Area of Cemetery

28.92 acres (28 acres 3 roods, 27 perches).

Initially, 29 acres of land was set aside [Gazette 5.5.1868 p884] but was later reduced by 13 perches (0.081 acres) [Gazette 8.1.1969 p47] to make way for the left turning lane into North Road.

First public notice that land had been set aside

11 April 1853 as reported at a meeting of the Melbourne City Council [Argus 12.4.1853 p9]

Meeting to appoint Trustees held

29 May 1854 at the Little Brighton Hotel for the Elsternwick New Cemetery. [Argus 29.5.1854 p5]

First meeting held

13 September 1854 [BGCTM A1]

First Trustees appointed

27 December 1854

Mr Archibald MCMILLAN (Presbyterian)

Mr Henry O'NEILL (Roman Catholic)

Mr Henry Mortimer BLANCHE (Church of England)

Mr Charles STONE (Methodist)

Mr John BREWER (Baptist)

Mr John SIMMONDS (Independent/Congregationist).

[Gazette 29.12.1854 p3098]

(Note:  Trustees were not appointed to the St Kilda General Cemetery until 16 January 1855).

First Secretary to the Trust

Mr John Simmonds who was also a Trustee.  John Simmonds served as Trustee and Secretary until his death in 1860.

Government Grants issued

8 May 1855 (£400). [BGCTM A17]

28 April 1856 (£200). [BGCTM A39a]

December 1868 (£75). [BGCTM A114, BGCLB A8]

May 1880 (£20). [BGCLB A146-47 & 154-55]

First fence and gate constructed

circa 15 August 1855 for £264:18:2.  Post and fail fence constructed by Robert Williams.  Gate constructed by a Mr Hewitt. [BGCTM A18, 22 & 34]

First interment

John ALEXANDER on 3 July 1855 [BGCTM A20a]

First Sexton appointed

John MCMILLAN on 6 August 1855 (£2 per week). [BGCTM A22]

First Rules & Regulations, Scale of Charges and Right of Burial Certificate form published

Gazette 21 September 1855 p2390-92.  (Also considered the 'official' opening of the Cemetery).

Possible first building erected

circa September 1855. [BGCTM A24].  This building may be the Sexton's toolshed that was still standing in April 1890.

First known building erected

August 1856, by Mr Hayball (£40) [BGCTM A43]

 This was believed to be a waiting room/office, described as a "...wooden Building twelve feet square" [BGCTM A42a], and was still standing in January 1879, probably demolished with the erection of 'The Lodge' in 1892.

First recorded interment

Joanna Wallace MANSON, 10 months old, buried 14 October 1855 (Methodist "F" 59).

Oldest surviving headstone

POSSIBLY EITHER William Henry Bouthflower CARDIN, 16 yo, buried 2 November 1865 (Church of England "S" 65);




Thomas Augustus CARGILL, 38 yo, buried 17 November 1855 (Church of England "A" 16).

Introduction of gravesites into Denominational Sections

28 May 1860. Plan was implemented early 1861.  [BGCTM A62a & 65]

Resolution passed to erect a “Closet and Urinal” (toilets)

11 July 1884. [BGCTM A137].

(Note:  This was dual sex, single toilet).  Completed circa October 1884-January 1885. [BGCTM A138]

Norfolk Island Tree

Donated by Mr J McDowell circa July-October 1884. [BGCTM A137a]

Amount of the first Term Deposit

£100, 20 January 1885 in the E S & A E Bank, Brighton. [BGCTMA138]

Tender awarded to erect the Rotunda at Church of England area

7 July 1885, Messrs Grundy [?] & Williams (£49:10:0). [BGCTM A139].

(Note:  The Rotunda was demolished circa March-June 1995 – the earliest burial being June 1995. [BGCTM F4]

Resolution passed for construction of road between Roman Catholic and Methodist portions

25 October 1887.

"That a Road be opened at the north west corner of the Roman Catholic Portion to allow of vehicles crossing from road to road where turning is now impracticable". [BGCTM A144]

(Note:  This road was converted to non-denominational lawn burials circa August-November 1984. [BGCTM E1])

Motion to erect Caretaker's Lodge

25 January 1892 by J H Cole and J Stamp. [BGCTM A156a]

Architect appointed

Percy Oakden (1845-1917, Methodist "K" 25) on 25 January 1892. [BGCTM A156a]

Number of Tenders submitted for Plan 'A' & Plan 'B'

Twenty-one tenders.  Lowest tender was £694:7:9 and highest tender £998:11:0. [BGCTM A158a]

Tender awarded to construct 'The Lodge'

8 March 1892, Boxshall & Leonard (£694:7:9) for Plan 'A'. [BGCTM A159]

Date of completion

circa August 1892. [BGCTM A162a].

