Bengeo – the forgotten cemetery

If you have never heard of Bengeo, you are not alone. It refers to the area between Red Hills and Elizabeth Town, better known as Lemana Junction. The name Bengeo comes from an Estate in the area. I became aware of a cemetery there when researching cemeteries in the Deloraine area.

To find the old Bengeo cemetery, take Bengeo Road (from Elizabeth Town or from Deloraine) and turn onto Cox’s Road. Look for a small copse of blackwoods on the left-hand side. The cemetery is on private property, but can be seen from the road. There is very little to see here, a simple fence surrounds the remains of a headstone (unreadable) and there are some piles of rocks that once formed a small Anglican church.

The Anglican Parish at Deloraine holds an incomplete list of burials (see below). With this we can determine that there were probably between 25 and 30 burials here, and that it was opened on or before 1853, and still in use at least until 1915. It appears though that most people who lived in the area chose to be buried at the newer cemetery at Deloriane.

In 1937, when the Anglican Church applied to the council to have a cemetery established at Kimberley, some Counsellors opposed vehemently, citing the cemetery at Bengeo as being so badly neglected, that a cemetery at Kimberley surely would end up the same way. Cr D O’Meara said that the Bengeo cemetery was ‘overgrown with blackberries, headstones were broken and cattle were grazing over the graves’ (The Examiner, 15 June 1937).

An incomplete list of burials at Bengeo Cemetery from the Parish of Deloraine:
June Brawley d. 1853, John Henley d. 1857, Emma Strawberry d. 1859, Ebenezer Strawberry d. 1860, Alfred Twining d. 1861, William Phillips d. 1863, John Strawberry d. 1865, Ann Reynolds d. 1870, Abraham Stock (?) d. 1871, Caroline Batt d. 1871, Joseph Ro (?) d. 1873, Julis Crockett d. 1874, Arthur Twining d. 1874, Elizabeth Johnston d. 1875, Martha Speight d. 1883, William Speight d. 1883, John Howe d. 1885, Robert Poynton d. 1885, Emily Rookley d. 1888, Thomas Batt d. 1888, Barbara Twining d. 1888, Thomas Twining d. 1889, and Eric Aylett d. 1915.
Add to this number, Harry Reynolds d. 1889 (The Colonist, 13 July 1889) and we have 24 internments. 9 of this number were children.

All that remains of the Bengeo cemetery. The land is now private property, but can be seen from the roadside
The Launceston Examiner dated 13/04/1861 refers to a new church at Bengeo. These are likely the remains of the Anglican Church

My thanks to the members of the Facbook page”Deloraine district – memories and pictorial history” who assisted me in locating the cemetery and providing the parish burial list.

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