Topic: Key Dates in Linwood Cemetery's History

Topic type:

Key events in the history of Linwood Cemetery by date order.

Click on the dates to be linked to the source of the information in Papers Past. We have converted the cost of items into a very rough guide of equivalent cost today. Many of the people involved in the early days of the cemetery are also buried in it.  Where a name is followed by (B..P..) it indicates the Block - Plot location of their grave.


6th February 1883 - Cemetery Board ask City Council for money for the further planting, laying out and improving of Cemetery Reserve at New Brighton (Bottle Lake).  A Conference of local representatives to discuss a new cemetery is mooted.

10th August 1883 - Conference of local representatives is held.  Pro rata contributions to develop a new cemetery from the Town Boards are asked for.

21st August 1883 - Petition from residents living near Barbadoes St Cemetery regarding the stench.  Medical Officer to be consulted.  Land in the Sandhills (Bottle Lake) mentioned for purpose of a new cemetery.

6th September 1883 - Dr Nedwell (Medical Officer) is reported as visiting Barbadoes St Cemetery and not finding any stench.

11th September 1883 - Sydenham Town Board refuse to pay towards a new cemetery that is so far away.

12th September 1883 - Linwood Town Board refuse to pay towards a new cemetery.

15th September 1883 - Mayor HULBERT (B3P1&2) and members of works and Sanitary Committee and Public Cemetery Board visit land close to Bottle Lake purchased a few years ago for use as a public cemetery.  Water table is too high.

2nd October 1883 - Cemeteries cause a problem in the wet season and should be closed.  The Council's Reserve on the New Brighton Road and Canal Reserve (209 and 210) should be appropriated for the purposes of public cemeteries.

20th October 1883 - Council discovers they own a Reserve near the Pumping Station. It would need Linwood's residents to approve its use as a public cemetery.

29th October 1883 - The Cemetery Committee and Cemetery Board met and decided on the suitability of Reserve 210.

13th November 1883 - Cemetery Board ask for Reserve 210 to be used as the new public cemetery.

27th November 1883 - The City Council receive the report of the meeting of the  Cemetery Commitee held on 29th October.  Their request for Reserve 210 to be Gazetted as a cemetery for the City of Christchurch is denied until the Council has heard from the Cemetery Board.  The City Surveyor can draw up plans but the request to invite tenders for laying out the plots, forming the paths and fencing is deemed premature.  Estimated costs of forming a road from Canal Reserve to the cemetery and a light tramway from Cathedral Square are to be prepared.

11th December 1883 - Surveyor reports to Council that he has prepared a large-scale plan of Cemetery Reserve with the preferred road from the City going across Mr ATTWOOD's (B8P22) land.

19th December 1883 - Public Notice issued that Reserve 210 has been dedicated as site of new cemetery and is now open (for burials).


8th January 1884 - Mayor HULBERT (B3P1&2) gives his first address to Council.  He supports the provision of a new cemetery and other permanent works.

11th January 1884 - Tenders for fencing and gates are invited.  Surveying the boundary is to start at once.

22nd January 1884 - Tender for fencing and making the gates for the new cemetery given to Ogilvie & Sons.

23rd January 1884 - Surveying of boundary is complete.  Fencing to start.

5th February 1884 - Mr ATTWOOD (B8P22) offers land 7.5 chains in length and 1 chain wide (approx 151m x 20m) to make a road from Buckleys Rd to the new Cemetery. Conditions of Mr Attwood's offer

19th February 1884 - Mr ATTWOOD's (B8P22) offer of land for Cemetery Road is approved.   Tenders to be invited for constructing and fencing the road.

23rd February 1884 - Advert for tender to create Cemetery Road is published.

4th March 1884 - Mr Cooksley's tender to construct Cemetery Road is accepted.

18th Mar 1884 - Cllr BOWMAN (B28 P258) asks that a tramway to the new cemetery is considered at the next Council Meeting.

1st April 1884 - Fence and gates are complete, apart for a small portion of fencing on the SW side.

22nd April 1884 - Cemetery 'open'. Plots can be secured from Town Clerk. Govenor-in-Council to be asked to close all other cemeteries in Christchurch.  Tramway necessary but will require a loan from ratepayers.

25th April 1884 - Council's Annual Accounts to 31 March 1884 are published.  They show the cemetery has so far cost £123 19s 1d  (NZ$22,367) with £90 (NZ$16,246) still to pay Ogilvie & Co for the gates and fencing and £136 4s 4d (NZ$24,590 ) to Mr Cooksley for Cemetery Road.

