites (Howarth 2000). Exclusions can be confirmed in the details given of some funerals written up in local newspapers. For example, at the 1847 funeral of the Governor of the Western Australian Colony, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Clarke, minute details were provided on pall bearers, the mourning wear of attendees and the governor’s horse, and music, but the extensive list of attendees did not include the Governor’s widow Frances, nor his step-daughter, who were known to have accompanied him to his posting (Anon. 1847b). Similarly, the 1893 funeral of the second Anglican Bishop of Perth, Henry Hutton Parry, was described in detail with all pall bearers and chief mourners named, but the widow was not named as attending; rather the widow Mrs Parry was only mentioned as having sent flowers.
Exclusion of females at male deceased funerals must have been widespread in society in Perth, as it was also practiced in the Roman Catholic denomination. In the late-nineteenth-century funeral of Patrick Kelly, formerly of the Police Department, the 1898 newspaper report of the funeral mentioned the chief mourners as being the deceased’s sons, but no mention was made of the widow, Alice Kelly. The widow was alive, and had placed death notices in the newspaper on three consecutive Saturdays to announce her husband’s death and a bereavement notice to publicly thank people for their condolences on 30 May 1898 (Anon. 1898).
There are few descriptions of female funerals in Perth during most of the nineteenth century in Western Australian newspapers from which to ascertain typical attendance, but newspaper reports confirm that women attended female funerals in the late nineteenth century onwards. The 1891 Anglican funeral of Mrs Loftie at Albany in the south of Western Australia had two women listed as chief mourners (Anon. 1891). Similarly, in London in 1897 some prominent Western Australian women attended the Wesleyan funeral of Lady Shenton, wife of Sir George Shenton, a visiting Western Australian government official (Anon. 1897). When Mrs Parry, the widow of the second Anglican Bishop of Perth, died in 1909, women attended: her daughter Mrs Sanderson and Mrs Parry’s sisters were listed among the mourners (Anon. 1909). Changing attitudes to a woman’s role after the death of a loved one (including attending the funerary rites) reflected wider social changes in the colony and the country. These social changes included advocacy for women and the right to vote, which started in the 1890s in Western Australia and culminated in the voting right being enacted in 1899, which was ahead of Australia as a nation (1902) and many other places in the world (Grimshaw and Ellinghaus 1999).

2.5.2. Male Bereavement on a Monument

A unique monument exists in the East Perth Anglican-General Cemetery where a husband is depicted as downcast and weeping at his wife’s grave (Figure 3). Male bereavement depicted on a monument was considered by Kerr et al. to be unusual even in New South Wales for this time (Kerr et al. 1981), so this Perth example for the Pearson family would also be rare. James Pearson is shown standing next to a pedestalled urn labelled with his wife’s name “Jane”, and their young daughter is shown kneeling nearby (Figure 3). This 1839 monument is also unique in having the first picture or iconography erected in any of the cemeteries in East Perth, and the only example in the East Perth cemeteries of the combined urn-and-willow symbology of death and bereavement (which was more typical of late-eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century graveyards in Britain and the USA).

2.5.3. Gendered Attitude to the Bereaved: Identity as “Relict” versus “Widow”

Although a bereaved wife was typically referred to as “widow” in the nineteenth century, there was minor but persistent use in newspapers of the archaic alternative term “relict”. From a digital search of nineteenth-century newspapers in Western Australia, it appears that the term “widow” was about ten times more prevalent than “relict” throughout the century. However, even as late as 1894, Harriet Hollis was described in newspapers as “the relict of the late John Hollis”, and Mrs Parry was described as “the relict of Bishop Parry” in 1909. In the East Perth cemeteries, there are only five instances where the deceased is identified in an epitaph as the “relict” of her deceased husband when she was buried with or near him, compared with seven women being identified as the “widow”. Margaret Fisher Shearer was described on her Presbyterian memorial as the “relict of the Reverend David Shearer” in 1909. In addition, there were four epitaphs where the widow commissioned the stone and had the phrase “erected by his widow” (or similar) included in the epitaph, though there were no epitaphs of this sort where the bereaved wife chose to be called “relict”.

2.6. Hidden Identities

Some of the identities of the deceased were hidden in a deliberate omission by the bereaved, or hidden because no memorial or surface evidence exists of their burial in the cemetery. In the latter case, the current lack of monument may be due to a number of factors which may have occurred over the intervening years.

