Family pay respects as Mount Magnet grave gets headstone at last

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Robert Wiley's family members held a small ceremony at his Mount Magnet grave after installing the new headstone.
Camera IconRobert Wiley's family members held a small ceremony at his Mount Magnet grave after installing the new headstone. Credit: Megan Jessup

It has taken 75 years, but former station manager Bob Wiley finally has a headstone on his Mount Magnet grave.

His granddaughter, Megan Jessup, said Mr Wiley died during World War II, when headstones were expensive and difficult to transport.

Mr Wiley’s daughter Gwen Jessup visited Mount Magnet last year as part of her 90th birthday celebrations, as well as Edah Station, where she grew up.

“Most of the graves in the cemetery from around that time were marked by a simple iron disk, with a number,” Megan Jessup said.

“It was an emotional time to see where he was buried, a plain square mound, blanketed by small stones and a rusty brown disk bearing the number.

“His children always felt that he should have a headstone.”

Deciding a marble headstone would look out of place, they opted to place a brass plaque on a rock brought in from Boogardie Station.

“The people in Mount Magnet rallied to help,” Ms Jessup said.

“It took two days to finish the project.”

Family members travelled to Mount Magnet to pay their respects with a small ceremony.

Gwen Jessup told of her father’s 25 years on Edah Station, his work in various jobs in Greenough, and his Boer War service with the Australian Commonwealth Horse, a mounted infantry unit of the Australian Army.

“I am so happy to see such a fitting memorial to Dad, and it was wonderful for his descendants to come together to celebrate and recognise what a wonderful man my father was,” she said.

“He never got to meet his grandchildren but I know how happy it would make him to see his family gathered together in his memory.”

Gwen thanked Paul and Henry Jones, Florian Schroeter, and Felicity and Stacey from Mount Magnet Shire for their help.

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