Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park
Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park is a cemetery and crematorium at Matraville, New South Wales, in the eastern suburbs district of Sydney, Australia. Land was dedicated as a cemetery site in 1888, with the first interment recorded on 21 August 1893. Since then, more than 65,000 people have been buried there. The crematorium was opened in 1938.
The memorial park incorporates Botany Cemetery, Eastern Suburbs Crematorium and Pioneer Park.
Pioneer Park contains historic headstones which were relocated from Devonshire Street Cemetery in 1901 to make space for Central railway station. At that time, thousands of graves and 2825 tombstones of the first settlers in Australia were moved to the new cemetery at La Perouse, named Bunnerong Cemetery. In 1976, the Botany Cemetery Trust destroyed most of these historic monuments by creating a new, low maintenance lawn area. The remaining 746 headstones were reinstalled in concrete strips, unrelated to the graves below. The new lawn was named Pioneer Memorial Park. The Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park has recently started expanding burials over this lawn, with interments now abutting the few historic tombstones which were saved. In May 2016 an obtrusive series of statues was installed in the middle of the ancient headstones. This comprises six white statues, 15 signboards and white garden bed edging. It commemorates the First Fleet despite the fact that only 12 of the 746 monuments in the park record people who arrived on the First Fleet.
- Johnson, K.A. and Sainty, M.R., Sydney Burial Ground 1819-1901 and History of Sydney's Early Cemeteries from 1788. Library of Australian History, Sydney 2001.