2.6.1. What Was Not Said: Former Convicts’ Identities

Former convicts who had completed their sentence and were successful in business or government did not include their convict identity in their epitaph. The Western Australian colony began as a free settler colony like South Australia, but economic hardship and need for infrastructure in the colony, combined with protests against further convicts to New South Wales and Tasmania, meant that Britain sent the last of their convicts to Western Australia from 1850 to 1868. Former convict and businessman Joseph Ledger Sowden established and ran a successful iron monger business and in his epitaph the surname under which he was convicted (Ledger) was used as a middle name to disassociate him from his convict past. Another convict, James Fleming, became a trusted government superintendent of telegraphs and was recognized in his epitaph for his government service. As with any of the monuments in East Perth, the bereaved chose positive memories and legacies of their deceased relatives, and it is only through research that these extra convict facets are revealed (East Perth Cemeteries Website 2018). In contrast, convicts who died whilst still serving their sentence, and many others, did not have a memorial.

2.6.2. Silences in the Cemetery: No Extant Monument

There are many people in the East Perth cemetery complex for whom there is no extant monument and their identity has been hidden until recent research conducted by the Friends of the Battye Library. Extant burial records and maps for all of the East Perth cemeteries are very sparse, as compared with the extensive records described by Andrew Peake which are available for the many denominations in the nineteenth-century West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia (Peake 1986). An attempt was made by interested people to note from memory the names of people buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery in the early 1900s, but even those records are now lost. The personal identities of deceased without a memorial have only been appreciated recently from research by the Friends of the Battye Library of West Australian History, and nearly ten thousand people have been confirmed as being buried in the East Perth cemetery complex (Clarke and Strickland 2014; East Perth Cemeteries Website 2018). There were many people buried in this cemetery complex without a now-existing memorial, including Aboriginal people, working class people, paupers, criminals, and convicts. The lack of extant monument may be due to no monument ever being erected, or the monument being destroyed (such as by fire) or removed later in a cemetery clean-up process.
A late-nineteenth-century photograph (Figure 4a) of the General portion of the Lot R1 Anglican–General Cemetery looking west toward the mortuary chapel shows that there were wide gaps between monuments and uneven ground where unmarked burials had taken place without a memorial, or where jarrah headboards were used but are no longer extant. The current photograph (Figure 4b) was taken from a similar aspect, and, again, large gaps exist between memorials. These gaps in memorials are still the site of burials, as a 1948 aerial photograph clearly shows burial mounds in rows throughout the cemeteries. The burial mounds were smoothed in the 1950s and grass was planted, which forms the landscape seen today (Figure 4b). The lack of monument in the years following death may have been due to the dire socioeconomic conditions and the bereaved could not justify the expense, or the deceased had no one close to organize it, especially in the gold rush days. The Western Australian Colony struggled financially before 1850, after which convicts were brought in to build infrastructure, providing a bulk cheap source of labor, and the economy improved from there. Some people from other denominations or religions may also have chosen not to have a memorial erected for their loved ones, since the General Cemetery was under Anglican control, and they may have followed a different denomination or faith. The lack of extant monument may also be due to the monuments being destroyed by fire. A fire in 1920 most likely burned or damaged many of the hardwood jarrah headboards and wooden picket and rail fence surrounds of graves (Figure 4a; The Anon. 1920). Only one wooden headboard is now known to exist, and it is held in the Western Australian Museum. Further clean-ups of the cemeteries in the 1950s by the Public Works Department resulted in broken monuments being removed (Richardson and Davies 1986).

2.6.3. Hidden Identities Subordinate to Religious Identities

The control of the Anglican–General Cemetery by Anglican Church trustees meant that over time, the cemetery came to be known as the Anglican Cemetery and so Anglican religious identity was assumed for all deceased in the General Cemetery. The General portion of the cemetery was where all Perth colonial residents were buried (unless they could afford a brick grave or vault) until the opening of the Roman Catholic Cemetery in 1848 and, subsequently, other cemeteries later in the century. However, the signage for current visitors now labels the cemetery as Anglican only, which would be from traditional reference to this cemetery over the years. The Anglican identity of all people buried in the General section would also have been imposed by the reuse of the soil graves to add second or even further tiers of burials, and the memorialization of those later burials as Anglicans.

