Karrakatta Cemetery

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Karrakatta Cemetery
Karrakatta cem gnangarra.jpg
Main entrance to Karrakatta Cemetery
Karrakatta Cemetery
CountryFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Coordinates 31°58′12″S115°47′57″E / 31.97°S 115.7992°E / -31.97; 115.7992 (Karrakatta Cemetery) OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Owned byMetropolitan Cemeteries Board (statutory authority managing)
Size98.34 ha
No. of graves>201,000
No. of cremations>189,000
Website www.mcb.wa.gov.au/our-cemeteries/karrakatta-cemetery OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Find a Grave Karrakatta Cemetery
Footnotes Karrakatta Cemetery – Billion Graves
Karrakatta Cemetery
Official nameKarrakatta Cemetery
TypeMunicipal Inventory
CriteriaCategory B
Designated27 April 1999
Reference no. 612
MunicipalityCity of Nedlands
Karrakatta Cemetery grounds Karrakatta Cemetery.JPG
Karrakatta Cemetery grounds
John and Elsie Curtin's grave John Curtin grave.JPG
John and Elsie Curtin's grave

Karrakatta Cemetery is a metropolitan cemetery in the suburb of Karrakatta in Perth, Western Australia. Karrakatta Cemetery first opened for burials in 1899, the first being that of wheelwright Robert Creighton. [1] Managed by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, the cemetery attracts more than one million visitors each year. [2] Cypress trees located near the main entrance are a hallmark of Karrakatta Cemetery. [2] [3] The cemetery contains a crematorium, and in 1995 Western Australia's first mausoleum opened at the site. [2]


The entrance (known as the Waiting House) includes a structure designed by George Temple-Poole. [4]


The redevelopment process at Karrakatta Cemetery (termed ‘Cemetery Renewal’) began in 1969. Renewal involves the removal of headstones and grave surrounds, including plot markers. The headstones are either put elsewhere in a garden, plastered on limestone walls, taken by family or, if deemed to be damaged, destroyed.

New graves are established in between the old. The new burials will have a headstone, but no marker is left behind to memorialise the historic burials.

All mausoleums at Karrakatta are built on top of historic Roman Catholic burial grounds, and most cremation gardens are over historic graves.

Under the current policy, no remains are disturbed. As of June 2023, 46 sections have been redeveloped and 31 sections are approaching redevelopment.

Across all cemeteries in Western Australia, the tenure on graves is 25 years — whether for burials, ashes or mausoleum crypts. There is an automatic right to purchase a further 25 years, totalling 50 years. After that, renewal of Grants of Right of Burial is at the cemetery authority’s discretion. All 50, 99-year and perpetual Grants were extinguished on 2 July 2012 due to a provision of the Cemeteries Act 1986 (sch 2 div 1 cl 6). Once a Grant expires, control of the grave reverts to the cemetery authority. [5]

Notable people

Notable people interred within Karrakatta Cemetery include:

There are also ten Victoria Cross recipients who are interred in Karrakatta Cemetery: [24]

War graves

As of June 2022, Karrakatta Cemetery contains the graves of 111 Commonwealth service personnel of World War I and 141 of World War II, besides a Dutch naval sailor of the latter war, divided between the cemetery's various denominational plots. [25]

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has a memorial to 15 Australian service personnel 2 sailors, 9 soldiers, 4 airmen who died in World War II and were cremated at Karrakatta Crematorium. [26] In addition, 7 Australian personnel of the same war 2 sailors, 4 soldiers, 1 airman who were cremated at Karrakatta Crematorium but whose ashes had been scattered or buried at places where CWGC commemoration was not possible are listed by name on the Western Australia Cremation Memorial at the separate Perth War Cemetery. [27]

See also

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