A factual overview of the Brighton General Cemetery.

Area of Cemetery28.92 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.
Meeting to appoint Trustees held29 May 1854 at the Little Brighton Hotel for the Elsternwick New Cemetery. [Argus 29.5.1854 p5] 
First meeting held13 September 1854 [BGCTMA1]
First Trustees appointed27 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 TrustMr John Simmonds who was also a Trustee. John Simmonds served as Trustee and Secretary until his death in 1860.
Government Grants issued8 May 1855 (£400). [BGCTMA17] 28 April 1856 (£200). [BGCTMA39a] December 1868 (£75). [BGCTM A114, BGCLB A8] May 1880 (£20). [BGCLB A146-47 & 154-55]
First interment3 July 1855 “This is to Certify that John Alexander was buried in the Cemetery at Brighton by the Consent of two of the Trustees (Mr H O’Neill & Mr McMillan) And on their representation that he was a Poor Man no charge was made. The place of interment will be marked on the map when prepared.” [BGCTM A20a]
First Sexton appointedJohn MCMILLAN on 6 August 1855 (£2 per week). [BGCTMA22] It was said that Joseph SMITH (CofE*C*122), who served two terms as Sexton, the first up to 1863, and later from 1882-1911 dug the first grave at the cemetery, but this appears to be incorrect.
First Rules & Regulations, Scale of Charges and Right of Burial Certificate form publishedGazette 21 September 1855 p2390-92. (Also considered the ‘official’ opening of the Cemetery).
Possible first building erectedcirca September 1855. [BGCTM A24] “And it was resolved to put a culvert….made of Red Gum the Planks to be sawn out of a Tree or Trees on the Ground also the necessary timbers for erecting a small room for the Sexton….” This building may be the Sexton’s toolshed that was still standing in April 1890.
First known building erectedAugust 1856, by Mr Hayball (£40) [BGCTM A43] This was believed to be a waiting room/office, described as a “…wooden Building twelve feet square” ([BGCTMA42a]), and was still standing in January 1879, probably demolished with the erection of ‘The Lodge’ in 1892.
First recorded intermentJohanna Wallace MANSON, 10 months old, buried 14 October 1855 (Meth*F*59).
Oldest surviving headstonePOSSIBLY EITHER William Henry Bouthflower CARDIN, 16 yo, buried 2 November 1865 (CofE*S*65); OR Thomas Augustus CARGILL, 38 yo, buried 17 November 1855 (CofE*A*16).
Introduction of gravesites into Denominational Sectionscirca May 1860. [BGCTMA62a]
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 TreeDonated by Mr J McDowell circa July-October 1884. [BGCTM A137a]
Amount of the first Term Deposit£100, 20 January 1885 in the ES&AE Bank, Brighton. [BGCTMA138]
Tender awarded to erect the Rotunda at Church of England area7 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 portions25 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.” [BGCTMA144] (Note: This road was converted to non-denominational lawn burials circa August-November 1984. [BGCTM E1])
Motion to erect Caretaker’s Lodge25 January 1892 by JH Cole and J Stamp. [BGCTM A156a]
Architect appointedPercy Oakden on 25 January 1892. [BGCTMA156a]
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 completioncirca August 1892. [BGCTMA162a]. (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). [BGCTMB289-90]
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). [BGCTM B32]. Gates were erected circa April 1902. [BGCTM B37]
Resolution passed that all paths be brick rather than tarpaving.21 January 1902. [BGCTMB35]
First recordedJewish intermentRobert 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 Chapel15 February 1909. Area being 20 x 25 (feet?). [BGCTMB90]
Plans approved for erection of Mortuary Chapel17 August 1909. [BGCTMB96]
Telephone line installedcirca August 1912 being a Private line for £9-5-0. [BGCTM B116]
Tender awarded to construct Shelter House & Toilets14 April 1913, Davidson & Chilman (£308-6-0). [BGCTMB125-26]. (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. [BGCTMB133]
Tender awarded to erect brick tool house at Methodist Section “I”/”L”19 September 1916, Leonard Bros (£69-10-0). [BGCTMB156]
Motion passed by Caulfield Council urging the closure of the cemetery6 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. “The Secretary reported the last available block of land had been laid out for Church of England burials [Section “ZA”], and asked permission to consult with the Engineer to prepare a plan in the Outer reserve in case the Board of Health granted permission for further extension.” [BGCTMB169]
Permission sought from Public Health Department18 February 1919. [Public Health Department file Part I 1900-49]
Approval granted by the Public Health Department18 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. LB 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, LB Simpson (£523-15-0). [BGCTMB176]
Tender awarded to lay water service in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)11 November 1919, Coulter & Monk (£66-13-3). [BGCTMB178]
First interment in the Outer Reserve area (Eastern portion)Charles LYELL, 47 yo, buried 16 February 1920 (CofE*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 (Pres*Q*62).
