Springsure cemetery holds links to history

There are some poignantly historic markers of death in the Springsure region, the most notable the remote cemetery marking the Wills massacre at Cullin-la-ringo.

You can read about that story here.

But in the town’s spread-out cemetery lie some fading remnants of people whose tales are slowly being lost to history.

John George Wheeler was instrumental in getting the early town’s hospital and church going, but died just before the hospital became functional – bad timing on his part. He may have also had an innocent link to the controversially named Mt Wheeler near Yeppoon. Read his story here.

Image Sharyn Moodie 2021

Newly assigned Springsure postmaster George Tracey did not have a good year, despite expecting his third child.

 First his father died at Croyden, then his father’s business partner and uncle Joseph died in George’s home, at the Post and Telegraph station.

George followed him to the grave a week later, dying of pneumonia on August 28,1901.

George’s grieving wife Maggie went to Bowen to give birth to their son, who entered the world on October 5. She named the boy, who had followed two sisters, George Henry Scott Tracey. They had married in Normanton five years earlier.

Image Sharyn Moodie 2021

Then there was Ernest Robert Fisher, who “sank to rest”, an unusual epitaph. He of course, had drowned. The 21-year-old telegraph operater was bathing in a creek with a friend when it happened on 15th March, 1898. His mother Kate died in July, leaving a husband and five children.

“By some means he got into deep water, and, being unable to swim, was drowned before assistance could be given. Deceased was a general favourite, and much respected by all who knew him.”

Image Sharyn Moodie 2021

George Kembrey’s headstone is only kept upright by a rusted string of wire. It states that he lost his life in an accident, on April 27.

But the engine driver had fallen asleep on the railway tracks at Bogantungan where he worked, and he had a rude awakening when an incoming train’s cowcatcher dragged him a considerable distance.

Read his story here.

Sources: The Capricornian, Saturday 26 March 1898, p  17, Saturday 19 March 1898, p23

Morning Bulletin, Saturday 30 July 1898, p1 (family notices).

Springsure, Qld.

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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