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Lilydale Cemetery Tour

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by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Don't speak of the dead, hear their story
Welcome to Lilydale Lawn Cemetery.

It's not who you are but who you were. That's what you will discover on Lilydale Historical Society's Lilydale Cemetery tour on 23 February 2019.

The most famous resident of the cemetery is Dame Nellie Melba who died on 23 February 1931. This tour is to reflect on the 88th anniversary of her death.

Adjacent to Melba is her father David Mitchel, a long-time resident of Lilydale, who, as a stone-mason built Scot's Church and the Exhibition buildings in Melbourne. He also established the lime quarry in Lilydale which recently closed.

Dame Nellie Melba's grave behind her fathers in the foreground.

There are 26 historic graves in the cemetery and the tour will visit about ten of them. Some of those visited will be, naturally Dame Nellie herself and her father.

Captain William Charles Scully, MC, DCM, (1895 1963). Captain Scully served at Gallipoli where he devised a time release firing system where he set up rifles where water dripped into a tin attached by string to the trigger so when the can was heavy enough, the rifle fired. This system allowed the evacuation of all troops without the loss of life.

The inscription on Scully's headstone.

Ernest Buckmaster (1897 1968). He was an artist whose talent was recognised at the age of four. He won the Archibald Prize in 1932 with a portrait of Sir William Irvine. He was appointed a war artist during WW2 and 23 of his paintings hang in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Buckmaster's grave with biography details in foreground.

William Blamire Young studied mathematics at Cambridge University before coming to Australia in 1885. He was an accomplished artist and was responsible for the design of Australia's first stamp, the Kangaroo series which was released in 1913.

Young's grave and his life story in foreground.

An example of the Kangaroo stamp designed by Young.

Jean Mary Vasey OBE, CBE. (1897 1966). She was instrumental in establishing the War Widows Craft Guild during WW2, which provided affordable housing for war widows.

Jean Vasey's grave and details

John, William and Michael Upton. The saddest story you will hear will be how the three Upton brothers were asphyxiated while they slept in 1868.

The Upton brothers graves.

The tour will be led by one the society's experienced guides, who will eloquently tell the story of each of the individuals visited.

The tour starts at the Nelson Road entrance at 1.30pm and costs $10-00 per person.

Each participant will be given a cemetery booklet and after the tour will be invited back to the Society's headquarters in the old court building at 61 Castella Street, Lilydale for tea and coffee and a biscuit, maybe two.

Bookings are essential, so contact Lorraine Smith at 9735-1104 to make your booking.
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Where: Lilydale Lawn Cemetery, Victoria Road Lilydale.
Cost: $10.00 per person
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