What is the Real Name of the Cemetery?

Walk through the main cemetery gates off Annerley Road and you will immediately see a big sign marked SOUTH BRISBANE CEMETERY. There has, however, been some confusion over the years regarding the correct name for this place. It is, after all, in the suburb of Dutton Park, so many people have long known it as Dutton Park Cemetery.

Despite this, the cemetery has always officially been called South Brisbane Cemetery, as the signs around the grounds demonstrate. It was called this when it was first reserved as a cemetery in 1866 because it was located in the old municipal borough of South Brisbane. In 1888 South Brisbane became a separate town from the city of Brisbane on the north side of the river.

In 1884 the reserve next to the cemetery was set aside as parkland, and although it was never officially named, it soon became known as ‘Dutton’s Park’, after Charles Dutton, the Lands Minister who signed off on creating the reserve. The park became more popular over time, and by the 1900s people were referring to the surrounding locale as ‘Dutton Park’, although it was still officially part of Woolloongabba. The park name was adopted for nearby housing estates, schools and railway stations, and was soon being used colloquially for the cemetery.

Just to add to the confusion, the cemetery was also sometimes referred to as the ‘Boggo Road Cemetery’, as it was situated on Boggo Road (which was renamed Annerley Road in 1905).

The cities of Brisbane and South Brisbane were amalgamated in 1925, and the name South Brisbane was then applied only to the suburb, quite far from the cemetery itself. The named suburb of Dutton Park was not officially created until the 1970s, by which time the dual names of the cemetery were firmly established.

The ‘Friends of South Brisbane Cemetery’ use the older and more correct name to acknowledge the 19th-century origins and character of the cemetery.