Addington Cemetery Tour Guide - Christchurch City Libraries

Addington Cemetery Tour Guide - Christchurch City Libraries

Erected by the trustees of the Riccarton Estate in memory of Douglas

Graham, for about 18 years manager of the property of the late Messrs. W.

and J. Deans, who were the first residents on the Canterbury Plains, having

settled at Riccarton in 1843. He discharged the duties of his office to the entire

satisfaction of the trustees and the great benefit of the Trust. He was faithful,

industrious and conscientious as a man, unassuming, earnest and consistent as

a Christian. Born at Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, Scotland, died Christchurch 9

March 1872 aged 54.

Graham was not only manager at Riccarton but also an excellent ploughman and

judge of ploughing matches and agricultural implements. He and his wife were

travelling by dogcart from Homebush to Southbridge when something startled the

horse. Flesh was torn from Graham’s little finger, he was removed to Christchurch

and gave permission to physicians to amputate the finger. He was put under

chloroform and his heart ceased to beat. Grahams Road is named in his honour.

In 1937 E. M. Lovell-Smith, wrote that Graham was

No. 862.


… a grandson of ‘Tam O’Shanter, the hero of Burns’ poem but, far from

following in his grandsire’s footsteps, he stood not in sinners’ ways nor sat

where men profanely talked, being an elder of St. Andrew’s kirk.

The gravestone records George McIlraith, 20, who died at Homebush on 26

November 1858; Elizabeth McIlraith, 41, who died at Riccarton on 17 March 1890;

James McIlraith, 69, who died on 24 February 1903; and Jane Deans McIlraith,

daughter of Hugh and Grace McIlraith, four and a half, who died on 27 September


George, Elizabeth and James, children of James McIlraith Esquire, J. P., had been

born at Auchenflower, Ballantrae, Scotland. They were the half-brothers and

halfsister of Jane Deans and had come to Canterbury after the death of John Deans in

1854 to help their sibling in the management of the property of John Deans II who

was an infant when his father died. Grace McIlwraith was a niece of the other people

buried in this plot.

It is a sad fact that the first person buried at the Addington Cemetery was George

McIlraith, half-brother of the woman who had pushed for the establishment of the

graveyard. George

…fell from a horse, either in the act of mounting or soon after, and was

dragged a considerable distance by the stirrup. The severe injuries received

caused death. This happened at Homebush Station. An inquest, which was

held before the coroner, at Riccarton, terminated … with the verdict of

‘Accidental death’.

Addington Cemetery



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