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Glen Wills Cemetery

Omeo Highway, Glen Valley, Victoria, Australia

The Glen Wills Cemetery lies between Glen Valley and Glen Wills on the Omeo Highway 172Km north of Bainsdale, the Omeo highway runs between Bainsdale on the South Eastern Coast of Victoria and Tallangatta in North East Victoria on Lake Hume. For more information about the area checkout the Glen Wills Mountain Retreat.

What follows is a transcript of a notice placed at the site by Betty Fitzgerald a long time resident of Shannon Vale, a farm not far from Glen Valley, she is now a resident of Omeo and member of the Omeo Historical Society. She can be contacted at:

Omeo Historical Society
PO Box 155
OMEO Victoria 3898

The Glen Wills Cemetery

Between August 1894 and August 1920 97 burials took place at the Glen Wills Cemetery, on the Omeo Highway, North of Omeo and South of the Mitta Mitta township. This Cemetery is now cared for by the people of the near by Glen Valley.

During those 26 years this Cemetery served the mining areas of Sunnyside and Glen Wills. To stand on the site of the long gone township of Sunnyside is an eerie feeling. "Sunnyside is situated on the Sunny side of nearby Mt Wills and is approximately 4000 feet above sea level. Today there is little more than blackberry bushes and a few very ancient fruit trees to mark the place where once was a thriving township. A Hotel, Stores, Catholic Church, School and Mechanics Institute and a population of around 600 people.

Sunnyside was reached by a rough bush track from Omeo known as the Knocker Track. Mail was delivered by coach and heavy goods by Bullock Wagon. Farmers from Benambra would make trips to the township with fresh meat, vegetables, butter and other produce, which was much in demand. Mr George Fitzgerald of "Shannon Vale" supplied oats to feed the horses. By 1924 the ore had become difficult to treat financially and water was also causing a problem, and not long afterwards the town was abandoned.

The Cemetery records illustrate the hardships experienced during these years - isolation, the severe weather conditions in winter, primitive housing and no doctors. Of the 97 persons buried, 40 were infants - sometime twins, sometimes a mother had died and soon after her baby. No baby formulas to feed a motherless baby, whooping cough and other illnesses would account for young children dying. Several young men were buried "by order of the Police In Charge" - I wonder what the story behind that would reveal? These truly were the Pioneers of this land.

Some years ago, due to the efforts of Mr Cecil Cooper, a sign was erected denoting Glen Wills Cemetery and a fence along the roadside. By this time only two graves were marked - one unknown and another marked by a fence in which a tree denoting the grave of Mrs Phillis Emmer Bittner, aged 43, who was buried in 1916.

In recent years (1985) a firm of bridge builders were constructing a new bridge over the Mitta Mitta river at Glen Valley. The mother of the bridge builders (of Croatian descent), was visiting her sons and was amased that there were no crosses in the Cemetery. Before leaving the area, they built a large cross on a square slab and promised that one day they would come back and erect crosses to commemorate the grave sites. This they did in the summer of 1991. As there is no plan of the actual sites of the graves, they were placed in a double row consistent with the two graves visible.

It is hoped that a dedication service of this hallowed ground will take place in the Autumn of 1992. Many people in the area have relatives buried in the Glen Wills Cemetery.

Betty Fitzgerald (Shannon Vale)

This is a transcript of the names on the Notice at Glen Wills Cemetery on the Omeo Highway Glen Wills Victoria Australia Glen Wills Cemetery List - this is all known data about the people buried in the Cemetery there are no plans of the layout of the Cemetery. There are anomalies in the list e.g. 2 unrelated people in the same grave but this is how it is published on the notice on the site.

