Coonamble Shire Council administers and maintains the Coonamble General Cemetery
Coonamble General Cemetery
The present general cemetery replaced the original cemetery on the other side of town when it became full about the end of the 19th century. The earliest inscribed date found was 1892. This site has been laid out in denominational portions but, unfortunately, they are not signposted. However, most of the rows are marked. There is a small lawn cemetery, established circa 1990 and a columbarium wall bearing plaques from the 1970s. Within the grounds is also an area where headstones salvaged from the old cemetery are displayed (see Coonamble Old General Cemetery for details of these).
As the memorials date from the turn of the 20th century, there are very few sandstone monuments, most being of marble or granite. Many grave markers are inscribed with a name only without any further details and there are lots of unmarked graves. There are many refurbished graves as well as new plaques on old graves that, until recently, were probably unmarked. The cemetery has obviously suffered from vandalism at some time and movement in the sub-strata has caused a number of the monuments to lean, fall or crack. However, generally speaking, the monuments are in good condition, demonstrate a high standard of workmanship by the local masons and remain very legible.
The grounds are well maintained. Litter bins and several benches have been installed but there are no amenities. Memorial Drive, along the front of the cemetery, has been planted with many trees on each side of it that will look very attractive as they mature in the years to come. Most of the trees have been sponsored and bear plaques in memory of persons buried in the cemetery or perhaps elsewhere.
Old Coonamble General Cemetery
The original general cemetery in Coonamble was in operation from 1869 to 1912 when it was deemed to be full and closed to further burials. Many years later (probably around 1970), Council removed the headstones and converted the area into a park.
In the preface to her book, "Coonamble Memorial Wall Pioneer Profiles", local historian Joan McKenzie explains: "When the old cemetery at the end of Warrena Street was cleared about thirty years ago, a number of headstones were retained and embedded on and around a large mound of earth. In 1993, a Federal Government grant enabled the Shire Council to move those headstones to the cemetery in West Coonamble, which had been established circa 1902. "
Appropriately, the site chosen by Council to devote to the display of those old stones adjoined the historically significant Sexton's Hut, erected in 1912. The display was organised into three sections: a covered double-sided memorial wall, a group of sandstone monuments and a group of marble monuments. The work was completed to a high standard and dedicated on 12 September 1993. A list of 611 names of persons whose deaths were registered at Coonamble during the period that the old cemetery was in operation, and known or presumed to have been buried at the old site, was inscribed and mounted on the side of the Sexton's Hut.