Friday, 12 January 2018

The Graves brothers of Coburg and Essendon

The Graves family lived at ‘The Grange’, Harding Street, Coburg (not to be confused with ‘The Grange’ at 39 Belgrave Street) but early on in World War One they moved to ‘Benalta’, Nimmo Street, Essendon, so the three sons who served are remembered as volunteers from both places. (Lenore Frost has written about them on her website The Empire Called And I Answered and they are remembered on the Coburg Town Hall Honour Board.)

Eric Ivo Graves was a doctor who served with Holton Mailer in the 11th Field Ambulance. Like Mailer, he was an old boy of Carlton College and in 1919, on his return from the war, he married Holton’s sister Ada. He died little more than a decade later, in 1931.

11th Field Ambulance Officers at Mitcham Camp, South Australia, prior to embarkation. Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel M.H. Downey, front row centre, Captain J.A. Love, back row centre, and Captain J.G. Sweeney, front row 2nd from right. Harold Frank Dunstan is second from left seated, Geoffrey Wien-Smith is in the back row, far right. Background information provided by Guy Dollman: 11th Field Ambulance officers; AWM roll number 26/54/1; embarked from Adelaide, South Australia on board HMAT A29 Suevic on the 31 May 1916. The eight men in the photo are: Michael Henry Downey (Green Hill Road, Parkside, SA - front middle); Harold Frank Dunstan (Helen Street, Croydon Park, SA); Eric Ivo Lowther Graves ('Benalta', Nimmo Street, Essendon, Victoria); John Alexander Love (Strathalbyn, SA - back middle); Melrose Holtom Mailer (Craig Rossie Avenue, Moreland, Victoria); John Francis Steart Murray (Goodwood Road, Clarence Park, SA); James Gladstone Sweeney (Nottingham Terrace, Glandore, SA - second from right in front); Geoffrey Wien-Smith (Clare, SA). Image PRG 280/1/18/84. Image courtesy State Library of South Australia.

Eric Graves’ brother 2807 Bombardier Hubert Stanley Graves, Division Ammunition Column, embarked in October 1914, served on the Gallipoli Peninsula and died of wounds in France on 13 December 1917.

Studio portrait of 2807 Battery Quartermaster Sergeant (BQMS) Hubert Stanley Graves, 12th Field Artillery Brigade. BQMS Graves, an auctioneer from Coburg, Victoria, enlisted in August 1914 aged 27. He died on 13 December 1917 of a bomb wound, resulting from an accident. Image courtesy AWM. Image P10789.001.

Another brother, 2155 Private Richard Reginald Ryres Graves, 5th Infantry Battalion, was an old boy of Coburg State School, and also of St Thomas Grammar School, Essendon. He embarked in June 1915, served at Gallipoli and later served in the 12th Brigade AFA in France. He died in 1943 aged 48.

Victorian Birth, Death, Marriage indexes
National Archives of Australia, WW1 service records
Australian War Memorial image collection
State Library of South Australia

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