For those of you who don't know, Camp Bay is near Purau Bay in Lyttelton Harbour and was used as a quarantine camp for ships for many years. I have currently been hunting for the cemetery records. My first port of call was the Christchurch City Libraries, but they don't have them. They put me onto the Christchurch City Council but they didn't have them. CCC put me on to the Department of Conservation as they run the reserve which contains the cemetery at Camp Bay but they don't seem to have them. I then finally found a record of a microfisch held by the NZ Society of Genealogists but apparently they have never transcribed a list of burials so not sure what is on the microfisch? Since reading Mary Staplyton-Smith's amazing book on Camp Bay, "The Other End of the Harbour," the mystery has been solved for me. In this book she states that she too tried to find records but none could be found. She made her own small list of people but it was far from the 73 to 74 burials that a local man could remember being in the cemetery. How this man knew this fact is unknown.
Apparently the burials in Camp Bay Cemetery took place between 1863 and 1877. There is more information about the Cemetery in a Press article from about 27 February 1963, about 100 years after it opened, including a photo of one of the gravestones.
Some onboard deaths may have been recorded in the ship's logs if the person died a day or two off the coast and if close enough to Lyttelton were possibly buried at Camp Bay. The following information from Ashdogg, who has been helping me on this page, confirms this:
obvious reasons, in most cases the deceased passenger was buried at sea unless
the ship had, some type of refrigeration which was not frequent on passenger
type ships. If the ship was expected at a port within a very short time,
within a day or two, of the event they might wrap the body and wait until they
docked so it may be worth checking for a burial in the port. An old
sailor's last request may be to have a burial at sea, in the land of the
Mermaids!” For the source click here.
These types of burials will never be able to be traced at Camp Bay Cemetery though as no records exist. So they can only be guessed at!
Anyway, I have started my own list of people who were definitely and possibly buried at this cemetery, from other records I have found in Archives New Zealand and Paperspast, for example. Mary Stapleton-Smith never would have had access to these records while writing her book and instead would have spent many hours looking through old newspapers. She was researching before the Internet! And did an amazing job!
If anyone else has found a document recording a definite or possible burial at Camp Bay and wishes to add their ancestors to the list, please let me know. Hopefully, with some help we can build up a reasonable list. Please note this is a work in progress.
Definite Confirmed Burials at Camp Bay
Hathaway - a 2 month old infant, son of David and Milborough Hathaway. Born on the ship Brother's Pride on 3 October 1863, died 16 December 1863 at Camp Bay Quarantine station. Archives NZ Chch Office R22193437
Trigg - a six week old infant, son of Absalom and Hannah (Anna) Trigg. Born on the ship Brother's Pride on 11 November 1863 (one of boy twins), died 23 December 1863 at Camp Bay Quarantine Station. Archives NZ Chch Office R22193437
Possibly two others from the Brother's Pride - Names unknown but mentioned four died in quarantine in the newspapers many years later. Statements given by former passengers of the ship.
Assistant Cook of the ship Marlborough died of consumption on 16 December 1878 and was buried at Camp Bay on 17 December 1878.
Man from the White Rose died of dysentery while on Ripa Island and was bured at Camp Bay Cemetery on 26 July 1875.
Infant from the ship White Rose was born on Ripa Island and died on the island 36 hours after birth. Was buried at Camp bay on 26 July 1875.
An amazing article from the Star dated 16 September 1933 provided by Ashdogg (see comment at bottom of blog) states that immigrants from the Punjaub that died in quarantine were buried at Camp Bay. "Forty passengers were lost at sea with the fever and ten died at Ripa Island. Their bodies were taken around in a small boat to Camp Bay, the cemetery being on a small jutting headland."
