Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Allan Hughan's Grave

Above: The iron enclosure that surrounds the grave of Allan Hughan.

Above: The mysterious second grave on the hill with that of Allan Hughan...old stories suggest that it was the place of burial of a "Chinaman".

Above: The final resting place of Allan Ramsay Cunningham Hughan.

Above: The second smaller grave that lies alongside Allan Hughan's.

Above: The two graves together.

Thanks to the perseverance and dedication of Max Shekleton, who followed up on the stories and rumours about an Englishman's grave in the wilderness of a local property, 2011 saw the rediscovery of Allan Hughan's final resting place.

His will, written not long before his death on November 16, 1883, at the age of 46, stated quite firmly his wishes regarding the final fate of his body after death:

"My great desire is that my body be buried at sea outside the reef, or at Tembea in some quiet remote corner, in the plainest coffin possible, the same to be filled with quicklime, Nature's slow corruption is horrible to think of. Would that my remains could be burnt."

It seems that his wish was granted in the form of a remote grave site at Tembea(now called Timbia, but referred to by Allan in various documents as 'Tembea') that overlooks a lagoon and reef.

Mysteriously, there is another small grave on the hill with Allan's. Could it be that of his daughter, Ruth Hughan Holworthy, who died just months before her father in May 1883, aged only 22 years? Or is there truth in the story that a Chinaman was buried on the hill beside "The Englishman"?

You would not think that Ruth would be buried in such a remote part of the property...her husband and later her small son would have surely wanted to visit her grave, so you would imagine that she was buried somewhere that was 'easy access' and not requiring a hike up a mountain!

The photos above, taken by a friend of Max's who most kindly made the trek to locate and photograph the graves, display both the large and small burial enclosures. There is no headstone or inscription on either grave, but it is most probable that the larger of the two is Allan Hughan's.

Maybe one day family of Allan's can visit this most beautiful, serene place and pay their respects to a most interesting and complex character.

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