About the Cheltenham cemeteries
Opened for interments on 3 October 1864, the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery was the first general cemetery established in Melbourne's bayside and until 1917, was known as the "Mordialloc and South Moorabbin General Cemetery". A portion of the Cemetery was excised in the 1880s for the railway line to Mordialloc.
After the Pioneer Cemetery reached its capacity in the late 1920s, steps were taken to open a new burial ground and the first interment at the Cheltenham Memorial Park took place on 27 March 1933 on the 68th anniversary of the first burial at the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery. The original area comprised 21.9 acres and was constructed during the Great Depression at a cost of £8,666 using local unemployed men.
A feature of the layout was the strong gridiron arrangement of roads and pathways contrasting with the serpentine layout of the Pioneer Cemetery. The non-denominational lawn sections were introduced in 1961.
Both the Pioneer Cemetery and the Memorial Park contain the remains of many local, state and national identities. They are administered by the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust.
Who's Who buried at Cheltenham?
Amongst the notables buried at the Cheltenham cemeteries are:
Clarice Marjoribanks Beckett - Artist
Francesco (Frank) Benvenuto - Victim of the gangland war
John Booker - the last of Dendy's immigrants
Mother Margaret Mary Bourke - Catholic Nun
Norman Edwin Bradshaw - Underworld identity from the 1950s
Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown - Pioneer of Infant Welfare
William Calder - First Chairman of Victorian Country Roads Board
Ronald Patrick (Ron) Casey - Sporting and Media Personality
Sir Matthew Henry Davies - Politician and Notorious Land Boomer
Sir William Gordon Fry - Politician, Solider and Community Leader
Leo "Lucky" Grills - Actor and Comedian
Mary Hardy - Television personality and sister of Frank Hardy
Air Marshal Sir George Jones - Last of the WWI air fighter aces
Mersina Halvagis - Murder victim
Edmond John (Ned) Hogan - Premier
George Howell - Murdered Policeman
Adeline May Keating - Businesswoman
Sir James Gordon Legge - Army Officer
John Mather - Artist
(Vetko) Floyd Podgornik - Businessman and Property Developer
Beverley Ratten - Shooting victim
William Duble Rose - Funeral Director
Sir Edgar Stephen Tanner - Sports Administrator and Politician
Robert Charles West - Victim of the Westgate Bridge disaster
Ivo Whitton - Champion amateur golfer
William James (Bill) Williamson - Hall of Fame Jockey
David Wilson - Murdered in Cambodia.