Catherine Prebensen (6 months) daughter of Anne at Ripa Island 25 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Johannes or Johanna Petersen (5 1/2) died at Ripa Island on 26 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Harriet Horton (28) of Warwickshire died at Ripa Island on 23 September 1873 or 1 November 1873 of Acute Bronchitis
Mary A. Cochrane (74) of Longford died at Ripa Island on 30 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Rebecca Ferguson (43) of Derry died at Ripa Island on 25 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Matilda Ferguson (17) of Derry died at Ripa Island on 26 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Sarah Greig (22) of Bute died at Ripa Island on 23 September 1873 of Enteric Fever
Ellen Hayes (15) of Devon
Mathias P. Hansen (39) At Ripa Island on 23 September 1873 of Morbus Cordus
Eva Maria Christiansen (9 months) at Ripa Island on 2 November 1873 of Dentition
Possible burials at Camp Bay, but no proof:
Anne Prebensen and daughter Ane Marie Prebensen who died just before the Punjaub arrived in Lyttelton:
(notes from Ashdogg, "Ane Marie Prebensen actually died at 11pm
on the 17th September, 1873 – but her death on the Punjaub was recorded
as the next day, being on the 18th September, 1873. The death of Ane’s
mother Anne Prebensen was recorded on the 19th September, 1873. The
Punjaub arrived into Lyttelton Harbour the next day, on the 20th September,
1873 where it flew a yellow jack flag letting it known deadly disease was
onboard and anchored itself. It sounds to me, reading that newspaper article,
that a health officer didn’t come until the morning of the following day
(21st September, 1873), so I’d say that those aboard the
Punjaub were put into quarantine later that day.")
Ann Austin died in about September 1863 possibly after arriving on the ship Captain Cook and was likely buried at Camp Bay but this is unproven and there is no documented evidence. For more information on the terrible experiences of the passengers of the Captain Cook click here.
George Lewis, died on 3 September 1863 after arriving on the Captain Cook, of compression of the brain and disease of the bladder. He was probably still on the ship, anchored in the harbour when he died.
Child named Lucas, (either Henry aged 7, or Albert aged 2) died on 3 September 1863 after arriving on the Captain Cook, of long-continued diarrhoea.
Molley, an immigrant, died in quarantine today (25 March 1880)
Christchurch, October 17. William Hosking, laborer, employed at Ripa Island fortifications, died last night from injuries received tlirough a fall of earth on Thursday last. Was he buried at Camp Bay?
Thomas Biggs, aged 28, immigrant from the Northampton who fell down a 30 ft cliff at Camp Bay and died of head injuries on. Inquest was held at Lyttelton, so he is likely buried there, instead of at Camp Bay.
Ernest Napier aged 2, son of William Napier of Devon, arrived on the Northampton and died on 30 June 1874 at Ripa Island.
Lily Payne, aged 5 years old, who arrived by the Westland, died at Ripa Island of measles on 24 February 1880. (she died after 1877 though, the supposed final date for burials at Camp Bay)
James Berry aged ?? of the Northampton who died on 13 June 1874 at Ripa Island of diarrheoa.
Ernest Gartery died age 4 of the Cardigan Castle on about 7 January 1877 in the harbour after arrival.
Eliza Webster aged 19 of the Cardigan Castle died at Ripa Island on 10 January 1877. Note what happened on Ripa Island when someone died:
The Star Thursday January 11 1877
Yesterday morning the flag at the Quarantine Station, Ripa Island, was
hoisted, denoting that a death had taken place. Dr Donald and Mr March
visited the stations in the morning, and the report shows that one of
the single girls named Eliza Webster, aged 19 years, had succumbed to
pneumonia and low fever. Her illness commenced with diphtheria. She had been very low, and never rallied after
Remaining people from Mary Staplyton-Smith's list from her book "The Other End of the Harbour." She had a list of 20 people, the others are now either proven or above with more details.
Alice Pretty Atkins
Amy Fergusson, aged 24, dead of Enteric fever. (found by Mary from Births, Deaths and marriages in Chch)
Barnes brothers (from a gravestone inscription that was remembered)
Miss Tullock (from relatives who say she is buried at Camp Bay)
Kt. Pen. S. 1873 = the inscription on a stone found by Mary and her family. Who this stone actually belonged to is unknown.