CAIRNCROSS, Captain William (1812-96): Capt William Cairncross arrived in Sydney in 1839. He married Elizabeth Edmonstone, whose brother George was Brisbane’s first butcher. In 1847 Captain Cairncross started a Bread, Fancy Bread, Biscuit Bakers and Confectioners business in Brisbane. The shop was on the corner of Albert and Queen streets, and the family lived on the premises. Elizabeth’s London training as a seamstress was useful in outfitting their seven daughters. In the 1850s the Cairncross family retired from trading and settled at Morningside. In 1881 they built a house they called ‘Colmslie’, after a Cairncross estate in Scotland, near the junction of Thynne and Lytton roads. The house had an observatory and Captain Cairncross relayed weather and shipping information to the authorities. Later it was used as a quarantine station and as the Colmslie Hospital. The Cairncross family were active attendees at Bulimba Church of England, arriving in a carriage complete with footman. Colmslie House was later demolished. The Cairncross Graving Dock, built during the Second World War, was named after this family.
CAMERON, Dr Malcolm Leslie (d. 1925). From the Brisbane Courier, April 1925: ‘The medical profession in Brisbane and a wide circle of friends have sustained a serious loss by the death of Dr. Malcolm Leslie Cameron, M D, MS, which occurred yesterday. The late Dr. Cameron was born in London, Ontario, Canada, of Scotch Canadian parents. He was educated at the Toronto University, at which he gained a scholarship to the Edinburgh University. He took out his M.D. and M.S. in 1880 at the Edinburgh University, and for 12 months practised at a hospital in Edinburgh. He then went back to London, Ontario, remaining there for a few years, after which he journeyed to New Zealand. For 18 months he stayed there, and then, about 40 years ago, he proceeded to New South Wales, where he worked up a good country practice in the Manning River district It was there, at Wingham, that he was married. Queensland called, and l8 years ago he took up his residence in Brisbane at the corner of Vulture street and Stephens street, where he had resided up to the time of his death. He is survived by his widow, three sons, and two daughters Hie funeral, which will be of a private nature, will take place at the South Brisbane Cemetery this afternoon. It is requested that flowers shall not be sent.’
CAMPBELL, Annie (1870-1911) (left): Prisoners who died at the nearby Boggo Road gaol were usually buried at South Brisbane Cemetery in unmarked graves. Annie Campbell was one of these people. Described as “a small, middle-aged woman with a small face and scanty brown locks”, she was gaoled for twelve months in March 1911 for “uttering a false document” – she had tried to cash three false cheques. Formerly a widow, she had remarried just two months before. Unfortunately, when 41-year-old Annie entered Boggo Road Gaol she was pregnant. In August, feeling weak and in poor health, she showed signs of being in labour and was taken to Lady Bowen Hospital. After a long labour she gave birth to a stillborn baby. Three days later Annie herself died. The official cause of death was listed as “Alcoholism, Cirrhosis of Liver and general debility. There were no suspicious circumstances.”
ChALLINOR, Henry Binney McCall (1858-1926) (left). From the Brisbane Courier, October 1926: ‘The funeral of the late Mr. H.M. Challinor, formerly secretary to Police Commissioners Parry-Okeden and Major Cahill, took place to the South Brisbane Cemetery yesterday. Mr. Challinor, who was 68 years of age, was a son of Dr. Challinor, the first Government medical officer in Queensland. His death was due to a nervous breakdown, following influenza. In the position of Clark of Petty Sessions, the deceased saw service in Beenleigh, Cooktown, and Bundaberg. Subsequent to his retirement Mr. Challinor was a prolific writer of both prose and verse. A widow, two sons, and three daughters survive him.’
COWELL, Elizabeth (1826-64) died in January 1864 trying to save the life of her maidservant, 21-year-old Sarah Hunter. Sarah was cooking in the kitchen of the Cowell house at North Quay when her dress caught fire after an accident with a kerosene lamp. Hearing her screams, Elizabeth ran to help but her own dress caught fire. Her husband Thomas managed to extinguish the flames with his hands, but both women were badly burned, and Elizabeth died the next morning. Sarah followed her one day later.
Elizabeth was well known in Brisbane, having been for some years the hostess of the Victoria Hotel. She was originally interred in the Paddington Cemetery, which is now the site of Lang Park. That cemetery closed in 1875, and most of the bodies were reinterred after 1911 when the area was converted into a recreation area. Elizabeth’s remains were then moved to South Brisbane Cemetery.
CRIPPS, Arthur (1879-1934): Arthur Cripps was born in 1879, the son of a Sydney doctor. He received a good education and became an excellent sportsman, representing both Australia and Queensland in Rugby Union. His real fame, however, came as a boxer. He turned professional after a successful amateur career and was the undefeated middleweight champion of Australia for 12 years. During that period he also worked on his farm near the Sunshine Coast, occasionally taking time off to defend his title. Cripps gained a reputation as a “clean boxer, courteous opponent, and a honourable man”. He traveled around the world and wrote a book about his experiences called Above and Below the Belt. He became sick in 1934 and died in the Mater Hospital aged 55, leaving a widow and one daughter.
His friends erected an impressive stone upon his grave to honour his memory, and the following account of the unveiling appeared in the Worker newspaper in July 1935:
‘When Arthur Cripps, the undefeated middleweight boxing champion of Australia from 1901 to 1911, died in Brisbane on September 4, 1931, he left behind him not only a great reputation as an athlete, but also as a worthy and estimable citizen. His big circle of friends in Brisbane decided to place a suitable memorial over his grave; and last Sunday, although rain was steadily falling, over 100 of them assembled in the South Brisbane Cemetery to witness the unveiling of this memorial, which, most appropriately, is a fine column of rough-hewn granite bearing an inscription – by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman A.J. Jones.
In paying his tribute to the memory of the departed athlete, Alderman Jones said: ‘The late Mr. Cripps was a personal friend of mine, and I deem it an honor to unveil this memorial, which has been erected by his admirers. Arthur Cripps was a splendid type of Australian manhood, and he was universally loved and respected. He visited many countries, and was the hero of 100 memorable battles of the hempen sphere as well as being a participant in the Great War’.
Mrs. Cripps and her daughter, Mrs. Battney, witnessed the unveiling of the memorial, and amongst those present at the ceremony were R. Funnell, M.H.R. for Brisbane, Lewis McDonald, J.S. Hanlon, and others who had concerned themselves in erecting the memorial. Arthur Cripps was a splendid mate, and all through his life he was a staunch admirer of the Australian Workers’ Union and a Labor stalwart of outstanding grit and determination. He will be remembered most affectionately by people in all walks of life, but by none more than some of those in the Labor Movement with whom he worked from boyhood and to whom he remained deeply attached till the day of his death.’
Unveiling of the Cripps memorial.
CURRY, Jackson (1832-1909) was born in County Derry, Ireland and married Jane Orr (1831-1904) in 1855, the same year that they migrated to Australia on board the Cambodia. They settled in Queensland and had eight children. Jackson joined the Brisbane police force in 1856, and by 1860 was a sergeant based at Gatton, where he left the force to become an innkeeper. After business difficulties he worked as a miner, and was living in Boggo Road, South Brisbane, by 1874. In 1891 he was appointed pound-keeper at the animal pound facing the cemetery, off Boggo Road, a position he held until his death. The pound was used to confine stray animals, including cattle and horses. It was closed in the 1920s and is now the site of Pound Street.