Posted by: Gregoryno6 | February 16, 2014

The Melbourne Expedition – Days among the dead.

A photographic tour through Melbourne, Kew and Brighton cemeteries.

Let’s begin with Melbourne.

Melbourne's dead centre

People were dying to get in here once…

Every cemetery has its angels. But they belong to an era now gone.

Broken Angel 03

Broken Angel 01

Broken Angel 02

The broken angels that stand vigil are are as forgotten as those they watch over.

One resident of Melbourne opted for a less supernatural guardian.

Lone Sentinel

There were other headstones whose symbolism is forgotten now. The urn

atop a column, sometimes draped in cloth. Also the triple barred cross. This example

is from Kew Cemetery.

Grave symbol 01

And the broken column, adorned in this instance with a carven wreath. Also in Kew.

Grave symbol 02

Woven Cross

Celtic crosses were the exclusive domain of Irish Catholics, I believe.

David Syme was a prominent figure in Melbourne and established The Age.

Once upon a time it was known as the city’s serious morning paper.

Today… well, that whirring sound you hear is Mr Syme spinning in his grave.

David Syme memorial

Syme rotates only a short walk from the Springthorpe Memorial, featured in the previous post.

Once again The Resident Judge has taken the photo I need, showing here the interior floor of the sarcohpagus.


Though neither of us got a picture of the very large Masonic scarab above the gates.

Click on the image to visit TRJ’s post on other notable personages feeding the worms in Kew.

This small chapel in Melbourne cemetery was built in memory of John Pascoe Fawkner, who rose from lowly rank as a convict’s son to be a man of power in the young city on the Yarra.

John Pascoe Fawkner

Another Masonic sarcophagus – Brighton Cemetery.

Masonic vault

I made the mistake of asking the cemetery attendant if the unmarked grounds

were also occupied. It was a mistake because the answer was yes – every piece of

ground that wasn’t paved for foot or car was a burial site. Oh.

Sad Angel

Why is this angel in Kew pointing in any direction other than up or down?

In Brighton this angel nurses an infant.

O'Hara Angel


No, Elvis isn’t actually buried in Melbourne cemetery. By lucky accident I visited this shrine to The King on my last day in Melbourne – January 8. Yes indeed, Mister Presley’s birthday. And to tell the truth (which I’m obviously not)  I did see a rather hefty chap waddling away as I approached. I’d swear the odour of catfish wafted along in his wake…
It’s been nearly forty years now, but who knows for sure?

The Miller vault in Brighton cemetery is another chapel-styled mausoleum. I lived near this cemetery for a while many years back and it was an occasional destination for a Sunday walk.

Miller vault 01

The first time I looked through the doors I felt a creepy tingle up my spine.  Miller’s wife and daughter predeceased him; both ladies were immortalised on marble on top of their sarcohpagi.

Miller vault 03

This photo does no justice at all to the work of the sculptors. Looking in on these carvings again I’d still swear they were flesh and blood, just lying in repose… waiting for the sun to fall behind the hills…

The dead do not always rest in peace

…because as we all know, the dead do not always rest in peace.

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