3. Discussion

The religious and cultural landscape of a cemetery can provide genealogists and family historians with much more than birth and death dates for their research. Key indicators of the identities of the deceased tell us about their social, ethnic, religious, familial, and gendered status within their society. Identities expressed in funerals and cemeteries represent the identities that the bereaved perceived as being the most important for the memory of their deceased loved one, and were also important identities for the bereaved. The simple identities described in this paper were just facets of an individual, who in life had a much more broad and complex mix of identities, developed from their personal beliefs and their interactions in society. Recognized identities were restricted to those deceased who had a monument, and can be read from the cemetery religious denomination, location within the cemetery, size of the burial plot, monument and funerary furniture, and the epitaph and symbolism on a monument.
British and Irish colonists modified the landscape to conform to their ideas of colonial power and identities, whereas the original Aboriginal people of the area, the Whadjuk Noongar people, allowed the natural landscape to inform their culture and beliefs. Authors such as Avril Maddrell and James Sidaway described the colonial landscape modifications imposed by the introduction of cemeteries and mortuary monuments as a type of deathscape (Maddrell and Sidaway 2010). The East Perth Cemeteries combine to form a deathscape draped over a natural landscape. Patrick Wolfe further interpreted this imposition in the framework of settler colonial theory as an example of colonial claims of territory and the dispossession of the Indigenous inhabitants (Wolfe 2006). Adam Barker similarly described a cemetery in Stoney Creek Ontario as a deathscape, where soldiers from both sides of the British–American War of 1812 were buried; and since it contained military and colonial symbolism he interpreted it as an ever-present cultural artefact of the settler colonization, which had dispossessed local Indigenous people from most of their land (Barker 2018). Using this settler colonial perspective, the formation and preservation of the East Perth Cemeteries may be viewed as a spatial and temporal reminder of a pervasive colonial claim of the land throughout the nineteenth century. The cemetery complex’s monuments commemorate the colonial dead and inscribe colonial possession and identities on the land, and, like Stoney Creek, the East Perth Cemeteries are a current and ever-present cultural artefact of colonization. Barker also reminded us that the establishment of colonial cemeteries was not just about remembrance, but also about forgetting (Barker 2018). In the case of the East Perth Cemeteries, there are numerous groups whose burials were forgotten by being unmarked or minimized in the deathscape. These groups were at a disadvantage as they were not represented in the hegemonic hierarchy in Perth, and traces of their lives and burial remain hidden in the East Perth Cemeteries, especially in the Anglican–General Cemetery where all people who did not have affiliation with another faith’s cemetery were buried. The burial of Indigenous people in the cemeteries was similarly hidden, as they appear to be under-represented in number within the extant records, and also under-represented in terms of the sole extant monument, which fits within the parameters of the settler colonial theory on dispossession of the Indigenous people from their land. Further research is required on the use of the settler colonial theory perspective and extending it to other cultural artefacts in the future.
Layers of identity are observed for individuals and communities within each cemetery in East Perth. Religious identity influenced the choice of cemetery, but only if their religion had its own cemetery. Until each faith was assigned a cemetery, the dead were buried in the Anglican–General Cemetery, where the hegemonic influence of the Anglican Church imposed their rites and behaviors on all who had to be buried in the Anglican–General cemetery, as well as the mourners at the funerals and visitors to the grave and monument. For the nineteenth-century Perth community, caution should be used when using crosses and “IHS” monograms to identify particular Christian denominations. The earlier use of crosses in the Protestant East Perth cemeteries, as compared to those in the eastern states, may be a function of their particular sect beliefs, or it may be that a full study of religious identity, especially in other general cemeteries, has yet to be completed. The large extent of individualization within each denomination cemetery was an indicator of religious stability once each denomination had their own cemetery for their funeral rites and burial practices.
Recognition of religious identity from the style of monument was difficult, especially since crosses are found in both Roman Catholic and Protestant cemeteries. Buckham summarized from previous British studies that neoclassical urns were typically associated with Nonconformist burials, but carved and/or sculpted urns are located in all East Perth Protestant cemeteries (Buckham 2003). The urns in the Anglican–General Cemetery pre-dated and post-dated when Nonconformist groups had cemeteries allocated to them, so urns cannot be used to distinguish Protestant denominations. Distinction of Jewish monuments from Christian monuments by shape or style was also difficult as the Jewish congregation chose headstones and plinths similar to those of Christians in society, which signified alignment within the general community and extended into the twentieth century in the later Karrakatta Cemetery in suburban Perth.
