C. Y. O`ConnorPrint Page Print this page

27-February-2016 (Father Ted Doncaster)
27-February-2016 (Father Ted Doncaster)

Photographs supplied by Father Ted Doncaster / Bryan Hardy

The cross on the grave commemorates the engineer, Charles Yelverton O`Connor who committed suicide by riding his horse into the sea and shooting himself. The memorial cross was paid for by devoted Public Works staff.

Charles Yelverton O'Connor CMG (11 January 1843 – 10 March 1902), was an Irish engineer who is best-known for his work in Australia, especially the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.   He took his own life on 10 March 1902 by shooting himself, while riding his horse into the water at a beach south of Fremantle. He took his own life because of the criticism he received over the Water Supply Scheme which accused him of being foolhardy and wasting public money.

The Public Works Department has just erected over the grave of their late chief, Mr. C. Y.O'Connor, a memorial. A sum of £259 was raised by subscription in the department, and a magnificent Celtic cross of rough faced Meckering granite, rising from a pedestal of Italian marble has been erected over the grave. The cross stands 14ft. high, and is a very chaste and solid memorial. On one face of the pedestal is the inscription : 'Sacred to the memory of Charles Yelverton O'Connor, C.M.G., engineer-in-chief for Western Australia, who died at Fremantle on March 19, 1902, aged 58 years. Erected as a mark of esteem by the officers and employees of the Public Works Department, Western Australia.'
Kalgoorlie Miner, 30th January 1903.



Address:Carrington Street, Fremantle Cemetery, Grave A251, Palmyra, 6157
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.051831
Long: 115.780761
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:January-1903
Front Inscription

Sacred to the memory of Charles Yelverton O`Connor C.M.C.

Engineer in Chief for Western Australia who died at Fremantle 10th March 1902. 

Aged 50 Years

Erected as a mark of esteem by the Officers & employees of the Public Works Department W. A.


Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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