Design approved and Tenders called for Brick Wall around Cemetery13 February 1923. Two Contracts to be awarded. [BGCTM B199]
Tenders awarded to construct Brick WallContract ‘A’ – 29 May 1923, TW Phelps (£3410-17-6); Contract ‘B’ – 9 July 1923, Lakeman & Thomas (£2754-5-6). [BGCTM B204 & B206]
Tender awarded to construct Gates3 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 completedcirca August 1924. “Resolved the Trustees visit the Cemetery & inspect the new Brick Wall & gates”. [BGCTM B216]
First mention of plans to develop the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)26 September 1923. [BGCTMB209] 
Plans submitted for development of the Outer Reserve area (Western portion)20 November 1923. [BGCTMB211]
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 (CofE*ZF*275).
Date that the construction of a crematorium was considered13 May 1924. [BGCTM B214-15] (Note: This proposal was years ahead of its time being three years before Fawkner and 12 years before Springvale Botanical Cemetery erected modern crematoriums with overwhelming financial success). 11 August 1931. [BGCTMB303] (Note: This second proposal was by Hudson, Wardrop & Usher).
Design & Specifications approved for Shelter House at the North Rd entrance11 August 1925, prepared by R Hayball (£5-5-0). [BGCTMB226]
Tender awarded for erection of Shelter House at North Rd entrancecirca 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 £8311511.” [BGCTMB233]
Design & estimate ordered for construction of Office at Cemetery22 November 1927. [BGCTMB258]
First mention of the brick road east of ‘The Lodge’14 February 1928. [BGCTMB260] “That repairs be made to brick drive at Eastern side of the Cemetery.”
Architects appointedHudson, Wardrop & Usher on 14 February 1928. [BGCTMB260] (Note: Hudson & Wardrop designed the Shrine of Remembrance).
