Karrakatta Historical Walk Trail One

Your Starting Point

To participate in the walk download a copy of the map or collect a copy from the Karrakatta Cemetery office near the main entrance. The walk is approximately two kilometres long and takes around two hours to complete.  It is possible to start, leave or re-join the walk at any stage.

The Lodge and Waiting House

The original Lodge and Waiting House at Karrakatta Cemetery

Inside the main gates of Karrakatta Cemetery off Railway Road are the Lodge and Waiting House. They were constructed in 1898-99 and are still in use today.

The Lodge was constructed by builder JS White for the cost of 498 pounds. Monday 24 April 1899 was fixed as opening day, and The Lodge was completed with few problems or delays, ready for the Superintendent to move in.

The Lodge has been home to a number of families and workmen at Karrakatta Cemetery. In 1993 it was moved 20 metres north to allow for the expansion of the administration offices, and restored back to the original size for use as administration and meeting areas.

The Board also planned a comfortable Waiting House for mourners to assemble while waiting for corteges to arrive. In 1905 a contract was awarded to George Temple Poole to design a suitable waiting house and public facilities at a cost of 406 pounds. The Waiting House has been modified over the years but is still used today as an assembly areas for mourners.

To start off the walk, proceed down the driveway from the Old Lodge building near the main entrance to the first gravesite.

1. Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951) Premier and Governor

Anglican BA 606B

James Mitchell was the son of Bunbury grazier. He began his working life in 1885 as a clerk in the West Australian Bank and within 10 years was appointed manager at the Northan branch.

In 1905 entered Parliament. He held the portfolio of Minister of Lands and Agriculture from 1909-1911 and played a major role in opening up the eastern wheatbelt for settlement. He encourages new farmers with land. capital, equipment and railways. however, some were forced to abandon their farms in the droughts of 1972-1914.

Michell’s optimism came to the fore again while he served as National Party Premier from 1919-1924. He initiated a group settlement scheme which brought Brithish migrants to pioneer the dairying industry in the southwest. they experienced many hardships, but most shared Mitchell’s optimism and vision.

From 1933-1951 Mitchell served as Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Western Australia. His belief in the poteniial of the state never wavered throughout his distinguished career.

2. Edith Dircksey Cowan (1861-1932) Activist and Politician

Anglican BA 458

Edith Cowan Historical Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Edith Cowan was born into a York pioneering family. In 1868, when Edith was only seven years of age, her mother died giving birth to her sixth child. Edith and her older sister were sent to school in Perth. By the time she was 18, Edith had lost both parents and was married to James Cowan. The loss of both parents at a young age greatly influenced Edith and led to her commitment to protecting the vulnerable in society.

Edith and James had five children. During their married life they resided in Malcolm Street, West Perth and the beachside community of Cottesloe.

Edith Cowan was a leader of many social welfare and women’s rights organisations from the mid-1890s to her death. She is well remembered for her commitment to the Karrakatta Club, the North Fremantle District Board of Education, Children’s Protection Society, House of Mercy, Women’s Service Guild and the National Council of Women. Edith Cowan was a Justice of the Peace and a member of the bench of the Children’s Court.

During World War I, Edith Cowan worked for the Recruiting Committee, the Red Cross, and the soldiers’ welfare committees. She was awarded an O.B.E. for this work in 1920. She also joined with other women to claim the rights of full citizenship including the right to sit in Parliament. Full franchise was granted in 1920.

Edith Cowan was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1921 as a Nationalist member for West Perth. She was the first woman member of any Australian Parliament. Her considerable experience and career in public life and committees enabled her to work effectively in Parliament. She pursued women’s interests with dignity and determination, despite the inevitable derision and opposition from male representatives in the house. In the 1924 elections, the West Perth business interests opposed her, some of her reforms were opposed by previous women supporters, and Edith Cowan was defeated.

When she died in 1932, her colleagues erected a clock tower memorial in her honour at the gates of Kings Park, a prominent location that emphasised her stature as Western Australia’s most important woman of her time. In 1991 her contribution to public service was further memorialised when the Western Australian College of Advanced Education became the fourth university in Western Australia and was re-named Edith Cowan University.

3. John Hogan (1852-1900) Policeman

Anglican AA 0191

John Hogan Historical Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Originally from England, John Hogan served in the Western Australian police force for the latter 26 years of his life. He served in Fremantle, Pinjarra and Northam and was appointed Acting Inspector on 1 July 1900. He had been partly responsible for the capture of Tom Hughes, a criminal who was notorious for his escapes from jail.

John Hogan died of apoplexy and paralysis (stroke) at Irishtown near Northam on 3 October 1900. He was one of the state’s most respected police officers and his death was reported in The West Australian and the Western Mail. His funeral attracted hundreds of friends and colleagues.

4. Sir Walter Hartwell James (1863-1942) Lawyer and Politician

Anglican AA 104

Sir Walter Hartwell James Historical Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Walter James was the son of a Perth publican. He became a lawyer and political activist. In the 1880s he was a stalwart of the Liberal Association, an organisation which aimed to create a more egalitarian society by destroying the elite clique of certain families that had ruled the colony for many decades.

Walter James was a founder of the W.A. Football Association at a time when football was the sport of the working classes. He became the spokesman of the workers during the 1890s in the Perth City Council and as MLA for East Perth. From 1894 he supported John Forrest’s programs of public works and land settlement, but insisted that “roads and bridges were not enough”. He worked in Parliament for votes for women, worker’s compensation, early shop closing, legalisation of trade unions and the establishment of an arbitration court.

He was minister without portfolio in the short-lived government of George Leake. When Leake died in 1902, Walter James had sufficient personal support to form his own government that was committed to social reform. The James government accomplished the first reforms for mental health care and the treatment of prisoners. In addition, James supported state enterprises including the establishment of state hotels. His main concern was to reduce the power of the conservative Legislative Council. Predictably, the Upper House defeated his reform proposals.

