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4 May 1903 West Terrace Crematorium

 4 May 1903   West Terrace Crematorium

The first cremation in Adelaide took place on 4 May 1903 at the newly constructed crematorium at the West Terrace Cemetery. The building, erected by the Cremation Society of Australia, was the first properly constructed crematorium in Australia. The chapel was 32 feet by 19 feet, and the furnace room 24 feet x 18 feet, with a single cremating chamber. Heat was obtained by the use of gas coke and mallee firewood. The building was closed on 1 November 1959 and demolished in 1970. 

West Terrace Cemetery comprises an area of about 66 acres with separate burial areas for different religious groups, and also a Soldiers Cemetery which was the first of its kind in Australia. There is an ordinary section and a leased area for burials. A fire destroyed many of the early records, but a headstone just south of the entrance shows an interment in November 1837. A conspicuous and handsome building in the Roman Catholic section is the Smyth Memorial Chapel built to the memory of the Vicar-General of Adelaide in the 1860s.

City of Adelaide Year Book,  1971/74, pp. 266-268.

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