Number of Tenders submittedEleven tenders. Lowest tender was £1144 and highest tender £1685. [BGCTM B270]
Tender awarded to constructcirca 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 completioncirca May-July 1929. [BGCTM B277]
Re-organisation of Cemetery operations12 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’ & Office19 November 1929. [BGCTMB282]
Tender awarded to construct Brick wall enclosing rear of ‘The Lodge’ & Office, Ladies Latrines and two Sheds11 February 1930, HA 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 completioncirca May 1930. [BGCTMB291]
Resolution to undertake steps necessary to open a new cemetery8 August 1933. [BGCTMB328]
Location of land selected for new cemetery22 Acres corner Centre Rd & Thomas St Brighton; 36 Acres in South Rd, known as the Tramway Heights Estate. [BGCTM B330]
Treasurer refuses land purchase20 February 1934. [BGCTMB336]
Last known date matter was considered13 August 1935. [BGCTMB353]
Clock above Office installedMarch 1938 (£59-17-6), purchased from Noyes Bros (Aust). [BGCTM C32 & C42]
Special Meeting to undertake steps necessary to open a new cemetery12 October 1944. [BGCTMC151]
Location of land selected for new cemeteryFifty-eight acres on Warrigal Rd, opposite Yarra Yarra Golf Club. [BGCTM C151]
Date the Trust let the matter rest8 May 1945. [BGCTM C157]
Christmas Gift bonus paid to employees introducedDecember 1945. [BGCTMC164]
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 burials20 November 1951. [BGCTMC271]
Report ordered on repairs to Brick Wall12 February 1952 (Harry A Norris, Architect). [BGCTMC275]
Cost estimated by Architects to undertake repairs£7650. [BGCTM C282]
Trust instruct calling of Tenders for revised scheme of repairs12 August 1952 (£3483). [BGCTM C282]
Tender awarded to undertake repairs13 January 1953, WJ Townsend (£1990). [BGCTMC289]
Repairs completedcirca September 1953. [BGCTM C297]
Resolution passed to convert part of reserve behind Shelter House opposite ‘The Lodge’ for burials14 August 1953. [BGCTMC298]
Resolution passed to convert north-south path through Jewish area for burials14 August 1953. [BGCTMC298]
Resolution passed to convert part of south side of Eastern portion of Outer Reserve area for burials10 November 1953. [BGCTMC301]
First known case of a cemetery employees’ death whilst in the employ of the TrustNorman SCOTLAND (Gardener), on 26 March 1954. [BGCTMC309]
Resolution passed to erect the Garage adjacent to the Cemetery Office12 November 1957. [BGCTMC356]
Tender awarded to undertake construction10 December 1957, PB Newton & Sons of 73 Valance [?] Street, Ormond (£338). [BGCTMC357]
Construction completedcirca March 1958. [BGCTMC363]
Resolution passed to lawns to non-denominational lawn sections2 August 1958. [BGCTMC365] “After the inspection of Reserves it was resolved on the motion of Mr Wallman seconded by Mr Alford that plans be prepared & costs estimated of converting Lawns to Non Denominational Lawn Graves…”
Lawn Section “A” approved12 August 1958. [BGCTMC366]
Charge for lawn interment plus plaque£43-10-0 and £10 for each subsequent interment. [BGCTMC366]
Total cost for converted Lawn Section “A”£255-10-4, consisting of £75 for removal of trees, £122-14-3 for water service, £1-11-6 for cement, and £56-4-7 for brick paving. [BGCTMC370]
First interment in Lawn Section “A”Dorothy HEANEY, 48yo buried 6 November 1958.
First known intention of the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works to remove the open drain24 January 1961. [BGCTMD33] (Note: An underground barrel drain was constructed beforehand with work commencing on 21 September 1964 and was completed on 6 November. [BGCTMD89]).
First known intention to excise south-west corner of cemetery land for road purposes28 March 1968. [Public Health Department file Part II 1950-82] 13 perches (0.081 acres) was later excised. [Gazette 8.1.1969 p47]
Date of Discontinuance Order issued24 January 1984. [Gazette 31.1.1984]. (Note: The issuing of this Discontinuance Order forbids the issuing of new Right of Burial certificates to new gravesites without the approval of the Health Department).
Longest serving TrusteeCharles STONE, 43 years 8 months (December 1854 to August 1898). Stone is also the longest serving Chairman serving 36 years, 7 months (January 1862 to August 1898).
Longest serving SecretarySamuel Ponds SIMMONDS (Bap*I*2), 47 years 7 months (March 1860 to October 1907). SP Simmonds is the son of John SIMMONDS, and was just 21-years-old when appointed. His brother Charles Simmonds (Bap*I*69) later served as Secretary until December 1910 following SP Simmonds’ death, thus the Simmonds family occupied the position of Secretary for 56 continuous years (September 1854 to December 1910).
Longest serving family association with the CemeteryStone family. Father Charles and son Alfred Robert (Meth*I*165) served 81 years 1 month continuously as Trustees for the Methodist denomination (December 1854 to January 1936)