In the 1904 elections, the new Labor Party and the remainder of the Forrest Party defeated Walter James and his supporters. James resigned from Parliament and returned to his legal practice. He accepted a knighthood in 1907.

5. Grace Vernon Drake-Brockman (1860-1935) Heroine

Anglican EA 11B

Grace Vernon Drake-Brockman Historical Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Grace Drake-Brockman (nee Bussell) was a member of an early settler family. The name of the south west town, “Busselton”, is derived from the family name. Grace became a young heroine at the age of 16 when, together with Aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs, she rescued women and children from the surf off Calgardup Bay, south of Prevelly.

These people were passengers on the S.S. Georgette, which ran aground on 1 December 1876. Grace headed into the surf on horseback and together with Sam Isaacs, managed to pull a number of the shipwrecked passengers to her home, Walcliffe House, giving them food and shelter.

News of the incident spread and Grace was awarded a silver medal and a gold watch by the Royal Humane Society. It is said that the story prompted Frederick Slade Drake-Brockman to ride 300 kilometres from Perth to meet Grace. They married in 1882.

6. Sir John Winthrop Hackett (1848-1916) Editor, Politician and University Chancellor

Anglican EA 10B

Sir John Winthrop Hackett Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Born in Ireland, the well-educated John Winthrop Hackett boarded a ship headed for Australia in 1875. He took up journalism and contributed to the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Melbourne Review. Hackett moved to Western Australia in 1883. 

After briefly working on a sheep station in the Gascoyne, Hackett became a partner in The West Australian newspaper, which went on to flourish and become a daily publication with Hackett as its editor. In 1894 Hackett was elected to the Legislative Council, a seat which he held until his death. He was an advocate for women’s suffrage, and a strong supporter of Lord John Forrest’s development policy in the building of the pipeline to the Goldfields and the construction of Fremantle harbour. 

The Commonwealth’s first free university, the University of Western Australia, was founded in 1913 thanks largely to Hackett’s vision, tenacity and financial support. He became its first Chancellor. 

In 1905, Hackett married 18-year-old Deborah Vernon Drake-Brockman, daughter of heroine Grace Vernon Drake-Brockman. They had four daughters and a son, Sir John Hackett, later prominent as a General in the British Army. 

After his death, Hackett’s bequest to the university funded the establishment of scholarships and bursaries, and the construction of the Winthrop Hall and Hackett Buildings. His bequest to the Church of England paid for the building of St George’s College, the first residential college within the University of Western Australia. 

7. Alexander Forrest (1849-1901) Surveyor

Anglican EA 1

Alexander Forrest was born in Bunbury and was educated at Bishop Hale’s School in Perth. Surveying was one of the few careers open to young ambitious colonials, and Alexander and his older brother John both entered the Government Survey Department. Alexander worked as a contract surveyor and John as a permanent employee. 

In 1870 and 1874 Alexander was second-in-command to John Forrest’s expeditions that crossed the empty centre to Adelaide. In 1871 and 1875 Alexander led his own team in exploring the land “beyond Kalgoorlie and south to Esperance” and the survey in the Roebourne area. 

Of all the expeditions led by Alexander Forrest, it is the 1879 exploration of the remote north of Western Australia that is best remembered. Alexander Forrest and his party traversed the King Leopold Ranges and followed the Ord River though the region that was subsequently named the Kimberley. It took nine months instead of the expected six, and the party nearly perished. They were tormented by mosquitoes and sunstroke and were reduced to killing their horses for food as their rations ran out. Forrest’s report spoke of likely gold-bearing country at Hall’s Creek and of several million acres of good well-watered country suitable for pastoral purposes. The Kimberley soon became a much sought-after area for cattlemen and prospectors. 

Alexander Forrest invested in land holdings but from 1880 until his death in 1901 he was based in Perth as a stock agent and investment advisor. He was a member for the West Kimberley in the new parliament after responsible government in 1880 and was mayor of Perth 1893-1895 and 1898-1900. Alexander Forrest was the first chairman of trustees of the Karrakatta Cemetery Board established in 1899. 

8. Lord John Forrest (1847-1918) First Premier of Western Australia

Anglican EA 22E

Lord John Forrest Hostorical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

John Forrest was born in Bunbury in Western Australia’s south west. At 12 years of age he was sent to the Bishop’s School, Perth. On leaving school in 1863 he studied surveying, and two years later found employment with the colony’s survey department. Forrest led a number of ambitious expeditions into remote parts of the state, proving himself to be a resourceful and courageous bushman. He published an account of his journeys, Explorations in Australia, in 1875. 

In 1876 Forrest was appointed deputy surveyor-general of Western Australia and in 1878-9 acted as commissioner of crown lands with a seat in the executive council. He was a dedicated proponent for the introduction of responsible government. When it was granted in 1890, he was returned unopposed as member for Bunbury in the first legislative assembly. 

He became the first Premier of Western Australia, serving in this capacity for 10 years, and was the first native-born Australian to be made a baron. 

As the Premier of Western Australia, John Forrest was responsible for the construction of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields Water Supply. His enthusiasm for development led to the establishment of the Transcontinental Railway. As early as 1892, his government permitted the women of Western Australia to own property and in 1899 gave them the right to vote. 

From the inauguration of the Commonwealth in 1901, John Forrest served in the Federal Parliament until his death in 1918. He was never defeated in elections. Among the many offices he occupied were Federal Treasurer and Minister of Defence. He was instrumental in creating a separate Australian currency and in unifying six individual colonial armies into one Commonwealth military force. 

