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on the Western Australian Goldfields

Cemeteries > Kanowna Cemetery (Old)



Located in the Kanowna Townsite

As more and more good gold was found in and around the Kanowna Townsite, gold leads were running everywhere and one of the best ran right to the fence of the south end of Cemetery. Rumours were rife that the gold ran right under the Cemetery.  Four prospectors Jerry McAuliffe, Tassy O’Connor, Pierce Larkin and Ted Gore decided to test the theory and pegged a claim on the opposite side of the Cemetery and sank a shaft – it turned out to be very rich and proved that the gold ran under the Cemetery.

Due to enormous pressure from the Kanowna miners, the then Minister for Mines visited Kanowna to inspect the Cemetery on his return to Perth and it was decided that as there had been no burials in that part of the Cemetery it would be opened for the pegging of mining claims. But it had to be re gazetted and be advertised in the Government Gazette first.  So on the 3rd of December 1897 by 2pm nearly 3000 people had gathered to witness the rush and to peg a big portion of the action in the hope of making their fortune.

Sergeant of Police at Kanowna was in charge of the event and at 2.30 he raised his hand and dropped his handkerchief as the signal to start pegging could begin. What a sight it must have been  - but all the ground was pegged without any serious injury to anyone.   A claim for each individual miner was only 25 square yards and 25 x 50 yards for 2 mining partners. Many men made their fortune in the Cemetery Rush at Kanowna as it proved to be a hugely gold rich patch.

There has been a lot of land disturbance of this area over the years and unfortunately this Cemetery area and the headstone are in rather a poor condition – There are said to be 50 burials in this area bur so far only 42 known



ADAM Gertrude Emily d. 20 Sep 1895- age 38- Yilgarn  death cert 1411/1896


AMES Walter Everard d. 30 Mar 1895-age 35-Yilgarn death cert 871/1896-Typhoid-husband of Marian

ANDERSON Charles Thomas d. 2 Jun 1895-age 34 Yilgarn death cert  878/1896-Typhoid

ANDERSON James Thomas - d. 5 Jun 1895 – suicide



(It is not confirmed that this is the headstone of James ARTHUR but it is of similar design.)

ARTHUR James  d. 24 Nov 1894-age 19- Yilgarn death cert 1029/1894-Typhoid-Headstone (Tin)
ATKINSON Joseph  d. 10 Nov 1895- age 40 Yilgarn death cert 1479/1896 –Typhoid
BENNETT John  d. 5 Apr 1895- age 26 Yilgarn death cert 1370/1895

BOHAN Rita Ida Iris d. 1 Jan 1896 age 6mths -East Coolgardie death cert 362/189     Headstone no longer visible


BONEHAM Charles Arthur Rivett d. 2 Apr 1897 age 27 East Coolgardie death cert 75/1897


BYRNE Thomas Lovell d 15 Feb 1896 age 33, Water Condenser, Rheumatic Fever.

CAULFIELD John Minden d. 27 Oct 1896 age 23 –Perth death cert 371/1897 –   Gunshot wound - Accidentally shot at Lake Gwynne - erected by Richard Baugh


CHAPMAN Phillip Arthur Clarence d. 1 Apr 1897- age 5 weeks Perth death cert 444/1897   Parents P.J & E J Chapman noted that headstone was unreadable in 1978 no headstone visible at March 2004



CLARKE William d. 21 Jun 1896-age 49-East Coolgardie death cert 416/1896 –   Husband of Marie Clarke – in 1970’s an urn sat on top of marble pillar – no  remains of urn by March 2004

COLE William d. 11 Mar 1897- age 40 East Coolgardie death cert  419/1897 

CONNOLLY James d. 13 Jun 1895- age 31 Yilgarn death cert 1133/1895-Typhoid

CROESE Thomas d. 19 Dec 1894 age 26 –Yilgarn death cert 167/1895 –Typhoid 

DUNN James  d. 25 Jan 1895 age 34  -Yilgarn death cert 1368/1895 

DUNN John  d. 16 Mar 1896 -East Coolgardie death cert 364/1896 


GRIEVE George G –b. 30th Nov 1868 d. 5 Feb 1897 age 29 -East Coolgardie death cert 41/1897 –  Headstone erected by Brothers 

HALL James d. 7 Aug 1894 age 50 –Yilgarn death cert 397/1894
HEATH William d. 20 Jul 1896-East Coolgardie death cert 398/1896
HEIN Mathias d. 21 Jul 1895-age 24 Yilgarn death cert 1277/1895 –Typhoid 
HOLDING Charles Campbell  d. 1 Feb 1895- East Coolgardie death cert 397/1896-Typhoid
KERTON Henry (Harry) d. 11 Feb 1895 age 38 –Yilgarn death cert 873/1895 –Typhoid
KEY (KAYE) John d. 4 May 1896 -East Coolgardie could be 402/1896 -Typhoid- Police Constable

MACRAE Malcolm d. 16 Jul 1897 age 45 -East Coolgardie death cert 548/97
McEWEN Mathew d. 21 Feb 1895 age 54 -Yilgarn death cert 870/1895 –Typhoid 
McGUIRK-Neil Owen  d. 27 Nov 1895 age 50 -Yilgarn 1478/1895
MEEHAN John d. 8 Apr 1895 age 23 –Yilgarn death cert  858/1895 -Typhoid-
MONCRIEFF George d. 21 Mar 1895 age 28-Yilgarn death cert 1369/1895 –Typhoid
MORGAN Thomas d. 13 Feb 1897- Yardman at the White Feather Hotel who died in an explosion. 

Condition at March 2004


REDDROP William  d. 12 Mar 1895-age 29 Yilgarn death cert  872/1895  wooden headstone erected by brother David – parts undecipherable in Nov 1978 –
RICHES Seaman Simms d. 10 Jul 1895 age 24 –Yilgarn death cert 1276/1895 –Typhoid - Age 24, Occupation Miner,
RIVUS John d. 21 Mar 1895 age 32-Yilgarn death cert 865/1895 –Typhoid
SAUNDERS Ernest J d. 22 Jan 1895 age 32-Yilgarn death cert 864/1895 –Typhoid
SMITH Ernest d. 25 Mar 1895 age 21-Yilgarn death cert 867/1895 –Typhoid
STORAN Dennis d. 6 Apr 1895-age 25 Yilgarn death cert 865/1895 
TIMMINGS Charles d. 22 Jul 1897 age84 -East Coolgardie death cert 549/97
TOOMEY James d. 1 Jan 1897 age 38 -East Coolgardie death cert 374/1897
WATT Harry Charles d. 1 Feb 1897 age 39
WHEATCROFT William d. 1 Jan 1897 age 34 -East Coolgardie death cert 375/1897 –Typhoid
WHITE Michael Joseph d. 15 Mar 1897 age 28 -East Coolgardie death cert 65/1897 - late of Manchester  - Headstone erected by comrades



WILSON David d. 11 Apr 1895 age 24 -Yilgarn death cert 868/1895 –Typhoid  -  Headstone erected by his mother


TUCKER – this is a modern cross and the name Tucker is not on the burial index –    it is though that this is the grave of a prospectors dog



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