Bendoc Cemetery and Lost Gravesites

The 1911 Census for Bendoc identified 210 people living in the area and in the 1961 Census it identified 131 people.

In the late 1880s a request was made for a cemetery at Bendoc. The Department of Lands was written to in January 1890 noting that two allotments that made up one acre that had been requested for the cemetery site by the town would be too small for a cemetery. It would appear that this site was already in use as a burial ground and was located in the township of Bendoc. On 12 March 1890 the Shire of Tambo wrote to the Public Health Department noting that ” in the opinion of the Council another site should be set aside for Cemetery purposes”.

Thomas H. Lewis, Honorary Secretary, The Bendoc Cemetery Trust wrote to the Secretary of the Public Health Department on 25 November 1890 noting that a number of residents of the area had formed themselves into a Committee of Trustees for the Bendoc Cemetery and ‘as the old burial ground could not be recognised by the Department, a site about one mile and a quarter from Bendoc on the Eastern side of the Bendoc to Bonang Road has been chosen by the Trustees as being in their opinion as a body very suitable and convenient for the Bendoc Cemetery”. They then asked what steps should be taken in having this site surveyed and approved.

Also on 25 November 1890 the Bendoc Progress Association wrote to the Public Health Department requesting that the following people be recognised as trustees of the Bendoc Cemetery: Norman Cameron, Hamilton Reed, Charles J Dudley, Robert Gordon, Thomas H Lewis, E Cox and W Stakers. On 13 June 1892 the Governor in Council approved a site of 3 acres, 2 roods, 21 perches to be temporarily reserved as a Cemetery in the parish of Bendoc. The site was gazetted on 17 June 1892 [VGG 1892/2651].

The following Trustees for the Bendoc Cemetery were gazetted on 7 October 1892: Charles Dudley, Thomas H. Lewis, Norman Cameron, Hamilton Reed, Robert Gordon and John Lock [VGG 1892/3839]. The last set of Trustees appointed for the cemetery was gazetted on 6 June 1923 : Henry E. Sellers, William H. Cameron, John Windle and Isaac Dent [VGG 1923/1486].

The Shire Secretary, Shire of Orbost, wrote to the Board of Public Health on June 8, 1897 noting that they had written to five residents in the area of Bendoc to be Trustees of the cemetery, but all had declined. The Shire Secretary also noted that as Bendoc was a great distance from Orbost, the Council could not accept the responsibility of acting as Trustee.

The Secretary of the Public Health Department wrote to the Chief Commissioner of Police on 14 May 1900 requesting for a report from the local police as to whether the old burial ground in the township of Bendoc or the site between Bendoc and Bonang that was reserved in 1892 are now being used for burials. On 28 May 1900 Constable J Shannon on the Bendoc Police Station wrote to the Chief Commissioner stating: “I have to report that there has not been any interment in the old burial grounds for years. There has been no interment in the site near the Bendoc-Bonang Road. Both places are unfenced and in their natural bush state. There are no trustees. All bodies from here are buried in the Delegate, N.S.W. Cemetery” .

The old Public Health File on the Bendoc Cemetery finished on January 1912 with a note from the Secretary, Public Health Department, stating that there are two burial sites at Bendoc in which burials have taken place.

People are always interested in learning where they come from and that is why a database is being done to provide tourists and the locals a knowledge of the past.

Hickman Henry 6 hours- death occured on 26 September 1868 at Upper Bendoc and was caused by the fall of the mother previous to the birth of the child. Infant of Emma and Thomas Hickman, miner. Buried at Upper Bendoc by the father.

Stockdale John ? age – Died of serious apoplexy (clot in the brain), in the locality of Bendoc, about May of 1872. Unconfirmed, but possibly buried at Bendoc.

Clarke Lillias Victoria 5 years – Young daughter of Bendoc Policeman, Constable Alfred Clarke and his wife Kate (nee Wright). Lilias had suffered for sometime from a curvature of the spine and died of this condition on 5 August 1878. She was buried at Bendoc.

