4. Percival Mulligan (1910-1929), speedway rider
Percival was the only son of William Mulligan, manager of the Fremantle Providoring Company, and Grace Mulligan. He was one of many adventurous young men who rode motorcycles at Claremont Speedway on Saturday nights during the late 1920s.
On 2 March 1929 Percy, 18, was entering the grandstand straight. His parents were watching when he fell in the path of a following rider. Percy’s speedway death was the second in two months, and the tragedy set off considerable debate about the sport. Many critics claimed that young and inexperienced riders were being sacrificed to make money for the promoters.
Following the funeral, the parents brought baskets of flowers to the grave every day. They also ordered what is one of the tallest monuments in the cemetery – a 2.5m polished granite base supporting a 2.1m marble angel imported from Italy. The monument cost 671 pounds, the price of an average house at the time.