DUNWICH CEMETERY, North Stradbroke Is., Queensland

Dunwich Cemetery is the resting place of many, including over 8,000 former inmates of the 
Dunwich Benevolent Asylum for the Destitute.

There are many sites that will give you some of the history of Dunwich Cemetery, including this one here  


You can also search the records at the Queensland State Archives


Judy Webster, a well known and respected Queensland genealogist,  has a few Dunwich patients  included in the list on www.judywebster.com.au/colsec.html.

You can find much more of Judy's work at www.judywebster.com.au/index.html

From the Qld State Archives using Tiny URL...



Dunwich Benevolent Asylum was established 13 May 1865 when inmates were first transferred to the Dunwich Quarantine Station from the Benevolent Ward attached to the Brisbane Hospital. Dunwich Benevolent Asylum continued to operate until it was officially closed on 30 Sep 1946. Inmates were gradually transferred to Eventide, Sandgate, which was officially opened on 4 Oct 1946.

The function of Dunwich Benevolent Asylum as defined by the "Benevolent Asylum Wards Act of 1861" was to provide for poor people who because of age, accident, infirmity or otherwise were unable to care for themselves.

The Officer-in-Charge, Benevolent Asylum, Dunwich, was appointed on 1 Jan 1867. From 13 May 1865 to 1 May 1867, Dunwich Benevolent Asylum was administered by the Brisbane General Hospital. From 1867 the administration of the Asylum became the direct responsibility of the Colonial Secretary's Office and subsequent agencies.

 There are several books on Dunwich Asylum and the inmates there, as well as numerous mentions in Trove and other sites. As the aim of this post is to portray the cemetery as it is today, I will show just a few of the images of yesterday, leaving you to search the rest from the sites above and your own research.

Queensland State Archives Agency ID861, Dunwich Benevolent Asylum

Women's quarters at Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, North Stradbroke Island, 1914

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, 2009-02-10 copyright expired

Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, North Stradbroke Island, ca. 1935

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, 2009-02-10 copyright expired

Resident of Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Stradbroke Island, 1938

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, 2009-02-10 copyright expired 


Normally, I would post these within the Queensland, outside Brisbane, page. However, thanks to the generosity of a lady called Kerry Shortis, who kindly photographed a large number of graves within this very old and important cemetery, I believe that it deserves a page of it's own.

All photographs are reproduced here with permission from the copyright owner.

Over time, there will be more photos added. May this serve as a memorial to those who have passed before us, many of whom have led such lives as we can barely come to terms with.

Rest in Peace and know that you are not forgotten.

     (c) Kerry Shortis

There is a list of interments at 

however, this is not comprehensive.

There is also a list of the names of passengers on the ill fated ship, The Emigrant, who succumbed to typhus.       http://members.pcug.org.au/~phodge/plaque.htm

Some partial photos of the Emigrant plaque... all the following photos are copyright of Kerry Shortis.

(c) Kerry Shortis

 (c) Kerry Shortis 

From a memorial wall.... while not all are Irish descendants, I felt that I couldn't leave some out when transcribing... therefore, you will some included that haven't yet been determined as to whether they have Irish links.

    (c) Kerry Shortis 

In loving memory of William McVay

Died 10th October 1923
born Kilkeel, Down, Ireland
Husband of Bridget Gibbin
At Rest


In Memory of
Thomas J. Hurley

Native of Clare, Ireland

In God's Care


In Memory of
Harriet Rabbitt

Daughter of William
born Mcintyre River
in God's Care


In memory of
Samuel Moore Munce

1817 - 1886

born Dublin, son of
Samuel and Sarah Moore


In memory of

Heinrich Bopp
22-1---1862 to 26-5-1933

who migrated from 
Aargua Swizerland
on the 26th March, 1884
                                                               Not Irish   NI

     (c) Kerry Shortis 

In Memory of

Ellen Morris

born 1820 Died 1895

from Ire, 1863

with Peter and 8 children


The following have yet to be transcribed... all are copyright of Kerry Shortis. I am most appreciative of Kerry's generosity in sharing her photos.

 These are the graves of the 26 victims of the typhus outbreak on board The Emigrant in 1850.


The following photos are copyright of Jeff O'Keefe who has kindly donated them to this site.

I will add more details as they become available.


    (c) Jeff O' Keefe

    (c) Jeff O'Keefe

Edward Devlin
b. 6th Aug 1907
County Tyrone, Ireland

 along with his wife

Isabella Devlin

b. 17 Jun 1907
Glasgow, Scotland

                            (c) Jeff O'Keefe


  1. I am trying to find out some information about a Mary Weismar who is buried in the Dunwich Cemetary. She was an 'inmate' of the Benevolent Asylum' and died there in 1927. She was my mother's great grandmother, was originally known as Mary Walsh, married a Mr Burrell, who died and after him a Mr Porter, who also died. She finally married a Swiss artist called Weismar, whom it is alleged she poisoned. The result being she was sent to the asylum.

    1. Hi Shane, I don't have any further information than what I have here, for the most part. Have you looked at Trove? You can go to the site here... http://trove.nla.gov.au/ or you can use the Trove search box on this page. Scroll up and look near the end of the column on the Left Hand side. Trove, if you aren't familiar with it, is the digitised newspapers, periodicals, etc. on site as part of the National Library Australia's great resources.

      You will also see mention re Judy Webster, genealogist at the beginning of this Dunwich page... Judy has indexed the inmates names. You can also go to or contact the Qld State Archives... they have the original indexes. My email address is also in the L H column at the top of the page in About Me. Good luck and thank you for visiting.

  2. Hi Shane The QLD State Archives at Runcorn is full of information about the Dunwich Benevolent Society. I spent a few hours there last week searching for my Great Great Grandmother and teh staff are extremely helpful. You can find a whole page on the admission record, why admitted etc and more on exactly the date of death cemetery plots. The address for the archives in 435 Compton Road Runcorn and its really well worth the trip. Only costs $1 for a photo copy or take a USB stick and its free. Hope this helps jan

    1. Thanks, Jan, I have listed the State Archives at the beginning of this page. You're certainly right... that is he best pace to find all you need to know.

      Thank you for visiting and posting your comment.

  3. Chris, I somehow missed this post first time round. The two Gavin graves are a family I research. their descendant, Carmel, had thee stones erected in the late 1980s and I photographed them at the time to send to her. If anyone else gets on touch regarding them could you please give them my details. Thanks. Pauleen Cass

  4. Of course, Pauleen...I was sure I'd sent you copies of the photos...

  5. My great-grandfather Josiah Angove died at the Dunwich Asylum in 1909. I don't expect he has a headstone. Is it possible to locate the site of his grave and possible erect a memorial?

  6. Hi Ellen, thank you for dropping by. Dunwich comes under the care of Redland Bay Council, you can contact them via email here... rcc@redland.qld.gov.au
    or see further details here
    They should have a list of all graves and I can't imagine they would refuse a memorial if there isn't one.


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