(Note:  The Office, Boardroom & Strongroom were not constructed until 1929).

Service Wing, Wash House, Brick Kitchen and other modifications undertaken by H S Bolger were completed in 1930 (£800, which wasn't the lowest tender (£655).  Actual cost - £797:9:4). [BGCTM B289-90]

Tender awarded to construct Iron Gate near 'The Lodge'

17 December 1901, Monteath & Sons (£80).

(Note: These gates were later moved to Hawthorn Rd c1924 and were restored circa May 2003). [BGCTM B32].  Gates were erected circa April 1902. [BGCTM B37]

Resolution passed that all paths be brick rather than tarpaving.

21 January 1902. [BGCTM B35]

First recorded Jewish interment

Robert ISAACS 4 days old, buried 10 February 1909 (Jewish "G" 2).

This was in spite of the Trust, a day earlier resolving "In the meantime it was decided not to authorize [sic] any burials until the ground had been re-surveyed." [BGCTM B88]

(Note: the first Jewish interment was Alfred Soloman circa 2-5 January 1860, but the actual location was not recorded).

Land set aside for Jewish Mortuary Chapel

15 February 1909.  Area being 20 x 25 (feet?). [BGCTM B90]

Plans approved for erection of Mortuary Chapel

17 August 1909. [BGCTM B96]

Telephone line installed

circa August 1912 being a Private line for £9:5:0. [BGCTM B116]

Tender awarded to construct Shelter House & Toilets

14 April 1913, Davidson & Chilman (£308:6:0). [BGCTM B125-26].

(Note:  The Shelter House was demolished circa March-June 1995 [BGCTM F1] – the earliest burial was January 1996.  Also, the Ladies brick latrines were not built until 1930 [BGCTM B291]).

(Date of completion is unknown)

Approval given for brick paving of road outside 'The Lodge'

20 November 1913. [BGCTM B133]

Tender awarded to erect brick tool house at Methodist Section "I"/"L"

19 September 1916, Leonard Bros (£69:10:0). [BGCTM B156]

Motion passed by Caulfield Council urging the closure of the cemetery

6 February 1917, moved by Cr. Hugh Thomson and passed five votes to four.

(Note:  It was Cr. Thomson who presided over a conference of municipalities 21 years ago where it was agreed to close all cemeteries within a ten mile radius). [Southern Cross 10.2.1917 p2]

First mention of plans to develop the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)

13 August 1918.

Permission sought from Public Health Department

18 February 1919. [Public Health Department file Part I 1900-49]

Approval granted by the Public Health Department

18 June 1919. [Public Health Department file Part I 1900-49]

Tender awarded to clear & lay drainage in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)

19 August 1919.  L B Simpson was awarded contract for drainage (£1013:10:1); and R Fisher for clearing (£5). [BGCTM B175]

Tender awarded to lay roadways in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)

16 October 1919, L B Simpson (£523:15:0). [BGCTM B176]

Tender awarded to lay water service in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)

11 November 1919, Coulter & Monk (£66:13:3). [BGCTM B178]

First interment in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)

Charles LYELL, 47 years old, buried 16 February 1920 (Church of England "ZA" 1487).

Plans approved for development of South Eastern portion (area to east of 'The Lodge')

10 May 1921. [BGCTM B187]

Tender awarded for drainage in the South Eastern portion (area to east of 'The Lodge')

June 1921, J Maskell (£367:7:8). [BGCTM B189]

Resolution passed to erect a Shelter House near Hawthorn Rd entrance; and South Eastern portion (area to east of ‘The Lodge’)

9 May 1922. [BGCTM B195].  These were completed circa August-September 1922. [BGCTM B197]

(Date of demolition of Shelter House east of ‘The Lodge’ appears to be circa May-June 1968, but the Hawthorn Rd structure appears to be still standing. [BGCTM D117])

First interment in South Eastern portion (area to east of 'The Lodge')

Mary Jane DONALDSON, 62 yo, buried 24 May 1922 (Presbyterian "Q" 62).

Design approved and Tenders called for Brick Wall around Cemetery

13 February 1923.  Two Contracts to be awarded. [BGCTM B199]

Tenders awarded to construct Brick Wall

Contract 'A' - 29 May 1923, T W Phelps (£3410:17:6); Contract 'B' - 9 July 1923, Lakeman & Thomas (£2754:5:6). [BGCTM B204 & B206]

Tender awarded to construct Gates

3 December 1923, Scarcebrook Bros (£395:10:3). [BGCTM B211].

(Note:  The Hawthorn Rd entrance was moved from outside 'The Lodge').

Date Brick Wall & Gates were completed

circa August 1924.

