History Month – Mundulla Cemetery Walk, Sunday 18th May 2014

Tuesday 20th May 2014

As part of History Month in the Tatiara, two guided walks were held of the Mundulla Cemetery, one on Wednesday the 14th May and one on Sunday the 18th May. Facilitated by Friends of the Mundulla Cemetery and organised by Friends of the Bordertown Library, the walk was entertaining, informative and historically valuable. The walk was introduced to those taking part, by Bordertown Library’s Tammie Smedley.

Library Friends Christine and Jenny Hunt’s guide notes were ably complemented by the commentary of Mundulla’s Vida Maney, who, with daughter Liz Goossens and local Rex Staude, comprise the Friends of the Mundulla Cemetery. The group formed over two years ago, in response to a perceived need for the cemetery to have a higher level of care than it was getting at the time. Vida is also an active member of the Bordertown Library Friends group.

Over 30 interested members of the public attended the Sunday walk and about the same number had been present at the Wednesday walk on the 14th of May.IMG_2641


Click on photo’s to link to larger image.

Jenny Hunt began the walk with a short description of the layout of the cemetery. There are 590 marked plots in the old section which was laid out in the mid 1880’s, mostly used and adequately marked with memorials, some empty and some used but unmarked, among which are also graves whose occupants are unknown .  The lawn cemetery was established in the 1980’s and there are 3 blocks of 40 possible grave sites.


The oldest known grave in the cemetery is that of Janet Clark who died at ‘Wirrega’, aged 40 in 1886. Jenny explained that Wirrega in those times didn’t necessarily mean the Wirrega of today, but could have meant anywhere on Wirrega station, belonging at the time to John Binnie. It could also have meant Dr Penny’s hospital, which was also considered to be at Wirrega and understandably was listed on many local death certificates as the place of demise.

IMG_2629 IMG_2631

Jenny went on to say that local family groups are well represented in the cemetery. When last counted in 2004,  the largest group present was Staude with 28 and next Wiese with 21.


A moving memorial to Private Lance Packer, killed in France in the First World War, stands alone in a large gravel expanse, where other members of his family lie buried.


Jenny and Vida recounted a terrible story concerning one memorial stone and grave of the Sanderson family. Mother Jessie was raising seven children, six boys and one girl, on her own, her husband having tired of domesticity and left for Western Australia. In Otober 1898, elder son John, about 16 years old at the time, had obtained a job at Nalang and was walking with his mother for company part of the way, to his first day at work. When she turned back homeward she discovered that his younger siblings, Allan 8 yrs old, Grace 15 yrs, Gordon 12 yrs and Lewis had been playing near a dam, when Allan decided to try to catch some ducks swimming on it. He got into trouble in the deep water and his sister Grace jumped in to try to save him, followed by brother Gordon. They all disappeared beneath the surface and Lewis ran for help. When help returned there was no sign of the three children. The dam was dragged and as Mrs Cleggett recounts in the story of Jessie Sanderson (nee Weir) in Vida Maney’s  ‘Great Women of the Good Country’, “my father helped to bring them home to their mother, the hardest thing, he said, he ever did.” Jenny Hunt went on to say that Grace was found with Allan held in her arms, but both had drowned before she could bring him to the surface.


The daughter in law of Trooper George Saxon, policeman in Bordertown and previously a member of Tolmer’s gold escort in the 1850’s, Ellen Saxon is also buried here. She had married George and Mary Jane Saxon’s son James.

Trooper Saxon was also a partner with George Stewart Scott in Bordertown’s Woolshed Inn, in it’s very early days. George Saxon was reputed to be a highly educated man and is recorded as being an Oxford graduate, although his descendants have been unable to verify this. After George Saxon died on the 23rd February 1871, Jane married George Scott in August of the same year. Vida Maney told the group that it was an unhappy marriage, as Scott was a drunkard and Jane was overworked.  She committed suicide by drinking laudanum, dying on the 23rd of June, 1872, aged 36. It is recorded that she continued to work until she died, having told her family that she had taken the opiate. Dr Penny was called, but arrived too late and stated his amazement that Jane had continued to work through the effects of the drug. Luckily George Scott was perhaps changed by this tragedy, as he proved to be a good step father to Jane and George Saxon’s four sons and one daughter, including Ellen’s future husband James Saxon. Mary Jane is recognized as the first Post Mistress of the Tatiara, a position she filled from 1865 to 1870, with the ‘post office’ run out of the Woolshed Inn.


