A four-wheel-drive club is helping connect families to their ancestors by locating and marking lonely graves in some of the most remote parts of the Goldfields.
Joining forces with the Outback Grave Markers and local historians, members of the Toyota LandCruiser Club of WA have placed plaques in several outback locations over the past couple of years.
And during their most recent trip out in September, they placed another.
Club member Mark Bogaers said they had been searching for the grave of James McHugh for the past two years. He was reported to have died of thirst near Siberia in 1896.
“We spent so many hours on Google Earth, and overlayed historical maps on top to try and work out where it would be,” he said.
After tackling a rough four-wheel-drive track south west of Menzies, they scoured the area on foot.
“We came across some rocky rubble that didn’t look like it belonged with the rest of the landscape, and the ground was quite soft,” he said.
Confident what they had found was the grave, the group logged the GPS co-ordinates, placed the plaque, and got in touch with Celeste Waghorn, a descendent of the deceased.
“The day they found the spot, I was so happy,” she said. “I’m thrilled they found his grave, and a member of our family has already placed flowers there.”
Mr Bogaers said the club had been looking at a way to give back to the community, and working with the grave markers, combined his love for history and camping with helping out others.
“It’s rewarding — it’s nice that it reconnects someone to their family,” he said.