Parish News

North Road Cemetery honours mapmaker William Edmunds

North Road Cemetery recently honoured William Herbert “Will” Edmunds, a magnificent mapmaker who left a legacy of intricately hand-drawn topographical maps of South Australia.

His name had been largely forgotten, and because his grave had no headstone, even the cemetery staff were unaware of this significant man who made such a large contribution to the documentation of our state.

A display of mapmaker WH Edmunds’ work in the chapel at North Road Cemetery

Together with Carolyn Spooner from the State Library of South Australia, we refurbished his gravesite, adding both a brass plaque and a ceramic plaque giving details of his work.

Andrew Boucaut, cemetery manager, addresses the service.
Andrew Boucaut, Cemetery Manager, at the ceremony

This ceramic plaque also includes a QR code which links to the State Library’s page about Edmunds, detailing his life and his work. This is the first time a QR code has been placed at a grave in the cemetery, which hopefully will be the first of many.

The new plaque was unveiled by Will’s grandson Dave who travelled from interstate with his wife Judith to attend the event.

Director of the State Library Geoff Strempel pays tribute to Edmunds.
Director of the State Library Geoff Strempel pays tribute to Edmunds

Other attendees included The Surveyor General, Council Members and representatives from the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, The State Library of South Australia, the Royal Geographical Society, and the Historical Society of South Australia to name but a few.

We were honoured to have Bishop Denise attend to rededicate the grave.

William Herbert Edmunds’ grave can be found in Path 48 South.