Ornaments and oddities

Graves are sometimes embellished in intensely personal ways, which tell a bit about the person and the times in which they lived.

Here are some of the meaningful, poignant or sometimes plain strange things I have seen decorating graves.

Then there are embellishments which stand for hard work.

I can’t quite get my head around the use of what I think are Ponds face cream jars as grave markers. I’ve seen this phenomenon in a few different places, but only in Western Australia.

Then there are the garden ornament-type embellishments. Mount Isa cemetery was a particularly rich place for those.

These two ornaments were lying on the ground, having been separated from their owners.

Many children’s graves have toys on them, but this one at the outpost of Duchess, 100 long dirt kilometres from Mt Isa, Queensland, was poignant. The 1924 grave belongs to six-year-old Grace Rosetta Margaret Barry who, according to Findagrave.com, died from diphtheria in the arms of her father. The dolls could not be almost 100 years old, so someone still cares for the little girl. Perhaps they were put there when the concrete and metal plate were installed.

Another toy which obviously doesn’t come from the era of its grave owner was this one, in Busselton, WA. But I’m sure five-year-old Hugh Browne would have loved him anyway.

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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