There is a lack of identifiable Roman Catholic burials using symbology and epitaphs in the Anglican–General Cemetery prior to the consecration of the Roman Catholic Cemetery in East Perth. Duncan Sayer interpreted the simplicity of Wesleyan monuments up to 1880 in Berkshire and Gloucestershire in Anglican-run burial grounds as an indicator of Wesleyan religious stress and an articulation of religious unity. This stress was a product of the limitations placed on the Wesleyans by the hegemonic Anglican Church to worship with their own rituals and bury their dead with their own rites (Sayer 2011). The presence of a Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth from 1843 likely pressured the government to create a Roman Catholic Cemetery by 1848. Like Sayer’s example, the lack of identifiable burials or presence of unmarked burials of deceased Roman Catholics before the Roman Catholic consecration may be an indicator of religious stress and united religious identity. Individuals’ identities within the Roman Catholic Cemetery after its consecration were expressed by the wide variety of monuments for the deceased. The East Perth Wesleyan and Congregational Cemeteries have evidence of memorials of people who died before their cemeteries were established, and the (re)location of the memorials showed the deceased’s need for religious identity to be finally known. The Wesleyan and Congregational communities were only granted their cemeteries in 1854, twenty-five years after the establishment of the colony, even though the Wesleyans had a presence from the start of the colony and built one of the first churches.
The cultural landscape of the cemeteries in the nineteenth century was created differently by each denomination or faith. Whilst all Christian denominations appear to have set out approximate north–south lines for burials, with the headstone for each burial facing east, the original cultural landscapes of each cemetery developed individually. Each Christian denomination had different priorities within the landscape of their cemeteries, so each cemetery was visually distinctive, which helped with the religious identity. Choices of vegetation, such as funerary cypress trees in the Anglican–General Cemetery, large eucalypt trees in the deliberately landscaped Wesleyan Cemetery, and a lack of sizeable trees in the Roman Catholic Cemetery made the denominational cemetery landscapes different. The boundaries of adjacent cemeteries were established by picket fences, roads, and lines of trees which created structured divisions. The hierarchy of the landscape is shown by the more aesthetically pleasing gentle slopes of the Anglican–General Cemetery, compared with the moderate and logistically difficult slopes of the first Wesleyan Cemetery, although the latter then gained another lot with the highest point later in the cemetery complex. Modifications to the deathscape were made over time, the most drastic being demolishment of the Presbyterian, Jewish, and Chinese Cemeteries in the 1950s. At the same time, the cemetery complex was “beautified” by removal of all cemetery fences apart from the complex’s perimeter, resulting in blurring of the individual cemetery boundaries and the resultant blurring of religious identities. The ground was also smoothed, new paths created, and grass planted. Even so, the monuments, location, layouts, unique vegetation, and other aspects can still be seen in the deathscape and are interpretable as individual cemeteries if the detail is sought. For most visitors to the cemetery, the monuments are the most important features of the cemetery complex. Current visitors to the complex are drawn to the tallest and most artistic memorials in this cemetery complex irrespective of religion, and these monuments are typically for the deceased who had the highest social status in their time in the colony.
Just as modification of the landscape over the past century has changed its meaning, interpretations of the meanings of some epitaphs and symbology may have been changed over time. In Victorian times, flowers and even colors of flowers had particular meanings. It is beyond the scope of this paper to elucidate particular floral interpretations, if indeed they were intended, but there may be more information on ethnic identity in some of the monumental floral decorations. It was most likely the bereaved, rather than the deceased, who chose the monument and constructed meaning, since they were the ones who visited the cemetery and contemplated the legacy of their loved one.
Some identities work together to provide layers of information about the deceased. Robert Bullen’s Celtic cross and the Masonic emblem in its center show the visitor his religious devotion and his association with a Masonic Lodge. Similarly, Abraham Kott in the Jewish Cemetery has a Jewish religious spread-hands symbol, a Masonic emblem to show his community involvement, as well as a plinth with a draped urn to show conformity with the wider community’s concept of appropriate monument. Teresa Quinlan’s Celtic cross monument showed devotion to her faith using a pious poem, cross, and location in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, but also showed her Irish ethnicity through the use of the poem as well as shamrock and Irish harp decorations. The Japanese ethnicity of deceased in the Wesleyan Cemetery has not been subsumed by their Wesleyan religious identity, as the ethnicity is clearly shown by the Japanese name, descriptor “Japanese”, and Japanese calligraphy. In other cases, some identities clash and one of them is subsumed, such as for the MacPhersons, where the religious identity as being Presbyterian was not considered as important as the familial identity of being buried together, so they were buried in the Anglican-General Cemetery. Similarly, public subscription monuments for public identities tended to favor the public work and public identity of Kelly, Leake, and Shearer, and did not mention their wives and children, thereby subsuming their familial associations and identity.
Physical spaces dedicated to memory and bereavement were an important part of the grieving process and articulating the relationship between the deceased and the bereaved, as well as the evolving identity of the family through time. The deathscape and monuments of the East Perth Cemeteries provide the opportunity to interpret many layers of identities of people from Perth and the associated historical narratives. Identities of religion, social status, ethnicity, family, and gender as interpreted in the cemeteries link to many wider narratives of settlers’ lives in the colony, immigrant expectations, socioeconomic conditions, scientific improvements, politics, convicts, gold rushes, and counter-histories of Indigenous dispossession. The deathscape of this cemetery complex in an isolated nineteenth-century colony should be compared with other colonial deathscape expressions of identity from the other states of Australia and elsewhere.

