Arthur Charles Grafham

From Our Contribution

Arthur Charles Grafham
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1894
Place of Birth Brighton, Sussex, England
Death 14 Feb 1972, aged 77
Place of Death Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 6 months
Description 5' 8½" (1.74m) tall ; 157 lbs
71.214 kg
; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Carpenter
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Hiram Grafham (died 28 Aug 1918)
Military Information
Reg Number 5330
Date of Enlistment 10 Feb 1916
Rank Sapper
Unit/Formation Sep 1916 Reinforcement 3rd Tunnelling Coy
Date of Embarkation 30 Sep 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A23 Suffolk Melbourne to Plymouth
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale Congregational Church Honour Board
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Arthur arrived in Fremantle from England aboard the SS Gothic from London on 27 Jan 1913.[1] Electoral Roll entries- 1916 a farmhand, PO Armadale, while his parents (father Hirem a plumber) living at "Wongong"

War Service

Initially a foundation member of B Company of the 44th Battalion, Arthur's carpentry skills resulted in him being transferred to Engineering reinforcements on 1 Apr 1916, and then sent to Seymour in Victoria for further training. There he was transferred on 1 Jul 1916 to the Miners Reinforcements before embarking for England on 25 Oct 1916 with 515 other tunnelling reinforcments. The journey was via Durban 13 Nov 1916, Capetown 19 Nov 1916, and Freetown 29 Nov 1916 (a 16 day lay over waiting for a convoy). The voyage lasted 65 days from Melbourne to Plymouth.

Arriving in England, he was sent to Perham Downs before proceeding to France from Folkestone a month later on 1 Jan 1917 aboard the HMT Arundel where he joined the 3rd Tunnelling Company on 15 Jun 1917.

He was sick and away from his unit from 29 Apr 1918 till 11 Jun 1918, being treated for Venereal Disease first by 3rd Field Ambulance, then the 34th Field Ambulance, the 22nd Casualty Clearing Station and the 39th General Hospital, Le Havre. Total ineffective period was 44 days, with him returning to duty on 11 Jun 1918, and to his unit on 20 Jun 1918. On 15 Dec 1918 he was granted furlough to England, rejoining his unit in France on 16 Jan 1919. It wasn't until 28 Apr 1919 that he again journeyed to England, this time on his way home to Australia. Discharged by the 5th Military District on 25 Aug 1919.

"enlisted 10th February, 1916; was in the Engineers' Corps, when he went to the East, joined the Miners and Tunnellers, and sailed in the "Suffolk" to England, 10th October 1916."[2]

Post War

On 25 Aug 1920 he married Effie Estelle Waters. Effie died 27 Jan 1960 aged 58. Son (James Harold. 22 Sep 1922 - 4 Aug 2009).

GRAFHAM-On September 22 at Nurse Stockley's Private Hospital, 590 Newcastle street, Perth, to Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Grafham, of Armadale-a son.[3]

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - 1949 c/- Post Office Armadale, farm hand; 1954 - 1958 Rowley road Armadale, farmhand; 1968 retired living in Forrest Road, Armadale, alone.

Newspaper articles give us an insight into Arthur's position in the post war period.

The Metropolitan Water Supply Department has accepted the tender of A. C. Grafham for building a caretaker's cottage at the Canning River reservoir site, the price being £1,141.[4]
Recently a new tennis club has been formed in West Armadale. A number of friends have been in the habit of meeting for a game on the court belonging to Mr. Reg Williams, of Seventh Road. As numbers increased it was decided to form a club and Mr. D. Morgan made available a piece of land immediately facing the court. For several weeks past the male members of the club might have been seen levelling the ground, carting gravel, rolling and perspiring until at length a really fine second court has taken shape.

October 22 was the official opening day and Mr. Haynes (chairman of the Armadale-Kelmscott Road Board), in a bright little speech, declared the courts open for play. Setting the example, he, with Mr. Leonard, senr. played the first set against two younger men in the persons of Messrs. Morgan and Johnson. Losing only by 4-6.

After darkness intervened the whole party of 35 members and friends adjourned to the home of Mr Morgan, where a pleasant evening was spent with cards and games. The following were elected as officers- President Mr. Arthur Grafham; Vice President, Mr. Bert Leonard; Secretary, Mr. Douglas Morgan. Membership of the club has been declared closed with 35 members.[5]


THE FAMILY of MR. and MRS. A. C. GRAFHAM, of Rowley-road. Armadale, wish to announce the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of their parents' Wedding, which took place at St. Mathew's Church of England, Armadale. on August 25. 1920.[6]


  1. Passenger arrivals index, 1898 - 1966
  2. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 12. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 
  3. Western Mail, Thursday 5 October 1922, page 19 (Family Notices- BIRTHS)
  4. The West Australian, Wednesday 8 June 1929, page 21 (Article - General News)
  5. South Western Advertiser, Fri 28 Oct 1938, page 21 (Article: Armadale Opens New Tennis Courts)
  6. "Family Notices". The West Australian. 66, (20,001). Western Australia. 25 August 1950. p. 37. Retrieved 29 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

External Links

For further details relating to the 3rd Tunnelling Company, visit their website [1]