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Grave restoration pays tribute to Ellen Wickham

Sandgate Historical Society president Pam Verney and Cr Amanda Cooper (Bracken Ridge ward) inspect the restored grave of Ellen Wickham in Bald Hills Cemetery.
Sandgate Historical Society president Pam Verney and Cr Amanda Cooper (Bracken Ridge ward) inspect the restored grave of Ellen Wickham in Bald Hills Cemetery. Contributed

ONE of the most historically significant graves in Bald Hills Cemetery was restored recently with the help of Sandgate Historical Society.

Ellen Wickham - the widow of Brisbane settler John Wickham and namesake of many Brisbane locations - was born in 1820, died in 1896 and is buried in the cemetery in Bracken Ridge.

Her marble grave was restored at the request of the Historical Society through the Lord Mayor's Suburban Initiative Fund from Cr Amanda Cooper (Bracken Ridge ward).

Mrs Wickham (nee Deering) married Captain Wickham in 1857 (he was a widower and she was 37). They had two children and lived at Newstead House from 1857 to 1860.

There is evidence they lived a very comfortable life, owning a 188-piece dinner service and a rosewood Collard and Collard piano.

In 1860 Mrs Wickham moved to Scotland, then England and France before returning to Queensland to live with her son Henry after her husband's death in 1864.

She passed away 32 years later at The Seaview Hotel in Shorncliffe aged 75.

Ellen Wickham was born in 1820 and died in 1896 at The Seaview Hotel. She is buried in Bald Hills Cemetery.
Ellen Wickham was born in 1820 and died in 1896 at The Seaview Hotel. She is buried in Bald Hills Cemetery. Contributed

Mr Wickham was born in 1798 and was second in command on HMS Beagle, and was on board with naturalist Charles Darwin along with all his specimens.

In 1837 he advanced to Commander and completed the survey of New Holland and later charted Moreton Bay and Moreton Island.

He was also the final Government Resident of the Moreton Bay District - when Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859.

Ellen Wickham was the widow of Brisbane settler John Wickham, namesake of many Brisbane locations.
Ellen Wickham was the widow of Brisbane settler John Wickham, namesake of many Brisbane locations. Contributed

Sandgate Historical Society president Pam Verney holds guided tours of Bald Hills Cemetery and said she was happy with the restoration.

"It is beautiful, it really makes the grave visible in the cemetery,” she said.

"It is white marble and was all mouldy and the grave itself did not have her date of birth or date of death so we made a plaque.”

"When I do the cemetery tours I talk about 18 graves of very prominent people in Brisbane.”

Mrs Wickham's grave is located at Bald Hills Cemetery in Row 3 (C of E) and was built by stonemason AL Petrie.

The last time the grave was restored was in 1991 by the Royal Queensland Historical Society and the Sandgate and Bald Hills Historical Cemetery Society.

Topics:  bald hills bald hills cemetery bracken ridge bracken ridge ward cemetery cr amanda cooper ellen wickham grave newstead house sandgate historical society shorncliffe the seaview hotel


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