Harold Edgar GRAHAM

Harold Edgar GRAHAM

Per his military service record (Depot), Harold Edgar Graham was born at Narrandera, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 23 years and 4 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as cook.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weight 11 stone, with a florid complexion, hazel eyes, and light brown hair.  His religious denomination was recorded as Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His postal address on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australia Imperial Force form, addressed to the Recruiting Officer at Molong, was Tottenham via Trangie N.S.W.  His next of kin on his Attestation Paper was recorded as his father, A. E. Graham, at the same address.

He was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association by train to join the Coo-ees at Molong.

‘Harold E. Graham’ was reported as one of ‘five recruits to meet the contingent at Molong’ in the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser on 23rd October 1915.[2]

He completed his medical examination on 22nd October 1915 at Molong, and was attested by Captain T. Nicholas eight miles east of Molong on the same day.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

Less than a week later, a letter in his service record dated 18th November 1915 reports that ‘this man came before Redfern Court charged with riotous behaviour in Redfern and was fined 10/- or 10 hours has 7 days to pay’.[3]  He was also charged by the military authorities with being absent without leave the same day, and was given a warning.

The Forbes Advocate reported on  Friday 10th December 1915 that Coo-ees ‘H. Grahame’ [sic] and ‘T. Taylor’, on final leave with two other soldiers, attended a send-off at Bogan Gate on Thursday night, where they were presented with a wristlet watch each.[4]

Private Graham was soon in trouble again with the law, going before the Police Court at Parkes on 24th December 1915, where along with fellow Coo-ee Thomas W. Taylor, he ‘pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing, in company, the sum of £5 from the person of Frank Williams’.[5]

The Western Champion reported on 30th December 1915 that ‘the accused, who appeared in court in the uniform of the Australian Imperial Forces, were two of the men who joined the Gilgandra “Coo-ees” as recruits from Parkes’, and that the ‘men originally came from the Bogan Gate district’.[6]

They were both sentenced to four months in Goulburn Gaol. [7]

Private Graham’s period of service in the Infantry Depot at Liverpool is recorded on his Statement of Service as being from 22nd October 1915 to 9th January 1916, when he was recorded as being a Deserter.

He was discharged from the A.I.F. on 31st March 1916, with the reason for discharge being recorded as ‘convicted Civil Court’.


[1] NAA: B2455, GRAHAM H E

[2] ‘The “Coo-ees” Come’, Molong Express and Western District Advertiser, 23 October 1915, p. 10. Retrieved November 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101050484

[3] Letter, Sgt. F. Matheson, 18/11/15, NAA: B2455, GRAHAM H E

[4] ‘Bogan Gate’, The Forbes Advocate, 10 December 1915, p. 6. Retrieved November 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100289126

[5] ‘Two Beauties’, Western Champion, 30 December 1915, p. 17. Retrieved November 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112310980

[6] ‘Two Beauties’, Western Champion, 30 December 1915, p. 17. Retrieved November 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112310980

[7] Harold Edgar Graham gaol record, Goulburn Gaol, NSW State Archives and Records, https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/index_image/2232_a006_a00603_5979000090r


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