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Lone Grave of Charles Whatley - Colo
Cemetery Details
Address:  Lot 31 - DP753784
 100a McDougall Drive
 New South Wales, Australia
Location:  Located on private property. Access to the property is via McDougall Drive (1.2km from Colo Bridge). Drive to Lot 30 at the end of McDougall Drive, then continue onto Crown Reserve Road through Lot 30 onto Lot 31.
Denomination:  Not applicable
Responsible Authority:  Sue Guymer (private owner)
Number of Graves:  1
Names Recorded:  1
Period of Use:  1893

Register: Whatley, Charles Map of grave:


Above: Lone Grave of Charles Whatley is located approximately 20 metres up the hill, south-west from the ruins of his homestead, overlooking Whatley's Creek and the surrounding countryside.

Above: Headstone was broken during a storm when lightning struck a nearby tree causing it to fall onto the headstone.

Extract from the Windsor and Richmond Gazette. Friday, June 19, 1936:




In a lonely valley in the Colo district ... the pioneer's grave shown in the accompanying photograph. Steep hills .. and densely forested, ... about it. By day, the dulcet warbling of currawong on the hillside blends with the harsh blaring of wild duck as they swoop to the lagoon and swallows chirrup and build their mud nests beneath the caves of the desserted slab house where the pioneer lived: the kookburra's racious laughter, seeming strangely irreverent ushers in the night, and with darkness comes the ... eerie cry alternating with the staccato yap of a prowling

and bordered by a stout post and rail fence; while through the warm summer months, the pendious leaves of rusting corn gilttered like sabre blades in the sun.
Soon Charles Whatley was on the road to prosperity but strangely enough he never married. In 1835, his nephew, Joseph Whatley came from England and joined him and, from the day of his arrival, strove to lilft the burden of work and responsibilty from his now ageing uncle's shoulders. A hopeless task he recently told the writer. Pioneer Charles Whatley toiled ... till the day before his death, passing peacefully away in the early hours of the morning of the 4th July 1893, two months before his 83rd birthday.
The farm then went to Joseph, who lived and worked there for a further 33 years during which time he ..., when business interests made it necessary for him


fox. Few are the human visitors to this lonely tomb, for "No Roads Go By."
Charles Whatley was the pioneer, and the valley where he now lies buried bears his named - fitting tribute to that ... determination ehich characterised his early efforts in the heart of that soalice-toned forest, so many acres of which he reclaimed single handed.
Before he left England he was a carpet weaver at Wilton, (Wilts), where he once made a carpet for Queen Victoria. Although he came to Australia in 1833, it was not until 1847 that he took up land in what is known as Whatley's Valley. Between trips to the Turon and Bendigo diggings, his axe rang on the creek-side flats. Gradually the tall bluegums and ironbarks, - the ti-tree thickets and wattle scrub, gave place to verdant pastureland dotted with growing cattle

to move to Windsor, where he still resides. The property, however still belongs to him; being worked on shares by Mr. Arch Jones.
On that 4th July, nearly 43 years ago, the Church of England burial service was read at the pioneer's graveside by Samuel Cox, a farmer, of Pitt Town, for no clergyman visited Whatley's Valley in those days. The headstone thereon were carved by W. J. H. Nixon, a timber getter, who it will be noticed, omitted the "h" from the "his" in the epitaph, Joseph Whatley saw this at the time, but did not like to point it out to Nixon (who was perhaps an indifferent scholar) for fear of hurting his feelings.
"May is soul rest in peace." runs its simple wording. Yes, indeed, may your soul rest in peace. Charles Whatley, pioneer! Your long day's work is done!



Credits: Transcriptions and photography by Jonathan Auld - August 2006.

Special thanks to Sue Guymer for additional information and permission to access the site which is private property and to Cathy McHardy for finding the Windsor and Richmond Gazette extract.


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