Tasmanian Family History Society Mersey header

Forth Congregational Cemetery

First known burial

Benjamin William Monds, was drowned in the River Forth on the 2nd March 1845 aged 9 years. His headstone is still visible in the graveyard. The cemetery had many names over the years:

The Forth settlers contributed handsomely towards building the mission house and chapel. Some cleared the ground, some found teams, some provided timber, even the servants gave their labour without charge. The Launceston branch of the Colonial Missionary Society sent down carpenters, plasterers, lime and other requisites free of charge, so that the places were quite free from debt when finished. The first chapel was built where the old churchyard lies, on the east side of the main road as you go from the Forth Bridge towards the Leven.

Rev William Waterfield's at Forth 1844.

The first independent chapel was built in the latter part of 1844 The chapel was opened for public worship on Sunday January 5th 1845 on one acre of land given by Alexander Clerke for a church and burial ground. The chapel was damaged by a tree in a storm in 1845, but repaired by many willing hands.

"The Congregationalists were, however far in advance of all the other denominations in administering the spiritual wants of the district The first independent Chapel was built in the latter part of 1844. It stood in the center of that ground which holds the remains of the first inhabitants, many left fond heart behind to mourn over memories that will endure until friend meets friend once more in the spirit land. The chapel ground unfortunately had not been cleared of several tall forest trees before the building was erected, a few of which stood within reach of the edifice, but none leaning towards it.

Had any of these fallen under ordinary circumstances they would have gravitated in some other direction; but there was a violent gale one afternoon in early 1845, a few months after the opening of the chapel, when a large tree was blown up by the roots and fell across the center of the building, completely destroying the larger portion. There was a neatly constructed platform and reading desk, with the church Bible at one end, which quite escaped wreckage, but most of the comfortable seats were smashed; so that, had the tree come down during service time, it would have been a bad job for those early settlers of the Forth and their families, nearly all of whom were regular attendants. The trees were soon all felled and the place rebuilt by willing hands."

Extract from Bush life in Tasmania by James Fenton 1st printed 1891

©TFHS Inc. All rights reserved
Site last updated October 2022