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Banjo Paterson

Arthur Dent

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Arthur Dent

Dent had a significant impact on the history of cremation within Australia.

Arthur Dent

In the heart of the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, between the architectural elegance of the Northern and Eastern chapels, resides a serene fountain. Amidst the gentle murmur of flowing water and the soft shimmering reflections, a memorial plaque in honour of Arthur Ernest Dent holds a place of reverence.


Arthur Ernest Dent, born in Elsternwick, Victoria, on 13th September 1894, emerged as a transformative figure in Australia's approach to afterlife rituals. His legacy remains etched in the establishment of the Northern Suburbs crematorium, a revolutionary feat that marked it as the first of its kind outside cemetery grounds in Australia. Son of Walter John Dent and Sophia Elizabeth (Mallett) Dent, Arthur's visionary mindset became evident as he not only supported the early pioneers of cremation but also became a catalyst in shifting societal perceptions about this practice. 


This plaque, dedicated to a life well-lived, serves as a testament to Mr. Dent's lasting legacy and the imprints of his journey.

The Beginning of a New End

Through his leadership, the people of Sydney gradually embraced cremation, a testament to his unyielding dedication and commitment. In 1933, building on his advocacy for cremation, Dent founded the Cremation Society of Australia PTY LTD. This institution, under Dent's guidance, efficiently managed the Northern Suburbs Memorial Park Crematorium, serving the public with unwavering commitment and grace.

The Diverse Chapters of Dent's Life

Yet, before his pioneering efforts in cremation, Dent had already showcased his valour on a different stage. An ANZAC veteran, he donned the uniform as a Lieutenant during World War I. In June 1915, he set sail from Sydney, embodying the spirit of service and sacrifice that defined his generation.


Amidst the backdrop of post-war rebuilding, Arthur's personal life flourished. On March 31st, 1921, in the venerable confines of St. James’ Church, King-street, Sydney, he married Evelyn Brunker Sherbon. Their union, imbued with the fervour of his military service, was celebrated with a military wedding. Their bond resulted in the birth of three cherished children: John Arthur Dent (1923), Sybil Nerelle (Dent) Hawthorn (1926), and Beverley Norman (Dent) Royle (1929).

A Life of Service, Family Devotion, and Societal Change

Arthur Ernest Dent's journey came to a peaceful conclusion in 1973 at Palm Beach, NSW. Though he has departed, his multifaceted legacy — as a war hero, a devoted family man, and a pioneer of Australia's cremation movement — continues to resonate, reminding us of the indomitable spirit of an individual who dared to challenge societal norms and envision a different path.


Arthur Dent's memorial, within the calming embrace of the fountain, speaks volumes about the tranquillity and peace that Arthur Ernest Dent brought to the lives he touched. This memorial, in its serene setting, serves as a reminder of the transient nature of life and the eternal beauty of memory, encapsulated perfectly within the verdant embrace of the Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens.

Arthur Dent's incredible achievements

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