Drysdale (Bellarine) Cemetery

Oakden Road, Drysdale

The district was the first inhabited by the aborigines of the Wathaurong tribe who had corroboree grounds where the Methodist Church was later built and around the water hole, known as McLeod’s Waterholes. Remains of these original inhabitants are interred at this cemetery.

As men made money from the gold rushes, many sought to invest in land and during the mid 1850’s much of the land on the Bellarine Peninsula was sold and settlers came to the area. Farmers began to work the land and goods such as onion, wheat, oats, barley, hay, potatoes and orchards were very productive. The Bellarine Peninsula become known as “The Granary of the Colony.”

The earliest existing burial register gives the first burial in the cemetery as 1861, but it appears that the secretary attempted to trace known burials as far back as 1855, and there are records at the Government Statist of burials in 1854.

In 1891 the United Services Home was built at Drysdale to cater for aged and infirmed soldiers and sailors of the Imperial and Colonial services, residing in Victoria for not less than five years, who had rendered good and gallant service to their Queen and country and were now incapable of earning a living. A special section of the cemetery was set aside for their burials. When a veteran died the coffin was covered with a union flag and a firing party from the Queenscliff Fort marched with arms reversed, fired three volleys over the grave and the trumpeter sounded the Last Post.

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