Rookwood Cemetery & Crematorium

Cemetery Details

Location Rookwood, Auburn - New South Wales, Australia
Co‑ordinates S33.8768995, E151.0631233

Memorial Avenue, Rookwood Necropolis, Rookwood, New South Wales  2135
Contact:  02 9746 5565

(314 Hectares in size - this is the largest cemetery in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.  It is also the largest active Victorian cemetery in the world.  More than a million people have been buried at Rookwood since it opened in the 1860s.  It is so large that it had to be divided up and run by different organisations, many of which are religious based.  So one should think of Rookwood as several different cemeteries all in one place.)

Located within the Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney War Cemetery is Australia's largest war cemetery and the only Australian war cemetery that has a Stone of Remembrance. Although Stones of Remembrance are normally limited to war cemeteries with more than 1,000 graves, this stone remains at this slightly smaller cemetery due to shipping challenges (it was intended for Ambon War Cemetery in Indonesia).

The cemetery was established by the military authorities in 1942 as the last resting place of service men and women who gave their lives during the Second World War. It contains mainly the graves of those who died in the Concord Military Hospital because of sickness, accident or injuries sustained in operational areas.

The UK casualties died as Prisoners of War held by Japanese forces, and were cremated. After the war, the Army Graves Service arranged for their ashes to be brought by HMAS Newfoundland to Sydney for interment. The cemetery was taken over by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in December 1946.

Sydney War Cemetery was entered on the Register of the National Estate on 21 October 1986.

Sydney War Cemetery
This cemetery contains 736 war graves, including 33 sailors, 489 soldiers and 86 airmen of the Australian Forces; 85 sailors, 20 soldiers, 16 airmen and one Merchant Navy sailor of the UK Forces; one sailor and one airman of the NZ Forces; and one French sailor and one civilian (died while in employment of the Admiralty) - (the War Cemetery contains 393 WWI burials and 253 from WWII).

Sydney Memorial (to the missing)
This is in the rear corner of the Sydney War Cemetery, honouring 741 men and women of the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Merchant Navy who lost their lives during WWII in the eastern and southern regions of Australia, and in adjacent waters south of 20 degrees latitude, and have no known grave.
Men of the Royal Australian Navy lost in these regions who have no grave but the sea are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces.

New South Wales Cremation Memorial
A further 199 names of men and women of the Armed Forces whose remains were cremated appear on the NSW Cremation Memorial. This memorial is within the building which forms the entrance to Sydney War Cemetery, commemorating those who died in NSW during WWII, and were accorded the last rite of cremation in various crematoria throughout the State. Their ashes were either scattered or are buried where proper commemoration is not possible. 

Rookwood Crematorium
Holds 127 servicemen of WWII, whose remains were cremated and are commemorated.

NSW Garden of Remembrance
This garden is adjacent to the Sydney War Cemetery.
Over 3,000 of the Commonwealth's WWI dead are buried in Australia, most of them Australians. Many lie singly or in small groups in public cemeteries throughout the seven States, but over the years it has proved impossible to maintain some of these sites to an acceptable standard. To ensure the proper commemoration of those who died as a result of service in WWI, and subsequent campaigns, Gardens of Remembrance have been laid out in each State.

The names of nearly 2,000 WWI casualties appear in these Gardens of Remembrance. The majority are still recorded by the CWGC under the name of the cemetery in which they are actually buried, but a few, the location of whose graves are not known, are commemorated only in the Gardens of Remembrance.

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan, some information courtesy of DVA, 1/3/2015.  Lest we forget.



Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

MORIARTY, Osmond John

Service number N270513
2 Salvage Depot HQ
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 13 Sep 1887

BAIRD, Cameron Stewart

Service number 8231781
2nd Commando Regiment
Australian Army (Post WW2)
Born 7 Jun 1981

MACKENZIE, William Kenneth Seaforth

Service number OFFICER
Lieutenant Colonel
HQ Infantry Base Depot Army Service Corps
Australian Army (Post WW2)
Born 7 Jan 1872

BURROWS, Marshall

Service number 753
4th Pioneer Battalion
Born 5 Apr 1884

DONNELLY, William Wayne

Service number 217898
Born 22 Jul 1949

SAGAR, William Thomas

Service number 60525
2nd Infantry Battalion
Born 1885

SMITHERAM, Stephen James

Service number 411055
Born 11 Jun 1922

MILLHOUSE, Maxwell Pitman

Service number QX10864
2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
Australian Military Forces (Army WW2)
Born 14 Jun 1920