26 February 2011

Caroline Beringer's grave

I took a trip to Rookwood Cemetery on the weekend. Rookwood Cemetery is Sydney's biggest cemetery and takes up a whole suburb. It was opened in 1868 and has Anglican, Catholic and Independent denomination sections. It was originally known as the Necropolis.

I took a list and some hand drawn maps with me, showing the important family graves I wanted to see. I particularly wanted to see if I could find Caroline Beringer's grave - I had looked up the location on the cemetery website and it seemed like it might be possible to find it - it was the second last grave in a row, three rows in within a particular section. I wrote down some of the names of the surrounding graves to help me locate it, especially since I had been told that it may not have a headstone.

I also knew that it was in an area that was quite overgrown. Yes, it was. There were actually very few obvious graves in that section, only a few headstones standing up amongst lots of trees and bushes. The trees had clearly had a lot of time to grow.

I found what I hoped was the right row and looked for names. I found Kirchner. That was a name I had written down. It turned out I was in the next row across. I counted graves, and actually managed to locate Caroline's grave. There was no headstone, but the grave was edged in sandstone. It had a very thin sapling growing at the end of it. I took a moment to think of her, and told her I was sorry for what happened to her. I wonder if anyone has been to visit her since she was buried. Perhaps her husband did, but I don't think her children knew she was there. I wanted to honour her memory, and visit for the sake of her children who probably never got to.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so pleased you found her grave and were able to give her due recognition. I think some of the early immigrants just found their new life too different and too hard...throw in the post-natal depression you mention and that's the last straw.