John Forrest died at the age of 71 years en route to London for cancer treatment. His ship was docked off Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa. After temporary interment in the British colony, his remains were exhumed and returned to Western Australia on the SS Dimboola.  
Controversy arose on the waterfront due to the fear of the influenza epidemic which swept Europe after the War. The casket was not permitted ashore by the members of the Lumpers Union, so the Government arranged for the casket to be secretly brought ashore in a small boat late at night. The state funeral took place on 7 May 1919. A motor hearse, three mourning cars, two floral cars and a decoration car were ordered. Well over 100 wreaths were received, requiring several cabs to convey them to Karrakatta Cemetery.

9. Archbishop Charles Owen Riley (1854-1929) Archbishop of Perth

Anglican EA 46B

Archbishop Charles Owen Riley Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Charles Riley was born in England and served as a curate and vicar in various English parishes from 1878. He accepted the Bishopric of Perth in 1894 and was subsequently elevated to Archbishop of Perth in 1914. He held that position until 1929. 

Bishop Riley was warden at the University of Western Australia in 1913 and was appointed chancellor from 1916-1921. He served as chaplain of the Western Australian Defense Forces from 1895-1908 and as Chaplain-General 1908-1929. He was awarded an O.B.E in 1920.

10. Bessie Mabel Rischbieth (1874-1967) Women’s Rights Advocate

Anglican EA 78A

Bessie Mabel Rischbieth Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Bessie Rischbieth was born in South Australia and settled in Perth after her marriage. She became involved in the social welfare and women’s rights groups that were active in the early 1900s. For many years she was either President or Vice President of the Women’s Service Guild. 

Like her contemporary, Edith Cowan, Bessie Rischbieth was active in campaigns for a public hospital for women, kindergartens and for women police and justices of the peace. In 1920 she became editor of a new paper, The Dawn, published by the Women’s Service Guild. She used this paper to promote a coordinated federal women’s organisation, called the Australian Federation of Women Voters, of which she was President from 1921-1942. 

In 1923 she led the first Australian delegation to the Rome Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance. She was the leader and member of many subsequent delegations to various congresses. 

Bessie Rischbieth was always a forceful and determined woman. Her leadership style was increasingly challenged after World War II, when the Federation of Women Voters was eclipsed by new feminist groups. However, she maintained her involvement in social issues to the end of her life.

11. Frank Wilson (1859-1918) Premier of Western Australia 

Wesleyan AA 172C

John “Happy Jack” Scaddan Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Frank Wilson was born in England and migrated to Queensland in the 1880s. In 1891 he travelled across to Western Australia to take up the appointment as managing director of the Canning Jarrah Timber Company. He was a successful businessman, at various times connected with the Fremantle Gas and Coke Company, Eureka Milling Company, Perth Brick Company and Collie Coalfields Pty Ltd. 

Wilson served as a Perth City Councillor from 1896-1899 and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1897. He campaigned against Sir John Forrest on issues such as the proposed Coolgardie water scheme and Federation. 

Frank Wilson was voted in and out of Parliament over the next few years and finally served as a minister in the Liberal government of Newton Moore from 1905-1910. Wilson was responsible for legislation that introduced income and land taxation, and for the establishment of Perth Modern School. 

Wilson was a Liberal Premier 1910-1911 and 1916-17, when the formulation of the new Country Party presented problems to the conservative side of politics. Two achievements as Premier stand out as his most significant contributions to the State: the legislation that led to preferential voting; and the establishment of the University of Western Australia.

12. John “Happy Jack” Scaddan (1876-1934) Politician

Wesleyan AA 14A

John “Happy Jack” Scaddan Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

John Scaddan spent his early years in South Australia and Victoria, where he learned to operate stationary engines in the mines. He arrived in Western Australia in 1896 to find work in the goldfields. 

He was interested in the politics of the region, and in 1904 was elected to the seat of Ivanhoe in the Legislative Assembly. Scaddan was recognised as one of Labor’s main parliamentary speakers, and it was not unknown for him to speak for up to three hours in debate. In 1910, Scaddan was elected leader of a reformist Labor government with an 18-seat majority. 

Prior to World War I, it was obvious that the gold production industry was in decline. The key to future development focused on the primary industries, namely wheat production. Scaddan saw that railways were the key to viable agricultural industries and focused the government’s efforts on expanding the state’s rail infrastructure. Between 1911 and 1916 wheat production trebled. 

Scaddan served as Premier from October 1911-July 1916. From 1919 to 1933 he changed his political parties a number of times – joining with the Liberals to form the National Party, then moving to the newly-formed Country Party before returning to the Nationals. 

Throughout his political career, he held the portfolios of railways, mines, police, industries and forests. He was a member of the six-man committee which prepared the case for secession. John Scaddan was remembered as “Happy Jack”; a jovial man of great energy. His industrious, pragmatic, humanitarian approach suited a pioneering state in need of industry and development.

13. Robert John Lynn (1873-1928) Businessman

Congregational AA 114B

Robert John Lynn Historical Walk Trail One

Robert Lynn was born in Newcastle, New South Wales. He joined the gold rush to Western Australia in 1895 but failed to make his fortune in the goldfields. He moved to Fremantle and joined the shipping company, McIlwraith, McEacharn and Co. as a clerk. 

By 1906 he was able to purchase a fleet of five small ketches and schooners and formed his own company. R.J. Lynn and Co. The fleet traded along the Western Australian coastline over the next decade. 

In 1919, Lynn joined with Walter Johnson and established Johnson and Lynn Ltd. This new company bought and operated run-down coal mining leases at Collie. In 1920 Lynn and Johnson founded the Amalgamated Colleries of W.A., monopolising the coalfields’ output until 1930. 

Robert Lynn was a Fremantle councillor from 1904-1909 and patron of the East Fremantle Football Club for 17 years. He held the West Province seat in the Legislative Council from 1912- 1924. Lynn was known as a generous benefactor to many schools of various denominations.