4. Materials and Methods

The monuments and cemeteries were studied during fieldwork in 2016 and 2017 for coursework and a dissertation (on changing attitudes to death) toward the Master of History degree through the University of New England (Armidale, New South Wales). Follow-up fieldwork and checking of interpreted generalizations were conducted while working in 2017 and 2018 as a volunteer on grounds maintenance at the cemeteries for the National Trust of Western Australia. Reference was also made with compilations of monument data and biographical compilations on the Friends of the Battye Library’s and National Trust’s “East Perth Cemeteries” website, as well as the 1986 report on the cemeteries by James Richardson and David Davies for the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, and numerous 1970s photographs in Lionel Gilbert’s book. These references were especially useful when the monuments were difficult to read, such as when covered by lichen, weathered over time, or no longer present.


This research received no external funding.


My sincere thanks are extended to the two reviewers who improved this paper through their comments which provided insight and experience. The author would like to acknowledge the National Trust of Western Australia for fieldwork conducted. The author would also like to acknowledge the Friends of the Battye Library, who have researched some individual biographies of people interred in the cemeteries over fifty years, and have compiled a website of their findings together with the National Trust of Western Australia at http// My appreciation also goes to Lorraine Clarke and Cherie Strickland and the Friends of the Battye Library for their ongoing and very dedicated work on compiling a comprehensive list of all the people buried in the cemeteries. Thank you to Cate Pearce for providing Japanese translations of monuments. Thanks to Sarah Murphy of the National Trust for use of Jewish headstone photographs, and Colin Strickland for kind use of his photographs of the Pearson monument. This article was inspired by background research to complete a dissertation on attitudes to death as seen in the East Perth Cemeteries for a Master of History through the University of New England (New South Wales, Australia), and my appreciation is extended to my supervisors Andrew Piper and Nathan Wise.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest. The National Trust of Western Australia and the Friends of the Battye Library had no role in the design of the study, in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; nor in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.


