Meckering Pioneer Cemetery Records - Unmarked Graves


Researched by Dianne Kelly, Meckering.


The Meckering Pioneer Cemetery was gazetted on May 13, 1898 and was officially closed on July 11, 1913, however there were burials recorded prior to 1898 which is not uncommon.

There have been two burials in the Pioneer Cemetery since its closure, those being Vincent Robert Selby who was buried with his wife Christina in 1954, and Joseph Ettridge who was buried with his wife Evelyn, in 1915.

Due to the expansion of the Meckering Golf links in 1966, the Pioneer Cemetery was cleared.  The Cunderdin Shire Council requested that “the remaining headstones be carefully lifted and placed along the fence.”  Selby’s grave was to remain after meeting with members of the Selby family who requested that this happen.  The Selby’s grave is the only grave now visible within the Pioneer Cemetery reserve.

Meckering’s Burial records were destroyed by a fire when the Meckering Agricultural Hall burnt down on December 21, 1927 following a Community Christmas event. Until now, the fact that there are 62 people buried in the Pioneer Cemetery or who they were was not known.  Included on the memorial is also the burial of a still born child at Waeel. 

There are also many members of early pioneering families from the Cunderdin & the Tammin area buried in the Pioneer Cemetery as the Tammin and Cunderdin cemeteries were not gazetted until 1908 and 1912 respectively. Some of the names from the Cunderdin/Tammin early families were: -

Condon, Daniels, Driscoll, Halbert, Hulley, Jeakes, Kitto, McGuigan, Martin, Meadows, Price, Schwarze, Waghorn, Warnecke & Williamson.

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The current cemetery replaced the Pioneer Cemetery following its closure due to being unable to ‘sink’ the graves deep enough.  The reserve had a lot of shallow rock in the site.

Although the burial records were lost in December 1927, I found many gaps in the burial records up until about 1940 for the current cemetery, the reason for this is unknown.

On the memorial at the cemetery there are 76 names which includes 1 still born child buried at Waeel.  There are also 9 graves that now have small plaques placed on them showing the names of those known to be buried in those graves.

The Shire of Cunderdin now has all the information I have gathered on the burials which will bring the Meckering Burial Records will be up to date. There has never been any record of the Pioneer Cemetery burials.

I would like to thank the families of those buried in the “Unmarked Graves” for their generous donations, Meckering Action Group, Cunderdin Lions Club and in particular the Meckering CWA members who had the foresight to leave some funds ‘in trust’ at the Shire so that this work could be undertaken and the project’s completion possible.

My thanks also to Jan James for allowing me access to her Avon Valley Collection & Rob & Di Tinetti of Purslowe-Tinetti – Northam for their assistance with my research. The Shire of Cunderdin works crew and staff & Brenton Haynes of Oxter’s Services for the works done to get memorials and plaques in place and ready for the Meckering 50th Earthquake Anniversary weekend.

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