14. Henry Daglish (1866-1920) Politician

Congregational AA 242

Bessie Mabel Rischbieth Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Henry Daglish was born in Ballarat, Victoria. In 1883 he joined the Victorian Public Service, where he served for the next 13 years. In 1896 he came to Western Australia, settled in Subiaco and became involved in local politics. He was a Subiaco councillor in 1900 and later served as Mayor in 1903-1904 and 1907-1908. In his capacity as Mayor, he twice served as a Trustee on the Karrakatta Cemetery Board. 

In 1901 Daglish won the Legislative Assembly seat of Subiaco for the Labor Party. By 1904 he was leader of the first Labor ministry and Premier of Western Australia. However, his premiership was marred by inexperienced ministers, problems with caucus and reliance on five independents. He resigned from the party in 1905 but retained his seat as an independent. 

Later he “drifted” into the Liberal Party and became Minister for Works in Wilson’s ministry in 1908. Though he was acknowledged as consistent and sincere, Daglish was defeated by the opposition in the 1911 election. 

Henry Daglish’s wife, Edith Daglish (nee Bishop) was awarded an O.B.E. in recognition of her welfare work with returning soldiers after World War I. The suburb of Daglish was named after Henry with perhaps some recognition also due to the community work of Edith.

15. Aubrey Lawson (1915-1977) Speedway Rider

Presbyterian BC 116

Aubrey Lawson Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Aubrey Lawson was born in Warialda, New South Wales. He is still regarded today as one of the best speedway riders Australia has ever produced. Although he rode in nine world finals, gaining in total 73 points (more than any other Australian) the World Title eluded him. 

Lawson achieved his best performance in 1958 when he won third place in the World Title competition. He won the Australian championship five times and represented Australia 84 times. 

After his retirement in the 1960s he promoted the sport at Westmead, New South Wales before moving to Western Australia, where he was involved in the promotion of the Speedway at Claremont.

16. Sir Paul Meerna Caedwalla Hasluck (1905-1993) Governor-General of Australia

Presbyterian BC 424

Sir Paul Meerna Caedwalla Hasluck Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Paul Hasluck was born in Fremantle. During his illustrious career he worked as a journalist, historian, academic, writer, poet, public servant, diplomat, politician and Governor-General. 

Hasluck was a foundation member of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society. He worked for The West Australian and Western Mail newspapers. In 1941 he joined the Department of External Affairs and was one of Australia’s first representatives to the United Nations. 

In 1949 he was elected to Federal Parliament as the member for the new electorate of Curtin. He held several ministries in the Menzies Government, including Territories, Defence and External Affairs. Following his retirement from Parliament he was appointed Governor- General of Australia between 1969-1974. 

Paul Hasluck has been described by his biographer, R. Porter, as a man who had “prodigious, almost legendary capacity for hard work; a strong intellectual capability and penetrating and enquiring mind; a clear understanding of the definition of the roles and responsibilities of each area of government; a strong and enduring sense of duty; and a commitment to serving his country’s interests in a selfless and dedicated manner.” 

Hasluck was married to Alexandra Mary Hasluck, also a noted writer and constant supporter and companion during his long and distinguished career. She died five months after her husband.

17. John Curtin (1885-1945) Prime Minister

Presbyterian BC 375 

John Curtin Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

John Curtin was born in Victoria. From his youth he was deeply involved in the Labor Movement. He had been a member of the Socialist Party of Victoria, a Labor journalist, trade union secretary and secretary of the anti-conscription campaign in Victoria before coming to Western Australia in 1917 as editor of the Westralian Worker. He made the Worker a strongly anti-militarist, anti-capitalist paper in the early twenties. 

Between 1928-1931 Curtin was a backbencher in the Federal Parliament as the member for Fremantle. He was defeated in the 1931 elections and worked as a part-time journalist until the next elections in 1934 when he was re-elected Member of the House of Representatives for Fremantle. 

By 1935 Curtin was the Labor Party’s parliamentary leader. Following the collapse of the Menzies and Fadden Governments in 1941, John Curtin became Prime Minister of Australia. As wartime leader he was decisive and inspiring, though forced to make decisions on the introduction of overseas conscription which cost him much as a Labor man. He asserted the defence needs of Australia in the Pacific war against the demands of the war in Europe and drew Australia closer to the United States of America. John Curtin died in office just weeks before the end of the war in the Pacific.

18. Edwin Begley (1870-1917) Wood Joiner and Aircraft Builder

Edwin Begley Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Edwin Begley was Australian by nationality, but died and was buried in England in 1917. The memorial placed here gives public recognition to his service during the Great War (1914-1918). 

During the war the British Government recruited experienced wood joiners from Australia to work on the construction of the Sopwith Camel aircraft in England. Edwin Begley volunteered for duty and was accepted. He travelled to England by troop ship where he worked in the Kingston on Thames Sopwith Aircraft Factory. 

Begley died in England on 6 August 1917 of illnesses associated with one of the wartime epidemics that swept England at that time. He was buried at Kingston on Thames cemetery. 

This memorial commemorates his service and sacrifice and remembers him as a native son of Australia. His grave in England is still retained with a headstone that recognises him as being from Perth, Western Australia.

19. John Cowe McIntosh (1892-1921) Aviator

Presbyterian CA 201A

John Cowe McIntosh Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cementery

John McIntosh was born in Lumsden, Scotland. He was the illegitimate son of a 29-year-old servant maid, Isabella Cook, and a young apprentice mason, William Cow. McIntosh was adopted as an infant into the family of James McIntosh. His adoptive parents added “e” to his name and he was registered as John Cowe McIntosh. 