26th April 1884 - Mayor takes a number of local dignitaries to visit new cemetery.  "...(It) will be a very pretty spot."

30th April 1884 - Tender for building Sexton's Lodge advertised.

7th May 1884 - Tender for making an artesian well advertised.

20th May 1884 - Inspection Report.  Tender for Sexton's Lodge goes to Goring & Parker and the tender for the artesian well to Armitage & Unwin.  Paths and grave plots still being laid out by Assistant City Surveyor - Mr Drewett.  Road to cemetery not yet finished.

3rd June 1884 - Cemetery Rd finished.  Building of Sexton's Lodge has started.

17th June 1884 - Tender from Kerr & Barnett (Stanmore Road Nurseries) for plants and trees accepted.

26th June 1884 - Description of Kiosk published. Tenders open.

28th June 1884 - Tenders invited for building of new buildings at the cemetery.

1st July 1884 - Tenders for Buildings invited.

10th July 1884 - Burial of Sarah Anne FREEMAN (B2 P1).

15th July 1884 - Tender given to Mr Twyneman for Kiosk and Shed containing closets and urinal (toilet)

29th July 1884 - Contracts for Kiosk and Shed to be signed.

11th August 1884 - Letter to City Counci from Dr Nedwill (Medical Officer) asking for Barbadoes St. Cemetery to be closed.

23rd August 1884 - Job advert for position of Sexton at new cemetery.

9th September 1884 - 11 applications received for job of Sexton.  Mr W FREEMAN (B31P90) appointed.  Tramway a necessity.  Estimate of funds needed for permanent works.

7th October 1884 -All buildings in cemetery (Sexton's Lodge, Kiosk and Toilet)  finished.  Fencing needed on North side as cows straying into the cemetery and destroying the new trees.

11th October 1884 - Inspection by Mayor and Councillors.  Closure of other cemeteries Gazetted for 31 March 1885.

21st October 1884 - Inspection and New Cemetery reported as 'being ready'.  Four men to be employed in cemetery. Cemetery By-Laws to be discussed at a Special Meeting on 3rd November.

3rd November 1884 - Cemetery By-Law No 9, 1884 approved.  Meeting to fix By-Law to be 15th December.

18th November 1884 - Permission to be sought from Heathcote Town Board and Linwood Town Board for tramway to cemetery to pass through their land.  Interest from land developer in building a new Tramway from New Brighton to new Cemetery.

26th November 1884 - Heathcote Town Board approves the tramway to cemetery being built through it's land.

2nd December 1884 -A deputation from New Brighton presents it's case to the City Council for a tram linking New Brighton with the new cemetery (and giving access by tram to the City).

8th December 1884 - Special meeting of the City Council to consider the cost of Permanent Works for the city which includes tramway from City to cemetery.

16th December 1884 - By-law No 9 is signed, sealed and sent to Colonial Secretary.

30th December 1884 - By-law No 9 received by Colonial Secretary and is to come into force on 8th January 1885.

31st December 1884 (2) - Tramway to be used for taking night soil out of City.  Loan of £6,600 (approx NZ$1,310,332 today) suggested to pay for it and is included in a total intended loan of £25,000 (approx NZ$4,514,689 today) over 50 years at 5% for other Permanent works such a Worcester St Bridge.


8th January 1885 - Cemetery By-law No 9 comes into force.

31 January 1885 - Second burial in the cemetery takes place - James GASKIN (B2P10) of Sandihills Farm, aged 66 years.  Sandihills is the area where the cemetery is situated.  Formerly of Ireland he arrived in NZ in 1875.  Block 2 is in the Anglican section.

13th February 1885 - Third burial in the cemetery  - William JONES (B2P2) aged 58 years.  A Painter residing in Antigua St, he arrived in NZ in 1858 from Dorset, England.

8th April 1885 - Sixth burial in the cemetery - Daniel McNAMARA (B37P166), a Mason of Ashbourne Place, Ferry Road.  Originally of County Clare, Ireland we have little other information about him.  Block 37 is in the Roman Catholic section.  He is the third person of that faith to be buried in Linwood Cemetery.

April 1885 - Six children between 2 days old and 4 years old are buried during April.  All the children were born in NZ.  The main reasons for their death are Diptheria, Convulsions and Disentry.  Two of the children are from the same family.  Their brother dies shortly after at the end of April and is buried on 1st May 1885 (B37P163 SHATZ).  Burials start in the Roman Catholic section B37 Plots 163-166 and B23A Anglican 'Free' (aka Pauper) graves.

