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Teddies for Teddy as his grave is restored

Just inside the entrance to the cemetery at Kanowna, on the Yarri Road, lies a little headstone for Edward Alexander Beresford Murray, better known as Teddy.

Teddy Murray's grave at Kanowna cemetery is rarely without a teddy bear on it. Courtesy Moya Sharp.

The cemetery itself lies just outside the ghost town of Kanowna in Western Australia, about 20 kms east of Kalgoorlie. Little Teddy Murray was only two years and eight months old when he died on 25 May 1909 at White Feather Hospital, Kanowna. He had been suffering from acute enteritis and lobar pneumonia.

Teddy's parents were Albert Edward Beresford Murray, the local hotel keeper of the Australian Bar Hotel and his wife Edith Anetta (nee Johnstone). His littel grave has become somewhat of a beacon for the recent work being undertaken for the 'Kanowna Cemetery Restoration' project and is rarely without a teddy bear sitting on the headstone.

The Murray family. Teddy is in the front row, second from left. Courtesy Moya Sharp, Outback Family History

A new sign stands at the cemetery with details of the local history and three QR codes, one of which links to Teddy's story. He was one of 10 children, the last two born after his death. His parents continued to run hotels, although they moved to Kalgoorlie to take up the Gala Hotel in the year Teddy died.

The new sign at Kanowna Cemetery. Courtesy Moya Sharp.

Albert passed away in Perth in 1919 at age 50 while Edith lived to 82 years old and died in 1956. They are buried together at Karakatta cemetery in Perth.

The work to restore Kanowna Cemetery has been spear-headed by Outback Family History's Moya Sharp.

"We have completed the referencing of the whole cemetery and new gates have been installed and new signage," she said in her GoFundMe account to raise money to restore Teddy's grave.

"There are 436 people buried here, but there are few headstones."

If you would like to support the restoration of the cemetery, check out the link in the references below.


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