Following his 17th birthday, John McIntosh left Scotland and arrived in Fremantle on the SS Ormuz SS in June 1909. When war began in 1914, McIntosh joined the 4th Field Ambulance of the Australian Imperial Force and served in Gallipoli. He was evacuated to England in 1915 and married a widow, Amelia Taylor. By the end of the war, he had reached the rank of acting second lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corp and was ready for repatriation back to Australia. 

In March 1919, the Australian Government offered 10,000 pounds for the first flight between Australia and England. Even though he could not fly, McIntosh took up the challenge with Ray Parer. They left England on 8 January 1920 and arrived in Darwin 208 days later on 2 August 1920. The record stands as the longest time taken to fly between the two countries. 

John McIntosh was killed at the age of 29 in a plane crash while participating in a display flight in the wheatbelt town of Pithara (237 kms north of Perth).

20. Nathaniel White Harper (1865-1954) Businessman and Philanthropist

Presbyterian AA 391 

Nathaniel White Harper Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Nathaniel Harper was born in Ireland and arrived in Southern Cross in 1892 to manage Fraser’s Mine. He was an experienced mine manager and later transferred to Kanowna to manage the White Feather Main Reef, the Koh-I-Nor and the Golden Pile mines. 

By 1900 Harper had diversified from his mining interests. He was responsible for the construction of the Esplanade Hotel, an elegant red brick building with fine interior timber panelling, on the Swan River foreshore. He purchased a farm at Beverley and from 1910-1914 represented the district in the Legislative Assembly. Harper was involved with the motor car industry and in 1927, in partnership with W. J. Winterbottom, established the Winterbottom Motor Company. 

From 1910 until his death in 1954, Harper fought with great tenacity to acquire public acknowledgement that he had been the driving force behind Sir John Forrest on the feasibility of the Coolgardie water supply scheme. Harper was a generous man, and in 1947 he established a foundation for the Nathaniel Harper homes for mentally retarded children at Guildford and Bassendean.

21. Annie Dorrington (1866-1926) Artist and Australian Flag Designer

Anglican MA 524

Annie Dorrington Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Annie Dorrington immortalised her name in history in 1901, the year of Federation, when she shared first prize with four others in a world-wide competition to create a winning design of the Australian National Flag. She was the only woman and Western Australian to be bestowed this honour. 

Born in Berkshire, England, Annie migrated to Victoria in 1890. Two years later she married Charles Dorrington and in 1895 they moved to Perth. Her love of Western Australia is reflected in 124 exquisite wildflower paintings, now held by the Art Gallery of Western Australia. 

Annie died in 1926 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Karrakatta Cemetery. The grave was discovered by the Australian National Flag Association (WA) Inc. in 1998. Today, thanks to the efforts of the Association, a handsome memorial monument stands on what was previously bare sand. The grave was consecrated in 1999 by the Dean of Perth, Dr John Shepherd, to honour this remarkable and talented woman who contributed so much to Australia’s heritage.

22. Richard Greaves (1853-1916) Gold Miner

Baptist AA 160A 

Richard Greaves Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Richard Greaves came from Victoria in 1887 to join the prospecting party led by B. H. (Harry) Anstey in search of gold east of Northam. They found rich quartz rock at Eeanin near Lake Deborah. 

Harry Anstey returned to Perth with gold specimens, leaving the other members of his party – Greaves, Edward Payne and their Aboriginal guide Philip – to continue the search. The prospecting party found four more small reefs before they discovered the rich reef south of Lake Deborah which Greaves named “Cordelia” after his daughter. This discovery led to the later find of gold at “Golden Valley” by Bernard Colreavey and A. Huggins. 

There was controversy over who found the first gold at Yilgarn and eventually Anstey was awarded 500 pounds. Greaves and other members were unhappy that the reward was given to Anstey and not shared amongst all members of the party. 

Greaves continued to express disappointment at the lack of monetary reward and public recognition for his participation in the discovery of gold. He recorded his story in 1903 in the publication The Golden West and How It Was Discovered.

23. Louis Edward Shapcott (1877-1950) Public Servant

Baptist AA 79 

Louis Edward Shapcott Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Louis Shapcott was born in Victoria. As a youth he worked on pastoral station properties and as a show troupe boxer. He came to Western Australia in 1897. 

Shapcott joined the Department of Mines and commenced his night school education in diverse areas such as French, elocution, chemistry, shorthand and typing. All of these skills stood him in great stead during his meteoric rise in the State Public Service. 

From 1914 until his retirement in 1941, Louis Shapcott served as Secretary to the Premier, making himself indispensable to Premiers Scaddan, Wilson, Willcock, Colebatch, Collier, Lefroy and Mitchell. It was said that “seven premiers served under Shapcott”. 

He regarded the State Gardens Board as his “personal empire”. From 1920 onwards, his influence ensured that the Perth foreshore, part of Kings Park, Yanchep Park and large areas of national parks throughout the State were placed under the control of the Board. In addition to his work, Shapcott also administered the Perth Zoo from 1932. 

He was an ambitious and strong-willed man. Driving his car to work, he would not give way and policemen learned to hold up other traffic. Some admired Shapcott, while others feared or disliked him. However, none questioned his impartial devotion to duty.

24. Rabbi David Isaac Freedman (1874-1939) Educator, Chaplain and Statesman

Jewish Orthodox AA 19B

Rabbi David Isaac Freedman Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

David Freedman was born in Budapest, Hungary and educated in England. He migrated to Western Australia in 1897 to administer the Perth Hebrew congregation. As headmaster of the Perth Hebrew School, Rabbi Freedman stressed the value of a Hebrew education and the need to foster pride in the history and tradition of Judaism. 

Rabbi Freedman was appointed a chaplain in the Australian Imperial Forces and served in Gallipoli, Egypt and France. Throughout the war it was his policy to write home to the family of every Jewish soldier he met. On his return to Perth after the War, he served as President of the Western Australian Zionist Association and State President of the Returned Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia. 

