‘A Dear little girl’
This grave marker is at Corinella Cemetery in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
Very little is known of Ethel’s life, although Ancestry records say that she was born in May 1891, which means that she was not quite 2 when she died. She was one of 9 children born to Henry and Annie (nee Chinn) and the only one to not survive infancy.
What is interesting about Ethel’s grave marker is that it is surrounded by a wire cage. In some parts of the world, and particularly in nineteenth century England, heavy iron cages were built around graves to protect them from grave robbers. These were known as mortsafes. However, grave robbing was never a threat in country Australia, but damage to graves from grazing animals was. Wire cages and fences were often erected to stop damage to the grave from cattle and sheep. South Gippsland is still today a rural area with many cattle, although the cemeteries and properties are now all fenced.
The plaque is obviously a relatively new addition, as it’s been laser-cut from metal.