Vida Maney was able to recount many family stories of the Maney’s, a number of whom are buried in the far eastern side plots.


A family noted for its longevity in many cases, Vida told the story of her aunt Madge, Madeline Ethel Wallace,  who lived until she was 101. Madge lived with her sister Mina and had fruit trees in their garden, the fruit of which they picked and used each season. A helpful neighbour called around one day and asked if the sisters needed anything. Mina said that it would be good if the neighbour would pick the apricots as “Madge says she is going to climb the tree to get them down if someone else won’t.” Madge was 92 at the time. The neighbour duly picked the apricots, but said that some were a bit high for him and he had got all he could. Madge waited for him to leave and climbed the tree herself to pick the highest fruit. Mina’s worry was vindicated, Madge fell out of the tree and broke her hip!

Recounted also were the difficulties of very wet years in the district, 1889 being one of the wettest on record, when one of the 14 Jones children, Clara, had died at age 11. The Nalang creek was running so high, that there was genuine concern that Clara’s coffin would be swept off the wagon as it made the crossing on the way to the cemetery. Luckily this misfortune did not come to pass. Many of the Jones girls who survived into adulthood are to be found in the ancestry of local families today.


Christine Hunt had family history notes at the walk, from which she told the group that from the 14 Jones children who reached adulthood; Mary Jones married Augustus Stimson, Sophia married James Wallace, Martha – Samuel Hornsby, Harriet – Henry Packer, Matilda – Samuel Billingham, Ruth – William Henry Hunt (Christine and Jenny Hunts gg grandfather), Edith – Frederick Staude and Elizabeth – Rice Hood.


The Hinge family is well represented and is the earliest settler family with descendants still living in the district. John Hinge was hired in Robe by John Binnie as a shepherd to work on Wirrega Station. When Binnie brought John, Mary-Anne and their family up from Robe in the 1850’s, it is said that the entire belongings of the Hinge family fitted into one sea chest.




The parents of Dr David Ramsey, well known local GP for many years, are buried in Mundulla.


An imposing Hunt family vault lies partially unmarked, holding, among other members of the Hunt family, the remains of ‘The Brigadier’, Brigadier Peter Chapman, husband of  local identity Torrie Hunt, who still lives in Bordertown. The Brigadier was given a lavish military send off when he died in early 1991. On a scorching hot day, Wednesday January the 19th, he was laid to rest in the Hunt plot, after a final journey complete with armed brigade members and a tank in a cortege up the main street of Mundulla.

The impressive funeral happened to be during the Falklands War. A local elderly gentleman was out visiting a friend and was heard to say when he saw the military show that, “If we are being invaded, then I’m going home now!”


The Fallon family have several members buried in Mundulla. One in particular came to an early end aged 48 in 1935, under unusual circumstances. John Stanley Fallon was employed by the district Council driving a horse drawn road roller, when he fell under the roller and was killed instantly.


Before the walk started, Vida had extended an invitation to those who wished to attend a fundraising afternoon tea at her house in Mundulla and a number of the group accepted her offer. At a cost of a $5 donation to the Friends of the Mundulla Cemetery, they enjoyed Vida’s fresh German Cake, tea and recapped the local history they had heard on the walk.