In 1933 Rabbi Freedman accompanied the Australian delegation to the 14th Assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva and spoke on the German-Jewish question. On his return to Perth, the Rabbi spoke against the “good deal of anti-Jewish feeling in Australia”. In 1936 he was awarded the O.B.E. 

David Isaac Freedman was considered a man of energy and compassion who had his own methods of facing adversities, at times with “a direct vigour that proved him to be a man of courage”.

25. Sir Charles Samuel Nathan (1870-1936) Statesman

Jewish Orthodox AA 81

Sir Charles Samuel Nathan Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Charles Nathan was born in Melbourne and received his education in New Zealand. He travelled to Perth in 1894, finding employment in the engineering industry. 

Nathan was a member of the East Fremantle Municipal Council from 1902 to 1905 and was later elected Mayor of Perth in 1911. In 1911 he purchased Atkins Pty Ltd (WA), a leading mercantile and engineering enterprise. During World War I he was a member of the Trench Comforts fund, the War Loans Campaign, the YMCA and was co-founder of the State branch of the Australian Red Cross. 

During his term as Chairman of the W.A. Council of Industrial Development from 1920 to 1923, Nathan led a State trade delegation to Malaya and Java, one of the first official delegations to the area. He served as an Australian commissioner for the British Empire Exhibition for two years, and in 1926-1927 he was a “meticulous and methodical vice-chairman” of the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission. 

Nathan was elected to the Metropolitan Suburban seat in the Legislative Council for the term 1930-1934, and was an outspoken opponent of the secession movement. He was known for his personal integrity and modesty and his political and business acumen. 

Charles Nathan was knighted in 1928 for his service to industry and the community.

26. Benjamin Edward Strange (1868-1930) Cartoonist

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Benjamin Edward Strange Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Benjamin Strange was born in Ireland and was trained in drawing before he migrated to Western Australia in 1885. He worked as a dryblower amongst the many hopeful prospectors in the Yilgarn goldfields. Whilst prospecting, he maintained his interest in sketching, and his early humourous cartoons of the local scene were accepted by The Bulletin in Sydney. 

In 1894 he joined the staff of The Coolgardie Miner and The Coolgardie Pictorial. His cartoons were published in other goldfields newspapers, and by 1898 he was also employed to work for the Western Mail in Perth. 

Strange was a gentle satirist, devoted to Western Australia and to the British Empire. His favourite characters were Sir John and Alexander Forrest, Sir Walter James and John Scaddan. His sharpest cartoons were aimed at radicals and Labor politicians. A collection of his cartoons is held at History House, Armadale.

27. Robert Creighton (1870-1899) Wheelwright and First Person to be buried at Karrakatta Cemetery 

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Robert Creighton Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Robert Creighton was born in New South Wales. It is probable that he was amongst the many thousands of young hopeful “t’othersiders” who joined the gold rush to Western Australia during the 1890s. Little is known of his life. 

He was employed as a wheelwright at Waroona by Gill McDowell Timber Company. His “claim to fame” rests in his death. Creighton died of typhoid fever at Perth Hospital on 23 April 1899 at the age of 29 years. His was the first burial at Karrakatta Cemetery the next day. 

It is interesting to note that the burial did not take place in the first Anglican section AA. Creighton died of an infectious disease, and the cemetery trustees were keen to attract “custom” from East Perth Cemeteries. The inscription on the grave still reads “killed at Waroona”.

28. Group Capt. Sir Norman Brearley (1891-1989) Aviator

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Group Capt. Sir Norman Brearley Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Norman Brearley was born in Geelong, Victoria and arrived in WA with his parents in 1906. He served in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. Brearley survived when his aircraft was shot down over France. His war service was recognised by the awards of DSO, MC and AFC. 

He returned to Perth after the War with two war surplus Avro bi-planes, with which he commenced his civil aviation career. Brearley gave public demonstrations of flying, together with stunt exhibitions using the WA Cricket Association ground and Langley Park as an aerodrome. He further enthralled the public by offering joyrides above Perth and country towns. 

Brearley received the first commercial pilot licence issued from the Federal Government in 1921. That year he won the tender for an airmail and passenger service between Geraldton and Derby. This marked the founding of WA Airways, a fledgling airline initially equipped with a fleet of six converted Bristol fighters. 

Charles Kingsford-Smith was one of the early pilots who worked with Brearley. Kingsford-Smith later achieved fame for his record-breaking flights. 

In 1924 Brearley extended his service to Perth and to Adelaide in 1929. He subsequently sold the company to Australian National Airways in 1936. During World War II Norman Brearley served as a commanding officer in the No.4 Flying School in Geraldton.

29. Sir Charles Henry Gairdner (1898-1983) Soldier and Governor of Western Australia

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Sir Charles Henry Gairdner Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Born in Batavia, Charles Gairdner was educated at Repton College in England, and the Royal Military Academy. He married the Hon. Evelyn Constance Handcock, daughter of the 5th Lord Castlemain, in 1925. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant H.M. Land Forces in May 1916, and was wounded while serving in France and Flander

Gairdner was at Staff College 1933-1934, and commanded the 10th Royal Hussars 1937-40. His military service during the Second World War was meritorious. He was GSO 17th Armoured Division 1940; GOC 6th Armoured Division 1941; Director of Plans Middle East 1941; GOC 8th Armoured Division 1942; Chief of General Staff North Africa 1943; Director of Armoured Corps India 1944. He was the personal representative of Prime Minister Winston Churchill (U.K.) to the Philippines and Japan 1945-1948. He was awarded the American Medal of Freedom in 1948. 

Gairdner’s distinguished military career was rewarded by his appointment as Governor of Western Australia 1951-1963, and Governor of Tasmania 1963-1968. The Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital was named in his honour in 1963. Governor Sir Charles Gairdner was also noted for his fine knitting, and his yacht at the Royal Perth Yacht Club named the “Aileen Ogg” (“the sick pig”).