First mention of plans to develop the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)

26 September 1923. [BGCTM B209]

Plans submitted for development of the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)

20 November 1923. [BGCTM B211]

Tender awarded to lay roadways in the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)

12 February 1924, P Kelly (£1206:0:6). [BGCTM B213]

First interment in the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)

Margaret MILLWARD, 48 yo, buried 2 June 1924 (Church of England "ZF" 275).

Date that the construction of a crematorium was considered

13 May 1924. [BGCTM B214-15]

(Note:  This proposal was years ahead of its time being three years before Fawkner and twelve years before Necropolis, Springvale erected modern crematoriums with overwhelming financial success).

11 August 1931. [BGCTM B303]

(Note:  This second proposal was by Hudson, Wardrop & Usher).

Design & Specifications approved for Shelter House at the North Rd entrance

11 August 1925, prepared by R Hayball (£5:5:0). [BGCTM B226]

Tender awarded for erection of Shelter House at North Rd entrance

circa September 1925, Charman & Murphy (£375:3:4). [BGCTM B229].

(Note:  This was demolished circa May-August 1992. [BGCTM E51 & 52]).

"Letter dated 14th December 1925 [from Charman & Murphy] stating they have completed their Contract for Shelter House & had made a loss of £83:15:1". [BGCTM B233]

Design & estimate ordered for construction of Office at Cemetery

22 November 1927. [BGCTM B258]

First mention of the brick road east of ‘The Lodge’

14 February 1928. [BGCTM B260]

Architects appointed

Hudson, Wardrop & Usher on 14 February 1928. [BGCTM B260]

(Note:  Hudson & Wardrop designed the Shrine of Remembrance on St. Kilda Road).

Number of Tenders submitted

Eleven tenders.  Lowest tender was £1144 and highest tender £1685. [BGCTM B270]

Tender awarded to construct

circa November 1928, Eric J Jacobsen (£1144).

At the meeting of 12 February 1929, it was reported that "...the construction of the building was well advanced". [BGCTM B269-70]

Date of completion

circa May-July 1929. [BGCTM B277]

Re-organisation of Cemetery operations

12 February 1929.

The position of Sexton was abolished; the Secretary to reside at 'The Lodge' rent free; the Office Clerk to take over the responsibilities of the Sexton as "Superintendent and Clerk". [BGCTM B272].  Some £492 was saved in the first year. [BGCTM B291]

Resolution passed to build brick wall enclosing rear of 'The Lodge' & Office

19 November 1929. [BGCTM B282]

Tender awarded to construct Brick wall enclosing rear of 'The Lodge' & Office, Ladies Latrines and two Sheds

11 February 1930, H A Peters (£823, being the second lowest tender.  Actual cost - £806:9:9). [BGCTM B284]

(Note:  The lowest tender was from Lakeman & Thomas the same firm that did a somewhat poor job in constructing the Brick Wall enclosing the cemetery.)  Works completed February-August 1930. [BGCTM B291]

Date of completion

circa May 1930. [BGCTM B291]

Resolution to undertake steps necessary to open a new cemetery

8 August 1933. [BGCTM B328]

Location of land selected for new cemetery

22 Acres corner Centre Rd & Thomas St Brighton; 36 Acres in South Rd, known as the Tramway Heights Estate. [BGCTM B330]

Treasurer refuses land purchase

20 February 1934. [BGCTM B336]

Last known date matter was considered

13 August 1935. [BGCTM B353]

Clock above Office installed

March 1938 (£59:17:6), purchased from Noyes Bros (Aust). [BGCTM C32 & C42]

Special Meeting to undertake steps necessary to open a new cemetery

12 October 1944. [BGCTM C151]

Location of land selected for new cemetery

Fifty-eight acres on Warrigal Rd, opposite Yarra Yarra Golf Club. [BGCTM C151]

Date the Trust let the matter rest

8 May 1945. [BGCTM C157]

Christmas Gift bonus paid  to employees introduced

December 1945. [BGCTM C164]

Highest credit balance attained

£81534:5:7 (November 1946). [BGCTM C181]

Resolution passed to convert east side of Eastern portion of Outer Reserve area for burials

20 November 1951. [BGCTM C271]

Report ordered on repairs to Brick Wall

12 February 1952 (Harry A Norris, Architect). [BGCTM C275]

Cost estimated by Architects to undertake repairs

£7650:0:0. [BGCTM C282]

Trust instruct calling of Tenders for revised scheme of repairs

12 August 1952 (£3483:0:0). [BGCTM C282]

Tender awarded to undertake repairs

13 January 1953, W J Townsend (£1990). [BGCTM C289]

Repairs completed

circa September 1953. [BGCTM C297]

Resolution passed to convert part of reserve behind Shelter House opposite 'The Lodge' for burials

14 August 1953. [BGCTM C298]

Resolution passed to convert north-south path through Jewish area for burials

14 August 1953. [BGCTM C298]