As you stroll around St Mark’s you will notice that many family memorials have the names of small children. Infant mortality was high in earlier times and there were few families who did not lose a child. However, from the 1850s to modern times, deadly infectious diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria, measles and scarlet fever arrived in the colony along with migrants in fast sailing ships that cut the incubation period.
This headstone holds members of the Evans family and shows the fragility of childhood. In 1876 ten year old John George Evans died of scarlet fever followed a week later by his seven year old brother Henry. They were the sons of Henry and Mary Evans. The site was the resting place of Henry’s baby sister Lucy who died in 1858. When Henry and Mary’s son, two year old John James died in 1863 this memorial was erected.
The tragedy of the Evans family continues with the memorial nearby to Rosanna Hall who was Henry and Mary’s daughter. She was burnt to death at 29 and lies with her infant son Thomas Edward Henry, who had died three years previously.