30. Eliza Tracey (1842-1917), Soapbox Orator

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Eliza Tracey Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Eliza Tracey arrived in the colony in 1859 and married James Tracey, an illiterate labourer and ex-convict. They were often in trouble over non-payment of debts. For the remainder of her life Eliza Tracey contested lawsuits, petitioned parliament for redress and continued a vendetta against the legal fraternity. 

Eliza Tracey was a public figure, well known for her soapbox oratory on the Esplanade most Sundays. She harangued the citizens of Perth about thieving lawyers and the topical issues of the day.

31. Sir David Brand (1912–1979) Premier of Western Australia

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Sir David Brand Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Sir David Brand was born in Dongara to a farming family. He left school at age 14 to help the family run the farm. Following the outbreak of World War 2, Brand enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1939, fighting in North Africa. When he was seriously wounded in 1941 he returned to Australia for further treatment. He was discharged as medically unfit in 1942. 

In 1945, Brand became the first member of the newly-formed Liberal Party to be elected to an Australian Parliament and served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1945-1975. He was the 19th and longest serving Premier of Western Australia, serving four terms from the 1959-1971 elections. 

Brand presided over one of the most prosperous periods of development in Western Australia’s history, governing during the mining-pastoral boom of the 1960s. He oversaw the expansion of mining in the Pilbara and the development of a major iron export industry, the establishment of a refinery at the new Kwinana industrial area and funding for the Ord River dam in the Kimberley region. 

Brand resigned as Liberal Party Leader in 1973 and retired from politics in 1975, four years before his passing. In 1984 the Federal Division of Brand was named in his honour, as well as Brand Highway, the Sir David Brand Primary School in Coolbinia and the Sir David Brand Award and Medal for Tourism.

32. Sr Katherine Clutterbuck (1861-1946) “Mother” to Orphaned Children

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Sr Katherine Clutterbuck Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

In response to a plea for assistance from Bishop Parry, Sister Kate Clutterbuck brought a group of Kilburn Sisters of the Church of England to Perth in 1901, together with 22 English orphans. The sisters’ goals were to establish a school and, more importantly, a home for infant waifs who would otherwise be abandoned to the often neglectful care of baby farms. 

In 1903, the Waifs’ Home at Parkerville was established in a leaky barn in the hills outside of Perth. By 1905 there were 45 children, mainly homeless babies in the care of the sisters. The philanthropist, Walter Padbury, was generous in providing a new stone building for a nursery, 120 acres of land, an orchard and a horse and carriage. The children lived in separate cottages, each in the care of a house mother to provide some semblance of a family environment. 

During her years as the central figure at Parkerville Children’s Home, Sister Kate was “mother” to over 800 girls and boys. When the management committee decided it was time for her to retire in 1933, Sister Kate, then 72 years of age, set up a home in the city for part-Aboriginal children. Known as “Sister Kate’s”, the home provided, with generous outside support, cottage homes and schooling for over 100 children. Sister Kate continued to work at the Home for another 13 years until shortly before her death in 1946.

33. Joseph “Tom Collins” Furphy (1843-1912) Writer

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Joseph “Tom Collins” Furphy Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Joseph Furphy was born at Yarra Glen, Victoria. He was the second son of Irish immigrants Samuel and Judith Furphy. Furphy completed his formal education in 1857 and became a “jack of all trades”, working at various jobs including farm labourer, mechanic, gold prospector, and owner-operator of agricultural machinery and farmer. 

During these years he began writing, winning his first prize for poetry in 1867. In that same year he married Leonie Celina Germain and became the licensee of the Vineyard Hotel, Daylesford. During the 1870s he moved to various towns in Victoria, and eventually settled in Hay where he established a long-distance carrier business. However, drought and illness ensured business failure. 

It was during the 1880s that Joseph Furphy became attracted to socialist principles and began his longtime relationship with Kate Baker, twenty years his junior. In the 1890s he wrote Such is Life under the pseudonym “Tom Collins”, but amendments to the original manuscript were not completed for some years and the book was eventually published in 1903. 

In 1905 Joseph and Leonie Furphy moved to Swanbourne, Western Australia to live close to their children. To support his family he worked as a handyman, while continuing to write short stories and poetry. He died on 13 September 1912 of a cerebral haemorrhage. 

His success as a writer was posthumous. His book and other writings became popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and can be attributed to the determination of Kate Baker to ensure his work was not forgotten. His cottage in Servetus Street, Swanbourne, has been the centre for WA writers for many years. It has been relocated to nearby Allen Park, Swanbourne, to save it from demolition when the West Coast Highway was widened.

34. John Hole Duffield (1797-1859) Builder and Publican

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John Hole Duffield Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

John Duffield sailed from England at the age of 33, arriving in Fremantle on the Warrior in March 1830. He was joined by his wife, Charlotte, and four children in December 1831. 

Duffield received considerable grants of land from the colonial authorities, including 500 acres at Bicton and 926 acres in the Murray district. He later owned 2,640 acres at Harvey and over the years purchased several lots in the Fremantle district. 

John Duffield was an energetic and resourceful man who worked as a building contractor, carpenter and cooper. He was the proprietor of the Albion Hotel where he developed his talents as brewer and winemaker. 

John Duffield died in April 1859 and was interred in the Alma Street cemetery Fremantle. He was later exhumed and transferred to the Skinner Street cemetery until his headstone was transferred to Karrakatta.

35. Sir Walter Murdoch (1874-1970) Journalist and Activist

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Sir Walter Murdoch Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Scottish born Walter Murdoch migrated with his family to Victoria in 1884. As a young man, Walter Murdoch worked as a school teacher, then as a lecturer in English at Melbourne University. At the same time he made a name for himself as a literary journalist. He used the pen name ‘Elzevir’ when he wrote for The Argus. 

