Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: William Busby, stonemason of Toowong

William Busby was born 25 May 1851 in Coombe Oxfordshire, and became another in a long line of stonemasons.  On the 21 July 1872 Annie Howard and William were married in the George Street Independent Chapel in Oxford.

They left from Plymouth aboard the Mhari Bhan 29 August 1882 and arrived in Brisbane 29 November after sadly losing their young son William on the 22 September. This was their second child who had died as their first born Ann had died in Oxford in 1880.

After arriving William worked as an Inspector of Works for a number of years (before losing his job for being rude to a ratepayer! Amazing what you can find in the newspapers)


Caskey Memorial - Toowong Cemetery
William went out on his own and worked as  a monumental mason. He made a number of the stones at Toowong cemetery.

I am the person you see wandering around the cemetery peering at the bottom of the headstone to see who made it rather than the top to see who it has died!









William submitted a design along with the other prominent stonemasons in Brisbane to the committee who wished to raise a memorial to Lieutenant Lachlan John Caskey, who was killed in action at Makari Drift, Caledon River, South Africa on 27 September 1901. William's was the winning design. 

A public committee raised the 70 pounds cost and the memorial is the first known South African War memorial in Queensland and a model for later monuments in this state. William also did the Anning memorial, another Boer War memorial.


After these he did a number of the large memorials at Toowong Cemetery (more on those another day).


William died 4 April 1928 and was buried at Toowong Cemetery just up the road from his home on Sylvan Road.


He was buried not far from the Caskey Memorial. William's headstone is in keeping with his Methodist faith.