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State Library of Western Australia Photograph.
Figure 1. The East Perth cemetery complex: (a) Location of the East Perth cemeteries in relation to the city of Perth (green) and Australia (inset); (b) Location of the seven contiguous East Perth cemeteries relative to each other at the end of the nineteenth century (Lot R1; Lots T27,28,28½; T39–44; T69–72). Source: State Records Office of WA (n.d.), Reference Code AU WA S235-341, undated; (c) The East Perth Cemeteries are located on a hill, 2 km to the east of the depicted Perth central business district buildings (blue dots in (a)). In the foreground is the Monger monument, East Perth Wesleyan Cemetery (Lot T28½). Photograph by S. Hayward (2017).
Figure 1. The East Perth cemetery complex: (a) Location of the East Perth cemeteries in relation to the city of Perth (green) and Australia (inset); (b) Location of the seven contiguous East Perth cemeteries relative to each other at the end of the nineteenth century (Lot R1; Lots T27,28,28½; T39–44; T69–72). Source: State Records Office of WA (n.d.), Reference Code AU WA S235-341, undated; (c) The East Perth Cemeteries are located on a hill, 2 km to the east of the depicted Perth central business district buildings (blue dots in (a)). In the foreground is the Monger monument, East Perth Wesleyan Cemetery (Lot T28½). Photograph by S. Hayward (2017).
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Figure 2. Examples of monuments showing identity: (a) Anglican/Amelia Adkinson with elaborate open Celtic cross and “IHS”; (b) R.Catholic/James Horan with sunrise “IHS”; (c) R.Catholic/Teresa Quinlan, Celtic cross, “IHS”, shamrock, lychgate top, pious Irish verse, shamrocks, and Irish harp; (d) Wesleyan/August Kross with shamrocks on rustic Latin cross and rocks; (e) Wesleyan/Tobe Takahashi, Japanese calligraphy and English epitaph; (f) Anglican/Lily Saunders with “IHS”, madonna lilies on rustic cross, and rocks; (g) Anglican/Explorers’ obelisk; (h) Presb’n/David Shearer, column and urn; (i) R.Catholic/Crogen family calvary cross. Photographs by S. Hayward (2017).
Figure 2. Examples of monuments showing identity: (a) Anglican/Amelia Adkinson with elaborate open Celtic cross and “IHS”; (b) R.Catholic/James Horan with sunrise “IHS”; (c) R.Catholic/Teresa Quinlan, Celtic cross, “IHS”, shamrock, lychgate top, pious Irish verse, shamrocks, and Irish harp; (d) Wesleyan/August Kross with shamrocks on rustic Latin cross and rocks; (e) Wesleyan/Tobe Takahashi, Japanese calligraphy and English epitaph; (f) Anglican/Lily Saunders with “IHS”, madonna lilies on rustic cross, and rocks; (g) Anglican/Explorers’ obelisk; (h) Presb’n/David Shearer, column and urn; (i) R.Catholic/Crogen family calvary cross. Photographs by S. Hayward (2017).
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Figure 3. Jane Pearson monument, National Trust #423: (a) Captain James Pearce is depicted with his daughter Janet weeping at the grave of his wife Jane. Note the willow branch to the left of the urn; (b) the chest tomb. Photographs are by Colin Strickland, and were provided courtesy of the East Perth Cemeteries website.
Figure 3. Jane Pearson monument, National Trust #423: (a) Captain James Pearce is depicted with his daughter Janet weeping at the grave of his wife Jane. Note the willow branch to the left of the urn; (b) the chest tomb. Photographs are by Colin Strickland, and were provided courtesy of the East Perth Cemeteries website.
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Figure 4. The East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery, looking west from soil graves (foreground and middle ground) toward the brick and vault section (background), and St Bartholomew’s Church. The arrow to the Chipper headstone (d.1886; NT#509) noted in both photographs is for positional reference: (a) Photograph from approximately 1890s (#25024P in the State Library of Western Australia1). The entire area was by then used for burials. Note the uneven ground where burial mounds are apparent; the use of funereal cypress trees; the wooden headboard in the middle ground; and post and rail fences around graves now absent from the cemetery; (b) Approximately the same view in 2017 with the same lack of monuments for burials in the soil graves (foreground and middle ground); note St Bartholomew’s chapel (now a church) lost its Latin cross finials on the roof when it was extended in the 1900s. Photograph by Sandra Hayward (2017).
Figure 4. The East Perth Anglican–General Cemetery, looking west from soil graves (foreground and middle ground) toward the brick and vault section (background), and St Bartholomew’s Church. The arrow to the Chipper headstone (d.1886; NT#509) noted in both photographs is for positional reference: (a) Photograph from approximately 1890s (#25024P in the State Library of Western Australia1). The entire area was by then used for burials. Note the uneven ground where burial mounds are apparent; the use of funereal cypress trees; the wooden headboard in the middle ground; and post and rail fences around graves now absent from the cemetery; (b) Approximately the same view in 2017 with the same lack of monuments for burials in the soil graves (foreground and middle ground); note St Bartholomew’s chapel (now a church) lost its Latin cross finials on the roof when it was extended in the 1900s. Photograph by Sandra Hayward (2017).
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Hayward, S.F. Colonial Expressions of Identity in Funerals, Cemeteries, and Funerary Monuments of Nineteenth-Century Perth, Western Australia. Genealogy 2018, 2, 23.

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