  No       Date         First Names             Surname      Age      Comments
  87    May 11 1911     John                    AMELINA               Invalid Pensioner of Sunnyside
   8    Feb 2 1896      Daisy Irene             ASHBY       7 Months  Child of James and Edith ASHBY
  18    May 5 1897      Henry                   ASHBY        9 Years  Child of James and Edith ASHBY
 103    Aug 23 1920     Gaylor H.               AUGUSTUS    48 Years  Invalid Pensioner
 101    Jul 17 1918     John                    BAKER       81 Years  Aged Pensioner
   9    Mar 17 1896     Florence Ruby           BARTLETT              Twins of William and Kathleen BARTLETT
  10    Mar 21 1896     Reuben Alexander        BARTLETT              Twins of William and Kathleen BARTLETT
  50    Jul 19 1902     Agnus                   BATTY        1 Month  Child of William and Ellen BATTY
  39    Aug 12 1899     Theodore                BERKING     69 Years  Storekeeper Husband of Bridget BERKING
  70    Mar 15 1907     Bridget                 BERKING     65 Years  Widow of Theodore BERKING
   2    Sep 16 1894     Michael                 BERRY       45 Years  Labourer - By Order of Police In Charge
  72    Nov 13 1907     James                   BERRYLL     76 Years  Miner
  99    Jan 8 1916      Phillis Emma            BITTNER     43 Years  Married Woman
  36    Jun 21 1899     Jane Elise              BRIGGS      37 Years  Wife of Thomas BRIGGS
  13    Jul 14 1896     Percival Stanley        BROOKFIELD  6 Months  Son of Alfred and Sarah BROOKFIELD
  11    Apr 17 1896     Thomas                  BUTLERY     75 Years  Miner - By Order of Police In Charge
  77                    Henry                   CAMPBELL              Carpenter - Died of old age
  30                    Frances                 CAWLEY      72 Years
  40    Aug 29 1899     Maria Mary              COLEMAN    13 Months  Children of Francis and Caroline COLEMAN buried in same grave
  40    Aug 29 1899     Francis Robert          COLEMAN      3 Years  Children of Francis and Caroline COLEMAN buried in same grave
  56    Feb 12 1904                             DEJARLAIS             Stillborn Child of LC and Ellen DEJARLAIS
  16    Feb 7 1897      Aileen                  DISTON     12 Months
  43                                            DOWNING       Infant  Surname Only (see footnote 1)
  20                    Frederick               EAMES                 Miner - Died of injuries of mining accident
  64    Sep 9 1905      Richard                 FARRAGHER   79 Years  Groom
  67                                            FITTEN        Infant  Surname Only
  53                    Florence                FORSYTH               Daughter of Robert and Isabella FORSYTH
  83    Apr 23 1909     Robert McMillan         FORSYTH     48 Years  Baker - Husband of Isobelle FORSYTH
  84    Oct 17 1908     Rose                    FORSYTH               Wife of George FORSYTH
  45                    James and Mary          GALLAGHER    Infants  Children of Francis and Sarah GALLAGHER
  76    May 1 1908      George                  GRADY       42 Years  Miner - Accidently killed in United Mine
  28    Apr 9 1898      Catherine Margaret      HAYTON      4 Months
  15    Sep 6 1896      Charlotte               HITCHCOCK  15 Months  Child of Henry and Charlotte HITCHCOCK
  26    Feb 12 1898     Walter Vivian           HOCKING     4 Months  Child of James Hocking and Emma Chaplin (Hocking) of Sunnyside (see footnote 2)
  59    Feb 20 1904     Agnus                   HOCKING    5 Minutes  Child of James Hocking and Emma Chaplin (Hocking) of Sunnyside (see footnote 2)
  35    May 28 1899     Cornelius S.            HOPPER      65 Years  Miner - Husband of Bridget HOOPER
  34    Feb 8 1899      Charles Albert          HOWELL      7 Months  Child of Thomas James and Ann HOWELL
  63    Aug 05                                  HUGHES                Stillborn
  22    Apr 13 1898     George                  JACKSON               Agent
  46    Jul 13 1901     Fanny                   JACKSON     87 Years  Widow
  65    Dec 23 1905     George James            JUDGE       28 Years  Died at Mitta Mitta
  85    Sep 9 1909      James George            JUDGE       77 Years  Miner
  41    Sep 28 1899     Leslie William          KERR       10 Months  Son of Arthur KERR
  55    Nov 11 1902     Leonard L.              LAWRENCE    30 Years  Miner
  31    Jul 15 1898     Ruth C.                 LEE         48 Years  Wife of Henry LEE
  48    Apr 8 1902                              LERINGTON     Infant  Surname Only
  21    Jan 31 1898     Margaret                LUCAS       24 Years  Wife of W. P. LUCAS
  23    Mar 9 1898      Nellie Margaret         LUCAS        7 Weeks  Daughter of W. P. LUCAS
  51    Aug 28 1902     Hilton Walter           LUCAS      11 Months  Child of John and Clyde LUCAS
