38. Ellen Amelia Montague (1868-1893), smallpox victim
On 10 April 1893, Ellen Montague was named in a newspaper report as the first victim of the new smallpox outbreak in Perth. She was aged 25 years, the wife of labourer John Montague. They lived in Butlers Yard, off Goderich Street, East Perth.
When she became ill with smallpox, Ellen Montague had barely recovered from a bout of typhoid fever she had contracted some months previously. Unfortunately, she was pregnant and went into early labour, delivering a stillborn baby on 5 April 1893.
She was moved into the Colonial Hospital, and was soon joined by many other patients who were subsequently shifted to the Subiaco camp and the Infectious Diseases Hospital. Ellen Montague died on 18 April. Donald Chipper, the undertaker, placed the body in a coffin tarred inside and
out and containing quicklime. The police van, converted to an ambulance, was accompanied by a police escort and her burial took place at midnight in the new cemetery reserve at Subiaco. No priest was allowed to attend the funeral, but it was reported that Mrs Montague had received extreme unction ten days before her death.
In September 1906, all the remains of persons buried at Subiaco cemetery (now known as Dom Serra Grove in Jersey Street) were exhumed and re-interred at Karrakatta Cemetery.