18th May 1885 - Small Pox Hospital is built 'a few hundred yards more distant from the city than is the new general cemetery......"  (Star 18/05/1885).  It was never used and burned down in 1887.

May 1885 - One stillborn child and one 5 week old, born in NZ are buried.  According to custom, the stillborn child is buried in an unidentified place.  The other is buried in the Roman Catholic area - B37P161.

6th June 1885 - Mary TAYLOR, 8 month old is buried in B23AP142NEC.  She lived in Montreal St, Sydenham and died from Diarrhorea.  Block 23A is in the Anglican area.

12th June 1885 - Louise Emily MASON, of Cashel St, Linwood, aged 21 years dies of Tuberculosis. (B2P12)

22 July 1885 - Thomas MITCHELL, stillborn is buried in an unidentified place according to custom.

27th July 1885 - Julia MORIARTY of Sydenham dies in childbirth. (B2P14).  She was 29 years old and was born in NZ.

16th August 1885 - Hugh DONNELLY a Labourer of Sydenham dies and is buried on the same day.  Originally from Tyrone, Ireland he had lived in NZ for 12 years and was 53 years old. (B37P130)

21st August 1885 - First Wesleyan (aka Methodist) burial takes place.  Clara Louise COOKE aged 12 years dies of Rheumatic feaver.  She was born in Leeds, England. (B32p236)

6th November 1885 - First Jewish burial takes place.  George Melville LOUISSON aged 21 years is buried in B16P74 after a three-week illness.  The nephew of Cllr LOUISSON (B16P31), he was training to be a lawyer and was very popular.  He was a member of the United Rowing Club and the East Christchurch Football Club.

28th November 1885 - First rail of the tramway into cemetery laid by Mayor HULBERT (B3P1&2)

28th December 1885 - The last burial for 1885 was 15-year old Louisa MORRISON (B3P11).  She was badly crushed as she jumped off a tram at Cathedral Square. This brings a total of 19 people buried this year and 20 in total.


25th March 1886 - Tram line into cemetery formally opened.

11th April 1886 - Steamer Taiaroa goes down near Kaikoura killing 34 passengers and crew.

23rd April 1886 (Good Friday) - The Corporation Tramway is opened to the public.

31st December 1886 - 114 people have been buried this year.  A total of 134 people now in the cemetery.


31st December 1887 - 122 people have been buried this year.  A total of 256 people now in the cemetery in Blocks 1 (Anglican), 2 (Anglican), 8 (Anglican), 23A (Anglican - poor persons), 32 (Wesleyan), 37 (Catholic), 39 (Catholic).


1st September, 24th October, 29th December - Earthquakes in City Centre.  Cathedral spire is damaged.


13th August- September 1907 - Proposal to add a crematorium to Linwood Cemetery is turned down as too expensive and  "premature".


12th May 1908 - Mrs Poletti found guilty of stealing 4 pieces of ribbon from the cemetery.


12th February 1909 - Sinking of the SS Penguin - Charles Edwin Grace BIRD (B18P83)

25 June 1909 onwards - High unemployment in Christchurch.  25 Men provided with work in the cemetery partly funded by the Hyman Marks Trust.Hyman Marks who died on 22 May 1895 left a philanthropic legacy in his Will and is buried in B16P91.


15 April 1912 - Sinking of RMS Titanic - Ada MURDOCH (B20P1) - wife of First Officer William MURDOCH who went down with the ship.


18th April 1913 - Terra Nova Expedition - Memorial on family grave ((B46P205 RUSSELL) for Hilda Evans, wife of Commander 'Teddy" Evans, 2nd in command of Scott Expedition who died on her way to London to meet Lady Scott and the King.


23 October 1915 - Sinking of the BTS Marquette takes the lives 10 NZ nurses amongst the 167 lost including Staff Nurse Mary Helen RAE (memorialised at Block 28 Plot 83).


19th November 1917 at 2.40am - Fire at The Silver Grid Restaurant and Boarding House, Manchester Street takes the lives of 6 people, 3 of whom are buried in Linwood Cemetery - B47P316 SMITH, Annie; B46P163 BEERE, Henry Herbert; B46P323 GLEDHILL, Ted.


November 1918 - Influenza epidemic causes a huge spike in burials in Linwood Cemetery, the cemetery stays open and burying starts slowly in Bromley Cemetery


6 July 1923 - Ongarue Rail Disaster - Henry T WARD  (B36P451) died.

© Friends of Linwood Cemetery Charitable Trust

Reviewed and updated 25th August 2018 by Alexandra

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Key Dates in Linwood Cemetery's History

Previous name :Corporation Cemetery
Suburb :Bromley