Link to gallery=history-month-mundulla-cemetery-tour-sunday-may-18th-2014

Thanks to:

Christine Hunt

Jenny Hunt

Vida Maney

The Bordertown Library

Friends of the Bordertown Library

Friends of the Mundulla Cemetery

‘Great Women of the Good Country’ compiled by Vida Maney



7 Responses to History Month – Mundulla Cemetery Walk, Sunday 18th May 2014

  1. Margaret Backler Reply

    June 25, 2014 at 8:54 am

    trying to get in touch with Christine Hunt regards her ancestors William Henry Hunt & wife Elizabeth Toogood , arrived Adelaide with family on the Sibella 1848 , have been researching their family in England ,

    kind regards Margaret Backler ,

    Kingston S E

  2. Marilyn Reply

    October 30, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I have found this article while researching Elizabeth Eleanor Hood, daughter of Rice Hood and Elizabeth Jones.
    My interest is with a child, now deceased, born to Elizabeth Hood, in 1921, before her marriage. The young baby was “taken in” by the Wauchope family, but recently obtained adoption papers, show the date 1937, when child was 16 yrs.
    I’m probably grasping at straws, but is there any known family conection between Wauchope and the Hood / Jones families?
    Any clues would be really helpful to me in trying to learn more about Elizabeth Eleanor Hood and her family.
    Thank you for reading this,
    Marilyn from Brisbane

  3. Jane MacIsaac Reply

    February 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Hello, Interesting to read of the settlers buried in your cemetery. I am researching my family history and have found a reference to Helen Young Simpson who died at Nalang on 17 April, 1885. Helen, with her husband David Simpson (1804 – 1865) migrated from Scotland in 1858 and lived in the western Victorian region with their family. I have no information of where Helen lived after the death of her husband in 1865, and am interested to hear that she may have lived at Nalang Station sometime between 1865 – 1885. Any help greatly appreciated.

    Jane MacIsaac.

    • Tim Colebatch Reply

      October 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Jane – are you the Jane MacIsaac who spoke to me years ago about being Richardson family cousins? Jane who was Jane Rounsevell? If so, I’m sorry, I wasn’t interested in family history then, But it’s got to me now, and I see, to you too. Amazingly, I did keep a note of the conversation, which has come in handy now that we have a net to surf. If you feel like making contact again, drop me a line at timcolebatch@hotmail.com. best wishes,Tim

  4. Les Evans Reply

    February 23, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Trying to get in touch with members of Hinge family to assist in tracing the Evans family tree emulating from George Evans b 1793 and wife Marie who migrayted to South Aust 4/12/1837 with five children – Henry, Hannah, Harriett Joel, William and then Edward Henry being born in South Aust. Resulting family members Alice Maud Knowling died 14/09/1948 and believed buried at Munulla Cemetary along with Gladys Evans b30/09/1899 who I understand was married to Lesley William Ray Hinge b 17/08/1893.

    • Les Evans Reply

      July 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      This is a simple follow up an on 2015 message to which I have not rec’d a response so simply trying my luck again in hope I can expand my Family Tree with additional information on individual linked families. My Evans Family Tree dates back to 15th century with substantial history data; some of which is published vide Ariana Evans Primary Family Tree at Ancestry.com.au. Note that I withhold any private/personal data.
      Trying to get in touch with members of the Hinge family from Bordertown, etc to assist in expanding the Evans family tree emulating from George Evans b 1793 and wife Marie who migrated to South Aust 4/12/1837 with five children – Henry, Hannah, Harriett Joel, William and then Edward Henry being born in South Aust. Joel was father of George Evans Evans born 1871 who married Alice Maud Evans nee Knowling – buried at Munulla Cemetery along with some children of issue. Gladys Evans b30/09/1899 I understand was married to Lesley William Ray Hinge b 17/08/1893.
      I have met Don Hinge some years ago and have the Franco British Wheat Growing Award 1908 Certificate that links to a gold medal he has which Tom Evans was awarded for a wheat sample grown on my father’s parents farm north of Dowerin, Western Australia. Interested in making contact and building picture of anyone can help.

  5. Geoffrey Stuart Sanderson Reply

    May 24, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Sadly I know very little more about the family and was hoping Christine Hunt could provide some further insight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *