Address: West Street Crows Nest NSW 2065
The land for the Cemetery was donated to the Anglican Parish of St. Leonards in 1845 by the prominent landowner and merchant, Alexander Berry. Berry donated 4 acres of land to the parish for a prominent burial place for his wife, Elizabeth. The striking pyramid monument in the centre of the Rest Park was erected in her honour. Berry’s business partner, Edward Wollstonecraft (Elizabeth Berry’s brother) and Alexander Berry himself are also buried there. The Cemetery contains the graves of many notable local residents and mirrors the development of the district over a one hundred year period. The first burial was recorded in 1847 and the last in 1950.
North Sydney Council became responsible for St. Thomas’ Cemetery and its conversion to a rest park in 1967 under the ST. THOMAS' CHURCH OF ENGLAND, NORTH SYDNEY, CEMETERY ACT, 1967. Between 1970 and 1974 North Sydney Council redeveloped the cemetery. This was a lengthy and complex operation involving the moving of all surviving headstones (where practicable) into precincts, whilst landscaping of the site was undertaken and existing plantings retained or removed. Unfortunately during this process more than two-thirds of the gravestones were disposed of, most because they were irretrievably damaged.
This database comprises a photographic record of headstones in situ prior to the conversion work and commissioned by North Sydney Council. They were assisted in this process by the invaluable work of volunteer and member of the Society of Australian Genealogists Errol Lea Scarlett. He had worked tirelessly for eight years starting in 1954 to systematically transcribe tombstone records in the cemetery during which process he allocated new plot numbers to each monument. Council staff used Lea-Scarlett’s numbering scheme and also drew up a plan showing the position of each monument located and photographed. This was then compared against the Burial Register and an index created for all burials against known former and current precinct locations