Update on Thomas Heaney and Benjamin Ebbitt Grave Restoration Project
We have previously provided information concerning the condition of the graves of Benjamin Ebbitt and Thomas Heaney. Both these former QP officers are buried at Toowong Cemetery. The grave of Benjamin Ebbitt is in serious need of restoration and regrettably Thomas Heaney grave is not marked at all.
It is the intention of the FQPM to rectify this situation and have commenced the process with seeking quotations to refurbish the Ebbitt grave and establish a slab and headstone on the Heaney grave. Other preliminary administrative work with the Brisbane City Council has also be initiated.
During the course of the investigation into the family background of the former members, the QPS Honours and Awards Unit identified a number of relatives of the former officers who were able to attend the naming ceremony on the 27 September 2016 at QPS Headquarters.
It is expected that the work on the two graves will be completed early in the New Year and the event will be marked by a re-dedication ceremony, at which the families and friends of the former officers will be invited to attend.
FQPM will be seeking assistance to fund these projects and will look to a significant benefactor to contribute the “lion’s share” of the cost. Other avenues will also be examined including approaching the families.
Senior Constable Henry James Fetherston Grave
Senior Constable Henry James Fetherston died from injuries sustained from a horse-riding incident in Maryborough in 22 February 1885. He was 26 years of age and was subsequently buried in the Maryborough Cemetery.
A substantial monument commemorates his death and appears to be in a reasonable state of repair.
The FQPM propose to examine the monument in detail with a view to arranging the cleaning and restoration of the headstone and surrounds.
The President and Secretary were fortunate to meet with retired QPS representatives who have an interest in the restoration of police graves, in particular in the Maryborough area. We spoke with retired QPS member Noel Sparks and his wife, who were keen to coordinate the necessary work on the Fetherston’ grave.
Noel has made a preliminary assessment of the work required and is of the view that the monument has been slightly undermined and requires additional support. The remaining work would include cleaning the monument, painting the iron fence and cleaning the grave surface and perhaps covering with weed mat and decorative stones.
It is believed that much of the restoration can be achieved with volunteer labour and any other work necessary quotes obtained. FQPM would consider any submissions for financial support.