Back to Cemetery Residents A-Z

Emmett, Mary Martha (1906-38) (left), of Highgate Hill, was found dead near a Gregory Terrace rockery early one morning in April 1938. An inquiry into the mystery of her death revealed that she had collapsed and died of shock after having an abortion, an illegal operation at the time.

Mary and her husband Thomas had three young children, but she was not a strong woman and had nearly died when she had her last baby in 1936. Pregnant once again, she told her husband Thomas that she was haemorrhaging and that she ‘would throw herself into the river’ if she did not get ‘fixed up’. The police believed Mary had gone to the Clayfield home of Dr Victor Wilson, who had performed the abortion for her, but she then died of shock. Her body was then removed to Gregory Terrace and left there. Dr Wilson, however, denied that any of this had happened, and there was insufficient evidence to lay any charges.

Her funeral was attended by a large number of family and friends.