The Waverley Cemetery opened in 1877 and is located on top of a cliff top board walk with fantastic views between Bronte and Clovelly above the Bondi to Coogee walk. It is noted for its largely intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments. The cemetery contains the graves of many significant Australians including the poet Henry Lawson and Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton.
Waverley Cemetery was used during the filming of the 1979 Mel Gibson film Tim. The Cemetery was designed to function along similar lines to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Waverley Cemetery contains the graves of many people who shaped Australia. This includes literary figures such as Henry Lawson, (one of Australia’s most famous poets), Jules Archibald, founder of The Bulletin and benefactor of the Archibald Prize, nineteenth century poet Henry Kendall.
The cemetery contains over 200 war graves from various past conflicts, of which there are 129 registered and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (over 100 from World War I and nearly 20 from World War II). The front gates are a memorial to the residents of the area who died during World War I and World War II . Inside the main gates is a memorial to the military forces of NSW which houses the remains of several officers killed in an 1891 sea mine explosion at Middle Head. At least eleven United States Civil War veterans are also buried at Waverley, including Phineas S. Thompson.In addition, the cemetery is home to the The Irish Martyrs’ memorial, the final resting place of Michael Dwyer (1798 Rebellion), a memorial to those who died in the Fenian Rising of 1867 and a memorial stone commemorating the 1981 IRA hunger strikers. As well as nationally famous figures the cemetery contains the graves of notable Sydney identities including Robert “Nosey Bob” Howard, the state’s first salaried executioner who served until 1904 and Sydney crime figure George Freeman.