Researcher Beryl Patullo and the mystery of one leg in the grave

The Friends group made storyboards about the history and people at the cemetery, and wrote a booklet about the 1600 known burials. They are still discovering others. Patullo has a Facebook page and leads cemetery walks.

One of the stories from funeral records is how in the early 1900s the family of two local brothers, who died in the Western Australian goldfields, paid for the exhumation of their bodies, brought them to Melbourne and buried them with their relatives in Will. Will Rook.

Report from The Age, June 13, 1878, on the inquiry into the death of a baby at BroadmeadowsCredit:The Age Archives

Also, following an inquest but before a police investigation, a baby girl whose body had been found in Broadmeadows Street in 1878 was exhumed. Animals had dragged it from a secret cemetery on a farm. A young local girl turned out to be the baby’s mother.

Patullo, from Thomastown, first came to the cemetery in the early 1980s while researching her husband’s Scottish ancestors, 25 of whom are buried here. In 2013 she became secretary of the Friends group.

Researching the cemetery and local history has become a good hobby and it is rewarding to help people find information about ancestors, which she does for free.


“I liken it to being a detective. You like to find that little piece that’s missing,” Patullo said. Receiving the honor was a surprise. “It’s not something I ever expected to get. But I’m very honoured”.

Patullo’s husband, Lindsay Patullo, is also receiving an OAM in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honors for his volunteer work with disability support and masonic groups.

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