It might seem slightly macabre, but for me there is something intriguing about old cemeteries. They capture our past, give an insight into our history and a sense of who walked before us. Who is buried there? What is their story? What was life like at the time of their passing? So stopping by Brisbane's Lutwyche Cemetery, I came with all of these questions. Here are three things I found that I didn't know.
After some research, I found that the cemetery is the final resting place for some notable Queenslanders including infamous criminal John Andrew Stuart, who along with James Richard Finch was convicted of the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub fire in the 1970s. 15 people perished when the Fortitude Valley club was firebombed. Most suffocated in the inferno, which erupted when two drums of petrol were thrown into the foyer and set alight. Serving a murder sentence, Stuart died in his Boggo Road Gaol cell in 1979 after a six-day hunger strike and was buried in Lutwyche Cemetery.
John Andrew Stuart. Photo courtesy of the Herald Sun
Former Supreme Court Judge Lionel Lukin rests here, as does country music singer Buddy Williams, the first Australian to record country music in Australia. Williams is buried along with his second wife Grace and their daughter Dorita,
3. Lutwyche Cemetery War Graves Lutwyche Cemetery's War Graves section includes ten rows of white marble gravestones with 386 Second World War burials, including one of an unidentified Australian RAAF airman. A Cross of Sacrifice was erected as the central memorial on the site and is a major feature. The cemetery has more than 100 unmarked graves of soldiers from World Wars I and II.
What else? While not as big as the Toowong Cemetery, Lutwyche Cemetery is interesting and a Brisbane landmark in its own right, giving an insight into our past as we step into the future. Those interested in family history and genealogy might just find some answers here. Is it haunted? Some paranormal activity has been reported but I'll leave that for you to decide. Street parking is available and the bus stops right outside.