Jamieson Robert 4 days – This infant was born prematurely and died four days later on 14 May 1881 at Hayden’s Bog near Bendoc. Infant of Frances and J. Jamieson, farmer. Buried at Hayden’s Bog.

Clarke Unnamed Male, son of Police Constable Alfred Clarke of Bendoc Police Station and Kate (nee Wright). Buried Bendoc Cemetery 3 June 1881 .

Church Edmund , 51 years, Gold Miner, formerly Seaman, Buried Bendoc Cemetery 13 June 1881.

Beasley Martha Ann 1 day -Died at Hayden’s Bog on 7 May 1882, of premature birth. Infant of Nancy Maria Beasley, a domestic, and John Beasley, labourer. Buried at Hayden’s Bog.

Farmer Phillip 1 day – Died on 24 May 1884 of premature birth at Paddock Flat, Bendoc, Infant son of farmers, Mary Miles and Walter Farmer. Buried at Paddock Flat Bendoc by Thomas Hayes and Perry R. Owen.

Richardson un-named, ? age- Premature baby of a mining couple, Maria and Henry Richardson. Died in May 1890. Buried near Bendoc.

Mathews un-named ? age – Died from premature birth at Little Bills, Bendoc. Infant of Rebacca and John Mathews, miner. Buried at Little Bills July 1891.

Am Boo ? age – Died 18 September 1892 at Clarkesville. An Indian hawker died of bronchitis. Buried at Clarkesville near Bendoc.

Collins John, – Bootmaker, aged 64 years. Buried Bendoc cemetery 14 July 1889 .

Davis John Jackson 1 day – Died at Hayden’s Bog in February 1894 of unknown causes. Infant of Elizabeth Davis. Buried at Hayden’s Bog by John Jackson.

Brotherton William Henry 2 weeks – Convulsions caused of the death of this infant on 9 January 1896 at Back Creek, Bendoc. Infant son of Susan and John Brotherton, miner, buried at Back Creek, Bendoc.

Pet Fan 47 years of age – A Chinese miner who died from heart disease at Back Creek, Bendoc on 15 April 1897. Buried at Back Creek on Crown Land about 8 miles from Bendoc. His two mates, Ah Chow and Ah Qui, assisted with the burial.

Poulton William 11 days – Buried on Henry Poulton’s land at Delegate Hill, Bendoc district in 1897.

Higgs Henry 3 days – Died at Bendoc 14 November 1898 at premature birth. Infant of Hart Richardson and Thomas Randolph Higgs, miner. Buried on Henry Richardson’s selection, Bendoc, by John Richardson.

Stanbridge Harriet 1 day – Died at Bendoc on the 21 May 1899 from premature birth. Infant of Hart and George Stanbridge, miner. Buried by Thomas Miles at Bendoc on Crown Land known as the old burial ground.

Higgs Ann Maria 10 hours – Died at Bendoc 13 November 1899 of premature birth. Infant of Hart Richardson and Thomas Randolph Higgs, miner Buried at Alpine Cottage, Bendoc by T. R. Higgs.

Further research is needed to ascertain just who else might have been buried at Bendoc. Judging by the dates of burials these three above were probably buried in the Old Burial Ground in the Bendoc Township .

If anyone has any further information on the two Bendoc cemeteries, I would appreciate hearing from them.


* Department of Human Services, Cemeteries and Crematorium Unit Archives Files:

? H-CEM-44; Bendoc Public Cemetery .

* Department of Sustainability and Environment (Historical Places); Bendoc Cemetery Reserve.

* Rogers, J. G. and Nelly Helyar: Lonely Graves of the Gippsland Goldfields and Greater Gippsland , Moe, 1994.

* Education Department of Victoria : Vision and Realisation , Volume : 3, 1166 Bendoc; page 1077: 1973.

* Ministry of Planning, Victoria : Cemeteries of Victoria . A National Estate Study ; Report prepared by L.P. Planning, Parkville , Victoria . Circa 1982/1983

* Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages; Victoria . Death Certificates.

July, 2009

David Weatherill
Email: djweath(at)
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia