The latest unveiling of a headstone on a previously unmarked grave of a prominent citizen was carried out on 7 May 2017 by the BFHG

The Officiant was James Hodson, Dean of Bathurst and the unveiling was carried out by Cr Graeme Hanger (mayor) and Dr Preece

Walter William Spencer was born in Liverpool, England in 1846.

He Graduated in medicine in 1867 with honours at 21 years of age.

He married Elizabeth Hepple before they came to Australia in 1870.

Dr. Spencer became involved in many aspects of life in Bathurst – being President, Vice-president and committee member of many societies:

Progress Association; School of Arts Committee; Hospital Board; Scientific Association; Free Trade Association; Bathurst Musical Society; Coursing Club; Philharmonic Society; Bathurst Cricket Club; Bathurst Tennis Club; Swimming Club; Bathurst Football and Athletic Club; Gymnastic Club; Rifle Club (he was a first class swimmer and crack rifle shot).

He was an Alderman on the Council from 1883-1889 and was Mayor in 1884.

In 1879 he requested the removal of the old Bathurst Gaol for sanitary reasons.    He outlined a sewerage system for the city but it was rejected because of the cost.

He was one of the first people to put money forward towards the establishment of Machattie Park.  He also instigated tree planting in the streets of the city.

  1. SPENCER died suddenly on 1 May 1893. His obituary gives a glowing report of his time in Bathurst.

*   Where ever he went he carried, as it were, a beam of sunshine, and always looked on the brightest side of everything.

*   As a public man there were none to surpass him.

*   A patriotic citizen and a true-hearted friend.

*  In Dr. Spencer the sick poor had found a truly unselfish benevolent and attentive medical man.

*  His time and purse were never refused in relieving the most indigent of our poor.

*  His chief delight appeared to be to love and assist his fellow men in every possible degree.


Dr. Spencer’s funeral was attended by a huge crowd – the procession being more than half a mile long. The doctor was buried by the side of his two children who had died in infancy.

Read more at the Western Advocate

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