Sydenham Cemetery plans
The plot plans begin in 1896, with the first burial recorded in May 1896, before the cemetery was fully open. Details of interments were recorded on the plans up until the 2010s. After this point plot details are recorded in the Christchurch City Council cemeteries database.
Sydenham Cemetery, Simeon Street, was developed in 1896 in response to reports that the Addington and Barbadoes cemeteries had limited space. Although approaching capacity it is still considered an open cemetery.
In the late 1880s there were reports that the Addington and Barbadoes Street cemeteries would be available only to people whose relatives were already buried in the respective cemeteries; and that the Christchurch City Council was to open a cemetery at Linwood.
Mr. Muffet, a Sydenham Borough councillor, proposed that the borough, at that time one of the larger boroughs in New Zealand, should open a cemetery and several sites were examined. The borough had 2000 pounds which had accrued from interest on unexpended loan money, which could be used for cemetery purposes. There was opposition from Christchurch and some Sydenham ratepayers, and it took until 1896 for the establishment of the cemetery. By that time that the money in the bank had been spent and the council had to buy the land on Simeon Street by raising a loan.
The first burial in the Sydenham Cemetery was Jane Baker in May 1896. The cemetery was divided into areas for the different denominations. The Anglican area was consecrated in January 1897.
Sydenham Cemetery contains the official war graves of 41 men who served in the New Zealand forces during the First World War and who died before 1 September 1921.
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