Four-decade hunt f inds WA settler’s grave

Sir James Stirling

After a four-decade search the remains of one of Western Australia’s European founders have been discovered just south of London.
British newspaper The Times reports the likely grave of Admiral Sir James Stirling has been discovered in Stoke-next-Guildford, where his remains were interred with his wife, Ellen.
Stirling is best known for his 1827 survey of WA’s Swan River, which he named in honour of the black swans which swam in it.
He was also established a British colony and was governor of Guildford, near Perth, until 1838.
In 1977 an Australian documentary team discovered a broken headstone with his name in a Surrey churchyard, but no sign of his grave or remains, sparking a 40-year search by researchers.
The Times reports Dr Steve Errington, of the Royal Western Australia Historic Society and amateur historian Sid Breeden helped track down the recently rediscovered tomb.
The Diocese of St John’s Church is satisfied that the grave’s occupants are of the husband and wife, avoiding the need to drill a hole in the casket for DNA tests.
There is a push for the WA
government to mark the site at St John’s Church in Stoke-next-Guildford.

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