   7    Dec 12 1895     Patrick                 MAHER       46 Years  Brick Maker - By Order of Police In Charge
  33    Feb 4 1899      Ethel Jane              MARTIN      4 Months  Child of Richard and Susan MARTIN
  71    Jul 26 1907                             MAY          9 Years  Child of Frederick MAY (Surname Only)
  79    Mar 7 1908      Frederick               MAY         49 Years  Accidently killed in United Mine
  61    Nov 11 1904     John James              MCCARTHY    66 Years  Died of self inflicted shotgun wounds
  80    Apr 15 1908     Agnes                   MCGUIRE      10 Days
  73    Jan 5 1908      Daniel                  MCINTOCH    50 Years  Died of excessive drink
  69    Dec 26 1906     Chistoffer              MCRAE       76 Years  Natural Causes Old Age
  47    Feb 13 1902     Michael                 MEAGHER    17 Months  Drowned - Child of William P. and Margaret MEAGHER
  89                    Frances                 MERLO         2 Days
  49    May 02          Daphney Muriel          MONKS      11 Months  Child of James and Kay MONKS
  32    Nov 11 1898     Michael John            MURPHY      3 Months  Child of Edward and Johanne MURPHY
  14    Aug 8 1896      John                    NANCARROW   57 Years  Miner - By Order of Police In Charge
  75                                            O'CONNELL             Child of Patrick O'CONNELL
   4    Dec 14 1894     Edward                  PATERSON    22 Years  Miner
  81    Sep 21 1908                             PETERSON              Stillborn
  87    Aug 18 1912                             PETERSON              Stillborn Son of Thomas PETERSON
  38    Aug 31 1899     Permelia Ann            RAWSON      25 Years  Wife of James RAWSON
  17    Feb 17 1897     Frederick William       RAY         36 Years  Miner
  88    Jul 26 1911     Elisha                  REEVE       89 Years  Old Age Pensioner
  66                                            RICHES        Infant  Surname Only
   6    Sep 19 1895     Not Named               ROBERTS      7 Hours  Child of Edward and Victoria ROBERTS
  44    Apr 8 1901      Elva Clare              ROOTSEY     6 Months  Child of Edward ROOTSEY
  74                    Thomas Alexander        ROOTSEY       Infant  Child of Edward ROOTSEY
  60    May 26 1904     Leila Violet            ROSS         3 Years  Child of Alexander and Kate ROSS
  62    Jan 19 1905     James                   ROSS        63 Years  Miner - Husband of Elizabeth ROSS
  68    Oct 2 1906      Elizabeth               ROSS        57 Years  Widow of James ROSS
  86    May 8 1910      Kate                    ROSS        36 Years  Buried in grave of Leila Violet ROSS
 102    Sep 3 1919      Alexander               ROSS        48 Years  Miner
   1    Aug 8 1894      Henry Hennessy          SHEAN       6 Months  Infant
   3    Dec 12 1894     George                  SIMFIELD    42 Years  Carpenter - By Order of Police In Charge
  52                    Eric Thomas and Leslie  SMITH        Infants  Children of William J. SMITH
  57    Feb 15 1904     Clinton James           SMITH       5 Months  Children of William and Ellen SMITH in same grave
  78    Mar 5 1908      David Alexander         SMITH       3 Months  Children of William and Ellen SMITH in same grave
  90    Jan 15 1915     William Thomas          SMITH       52 Years  Bricklayer
   5    Feb 18 1895     Twins not named         SPEERS       7 Hours  Children of Wesley and Maria SPEERS
  37    Jul 1899                                THOMPSON              Remains discovered at Lightning Creek.  A Miner named Thompson was reported missing in 1891.
  42                    R                       THOMPSON      Infant  Child of Robert and Cordelia THOMPSON
  54    Nov 02          Ethel                   TURNER      16 Years  Daughter of Agnus TURNER
  27    Mar 18 1898     Agnes Isobel            WEBB       10 Months
  29    Jun 2 1898      Ruby Victoria           WELCH      14 Months  Child of Thomas WELCH
 100    Mar 22 1918     George                  WESTROVED   81 Years  Old Age Pensioner
  12    Jun 24 1896     Charles                 WHITE       31 Years  Miner - By Order of Police In Charge
  82    Sep 23 1908     Emma                    WILKINSON             Wife of Thomas WILKINSON
  19                    Unknown                                       No Record
  24                    Unknown                                       No Record
  25                    Unknown                                       No Record

Footnotes: (additional information provided by other Researchers)
1. The Downing infant on the Glen Wills cemetary list was named Lionel Downing (Grave 43). He was the child of John Alexander and Elizabeth (nee FOSTER) DOWNING. He was born and died in 1899. (provided by Monika (nee FOSTER))
2. Hocking children information provided by Peter Hocking

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