From 1913 to 1939 Murdoch was the foundation professor of English at the University of Western Australia, and was recognised as an enthusiast for the great works of English literature. During his years at the University, he became a West Australian institution, writing regularly for The West Australian newspaper and broadcasting on radio. He was also known for his involvement in community organisations such as the League of Nations, the Social Credit movement and in public controversies concerned with freedom of speech. All of these causes he referred to as “the pink man’s burdens”. 

Walter Murdoch gained a devoted Australia-wide audience through his newspaper columns and the publication of his newspaper essays in book form. From the end of World War II in 1945 to 1964 he wrote a syndicated weekly column, called “Answers”, in which he offered opinions of “a very ordinary stay-at-home Australian who has read a little, thought a little, but whose ignorance is varied and extensive”. 

The “Answers” column endeared him to the public even more, and he was considered an integral part of Western Australian life. Walter Murdoch was knighted for his services in 1964, and in 1970, shortly before his death, the second university planned for this state was named Murdoch University in his honour.

36. Henry “Harry” Boan (1860 -1941) Retailer

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Henry “Harry” Boan Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Henry “Harry” Boan was born into a poor but secure Jewish family in Dunolly, Victoria in 1860. Drifting from job to job in his youth, including posts in mercantile houses such as David Jones, Harry was often penniless. 

Harry and his brother Benjamin moved to Perth in 1895 and using borrowed money purchased a site on the edge of the city opposite the Perth railway station. Together they opened a single-storey emporium called Boans Bros, which was to go on to become the iconic Perth department store Boans for almost the next century. The Boans store was credited with encouraging local enterprise by specially promoting Western Australian goods and with growth to the business in the 1930s became the largest private employer in the state. Boans department store eventually closed its doors in 1986. 

Harry Boan was elected to the Legislative Council in 1917, and again in 1922. However, his real passion lay in horse-racing which brought him many trophies after he established a successful racing stud. Boan took a close interest in the Perth Children’s Hospital, serving as President of the board and making frequent generous donations.

37. John Francis Connelly (1860-1928) Prospector

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John Francis Connelly Historical Walk Trail One Karrakatta Cemetery

Originally from Victoria, John Connelly became a prospector and mine owner in New South Wales. He discovered a platinum field at Fifield and joined the Cossack goldrush in 1889. Connelly was responsible for the discovery of the Nannine gold find in 1890, for which he received a reward of five hundred pounds. 

Connelly continued his prospecting in New Guinea and New Zealand, but did not prosper as he had in Australia.


The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board acknowledges the Royal Western Australian Historical Society (RWAHS), the National Trust (W.A.) and the Heritage Council of Western Australia for their invaluable contribution to the establishment of this project.

The Board further acknowledges the committee members who were responsible for the concept, research and preparation of the material for the original Karrakatta Historical Walk Trails:
    Mrs Lee Fernie, RWAHS
    Mr Rod Stockwell, RWAHS
    Dr Leonie B. Liveris, Historian, MCB Board member
    Mr Bill Bullock, Community Relations Consultant, MCB (retired)


Australian Encylopaedia, Sydney Goolie Society, 2nd Edition, 1958 

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vols. 7-12, 1891-1939. Melbourne: MUP, 1979-1990. 
Battye, J S (ed), Cyclopaedia of Western Australia, 2 vols., Perth : Cyclopaedia Company, 1912-13. 
Brasch, R, Permanent Addresses Australians Down Under, Sydney : Collins, 1987. 
Crofts, J The Life and Opinions of Tom Collins, St Lucia : University of Queensland Press, 1991. 
Dictionary of Western Australians 1829-1914 (also known as WA Biographical Index), Nedlands: 
UWAP, 1979. 
Harper-Nelson, J A Need for Glory, Perth : Reeve Books, 1989 
Hunt, Lyall (ed.), Westralian Portraits, Nedlands : UWAP, 1979. 
Porter, R, Paul Hasluck: A political biography. Nedlands: UWAP, 1993 
Stannage, C T The People of Perth, A Social History of Western Australia’s Capital City, Perth : Perth City Council, 1979. 
THE WAY 79 WHO IS WHO – Synoptic Biographies of Western Australians, Nedlands : Crawley Pub. 1980. 
Vamplew, W, Moore K, et al The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport, Oxford University 
Press: Melbourne, Vic.1994. 
Webb, Martyn & Audrey, Golden Destiny, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, 1993


Sir James Mitchell 
RWAHS @ 1242
Edith Dircksey Cowan 
Police funeral of A/Inspector John Hogan, 1900 
Courtesy of the Hogan family
Sir Walter Hartwell James
State Library of Western Australia, 008871D
Grace Drake-Brockman 
Alexander Forrest 
Lord John Forrest 
Bessie Rischbieth 
Frank Wilson
State Library of Western Australia, 008881D
John Scaddan
State Library of Western Australia, 008875D
Henry Daglish
State Library of Western Australia, 008872D

Annie Dorrington
Courtesy of Australian National Flag Association (WA)
Rabbi David Freedman 
Courtesy of the Freedman family

Sir Charles Samuel Nathan
State Library of Western Australia, 000944D
Benjamin Strange
Used by permission, City of Armadale Birtwistle Local Studies Library
Sir Charles Gairdner
State Library of Western Australia, 102972PD
Sir David Brand
State Library of Western Australia, 008884D
Sister Katherine Clutterbuck 
Sir Walter Murdoch 
Henry Boan
State Library of Western Australia, 048074PD
John Francis Connelly
State Library of Western Australia, 000761PD
The Board gratefully acknowledges permission to use photographs from the Battye Library, the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, and from private family collections.