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Commemoration of Ernest 'John' Dunbar

05 February 2020
Ernest 'John' Dunbar official memorial at Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery
Ernest 'John' Dunbar official memorial at Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery

On Saturday 25 January Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) was delighted to collaborate with the Friends of Cheltenham for the Commemoration of Ernest ‘John’ Dunbar and the dedication of his official memorial.

Pte John Dunbar was a World War One Veteran, who is interred at Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery within an unmarked grave in 1934. Upon discovering Dunbar’s unmarked grave, Friends of Cheltenham became aware that he was a talented artist, and requested that some of the profits from his prints sold by the Australian War Memorial be redirected to afford an official memorial in commemoration of his service.

During the event we were pleased to welcome Brad Roswell MP, Cr Clarke Martin, Mayor of Bayside along with relatives of John Dunbar his memorial was unveiled, bearing the inscription ‘His wartime art lives forever more.’ We were honoured to be part of this moving tribute, a direct response from community members who seek recognition for the efforts of the servicemen and women who lay in unmarked graves having fought for Australian in WW1.

We sincerely thank the Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries group volunteers and Raden Dunbar for initiating and co-organising this event alongside our team at SMCT.

As custodians of the History at Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery, SMCT is honoured to be associated with and work alongside the Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries group, a volunteer, not-for-profit organisation. The friend's group was founded in 2007 and members have since dedicated themselves to bringing awareness to the community of the rich history that resides at Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery.

Portrait of Ernest 'John' Dunbar
Portrait of Ernest 'John' Dunbar
Errol Driver - Beaumaris RSL Funeral Officer and Phillip Dunbar
Errol Driver - Beaumaris RSL Funeral Officer and Phillip Dunbar
Kelly Hoskin - SMCT Strategic Engagement Officer and Brad Roswell MP - Member for Sandringham
Kelly Hoskin - SMCT Strategic Engagement Officer and Brad Roswell MP - Member for Sandringham
Rosemary Reddick - President of Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries Inc.
Rosemary Reddick - President of Friends of Cheltenham and Regional Cemeteries Inc.
Cr. Clarke Martin, Bayside Mayor & President, Beaumaris RSL
Cr. Clarke Martin, Bayside Mayor & President, Beaumaris RSL
Artwork by J.Dunbar
Artwork by J.Dunbar