Way to go Australia
DEATH IN THE AUSSIE FRONTIERS
So many ways to die…
fire, drowning, fever, poison, lightning, murder, mining, suicide, the list of creative ways Australians have found to die is endless.
This is a harsh land, and one of the best reminders of that is to visit a cemetery.
All over the country, from the capital cities to places with only a name and a few decaying gravestones, stand man-made reminders of the souls who lost battles with this land.
Many gravestones have been lost to the elements, along with the records which proved their existence. Weathered stone markers have fallen, cracked, or been destroyed by lichen. The letters which spell out the last remaining memory of a person have faded and are impossible to make out.
But even those words which are still legible do little to describe the myriad ways people have found to die in Australia.
Newspapers give macabrely detailed accounts of disembowelments, limbs blown off, crispy corpses, often in a delighted tone.
This exploration of how Australians have died gives a glorious insight into who we were and how we lived.
The stories with named deceased are about deaths about 100 and more years old, out of respect for those still living. A few have been commemorated for their contribution to their communities but most are in remote cemeteries, and long forgotten.
And as time inexorably passes, perhaps these stories may be all that eventually remains.
William Glasson, Cobar, NSW
Horses and trains were common causes of death, much as cars are today.
Horses – Archie Bassett, Condobolin, NSW
Alfred Hockey, Orange, NSW
All over the country men paid the price for the riches they hoped they would gain.
Leonard Johnson, Kalgoorlie, WA
Grave embellishments tell so much about the deceased, from spurs and dolls, to boats, booze and footy teams.
embellishments and oddities
Sophia Quinn and children, Parkes, NSW
Mark Cavanaugh, Tambo, Qld
From wanna-be Kelly gangs to interracial tensions…
James Corse, Ophir, NSW
James Brennan, Queensland
In the line of duty
Public officials also fell, be they policemen or magistrates travelling long distances.
From colonial time to much more recently, the graves of Aboriginal inhabitants showed much about the patriarchal attitude of the invaders.
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Chinese, Arabic, Italians, the early melting pot showed in different methods of burial and commemoration.
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Christmas – Charles Huxley, Cunnamulla, NSW
Paddle steamers – Henry Pitcher, Bourke, NSW
Children playing – Alice Leatherbarrow, Strahan, TAS