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Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Gawler

Pioneer Park was not always the beautiful open space that it is today. It was the site of Gawler’s first cemetery. The land was allocated for the town’s public cemetery on the original plan by Colonel William Light. It was a rectangular section on a hilltop, bounded by Murray Street, Horrocks Place and Union Street. The first recorded burial was two-year old Ellen Fielding on 10 January, 1847.

Until 1857, when the first Gawler Council was incorporated, the cemetery had no form of management and the records of burials were kept by the Minister of St George’s Anglican Church. Graves were dug in all parts of the cemetery, many having headstones and iron railing fences.

A total of 471 people, a large number of them children, were interred in this cemetery. The land was used for burials until 1870 when the cemetery was officially closed. The cemetery site was dedicated as parkland in the 1930s and redeveloped as such thereafter.

Pioneer Park List of Interments - Click Here

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At the entry to the Willaston Cemetery are headstones taken from Pioneer Park.

St. George’s Anglican Cemetery at Cheek Avenue, Gawler East was designed by Canon (then Reverend) Coombs in 1861 on four acres of land which was purchased for £55. The centre plot contains the remains of Canon Coombs. Many of Gawler’s early Anglican settlers are buried in the surrounding plots.

The first section of the cemetery was consecrated in April 1864 by Bishop Augustus Short. The first curator was William Barrett. George Loyau, in his “Gawler Handbook” (1880), stated that the cemetery was ‘well laid out and kept’ and ‘admired and approved by visitors’. He also commented on the attractiveness of several of the tombs and monuments. In August 1995, the Archbishop of Adelaide consecrated the rear half of the cemetery land for use as a lawn cemetery.

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This is a public and non-denominational Cemetery available to all – without exception.
All enquiries to Curator – Mr Brian Thom 08 85222823  or 0412015990 

Burial Register and Headstones from 1861 St Georges Anglican Cemetery can be found at The Gawler History Team Website -  Click Here 

Willaston Cemetery situated at Dawkins Avenue, Willaston, was opened on 1 August 1866. It was one of the first large public cemeteries to be established after the passing of the Regulation of Cemeteries Act in 1862. It reflects contemporary social attitudes towards the location, management and layout of cemeteries in the mid-19th century. It is noted for its high quality monuments and outstanding collection of cast-iron work associated with Gawler’s role as an industrial centre.

The first burial occurred on 18 November, 1866 and was that of Mrs Sarah Woodward Clement, aged 35 years, first wife of Edward Clement, Gawler Councillor and Mayor. The funeral was attended by a reported 700 people, some of whom would have been transported in the sixty vehicles that followed the hearse. The Bunyip described the cemetery at this time as a pretty place, securely fenced with an iron gate at the entrance and turnstiles on either side for pedestrians.

The Gawler Heritage Study of 1998 recommended that Willaston Cemetery be State Heritage Listed. The cemetery was described as an ‘exceptionally fine South Australian cemetery’ featuring ‘significant iron-work and monuments; contains rare species of native flora; has significant historical associations; and commemorates many significant South Australians’.

The cemetery was confirmed as a State Heritage Place in the South Australian Heritage Register on 8 November, 2001.

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List of all interments having headstones – 500 pages in Alphabetical order of surname and research of each name - Click Here. Also stored at the Gawler Public Library, microfiche of  Births, Deaths and Marriages.

At the entry to the Willaston Cemetery are headstones taken from Pioneer Park.

Inquiries to Town of Gawler 08 85229211
43 High Street, Gawler East  SA 5118
Email:  council@gawler.sa.gov.au

Smith Road, Smithfield - Adelaide Cemetery Authority

A tribute to the Australian landscape, Smithfield Memorial Park combines lakes, wattles and gums with modern rose gardens and exotic plantings to create a natural oasis, teeming with colour and life.

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The picturesque park offers a range of contemporary, traditional and unique burial options perfect for remembering a life and ensuring an enduring legacy for generations to come. This include the newly established Pear Tree Grove, traditional lawn, full monument sites as well as above ground burial options. Pilyu Yarta, the Kaurna term meaning 'peaceful ground' is a bespoke natural earth burial area planted with Australian natives and wild flowers.

The picturesque park also boasts a striking collection of cremation memorials. The Gazebo Garden provides a peaceful setting surrounded by standard, bush and climbing roses, while the Peninsula offers a native bush land setting complete with lake views. Memorial benches and trees are also available.

Contact 08 8139 7400 or enquiry@aca.sa.gov.au.