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Edward Graham WAREHAM


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Lieut 24y6m 14/01/15 10/5/15 KA 1 & 7

Lieutenant Edward Graham Wareham (1890 - 1915)

 Booklet 

The name Edward Graham Wareham appears three times on the walls of our Merrington Anzac Memorial Peace Chapel at Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church in Brisbane. The first is on one of the Honour Boards along with another 267 names recorded in this way; the second is on a brass memorial plaque honouring those who paid the supreme sacrifice; and the third is on the memorial illustrated here.

Family background

Graham Wareham was born in Townsville in 1890 and came to Brisbane when he was five years old with his parents and sister Elsie. The Wareham Family lived at “Warilda” on the corner of Brunswick and Moreton Streets, New Farm.

Graham’s father, Mr E B Wareham was the Queensland Inspector and Attorney with Adelaide Steamship Company and while in Brisbane, Consul for Austria-Hungary till the outbreak of the Great War and later Consul for Japan in Queensland.

Link to Saint Andrew's

He and Mrs Wareham were members of Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church when Rev Dr Ernest Merrington was the Minister. Mr Wareham served as Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Management and chaired meetings of the Men’s Association. He supported the work of the church generously, donating a portable organ for use by Deaconess May Walker in her missionary work in Spring Hill and framed photographs of the Kirk Session and Committee of Management. When Dr Merrington enlisted for service as a Chaplain in the AIF in December 1914, Edward Wareham presented him with a pair of field glasses on behalf of the congregation.

Early life 

Graham attended the Normal School in Edward Street and finished his education at Brisbane Grammar School. He was a member of the State and Grammar School Cadet Corps.

In his youth, Graham’s commitment at Saint Andrew’s grew. With his sister, he became a communicant in 1910. He assisted Miss Walker at Spring Hill Mission as a Sunday School teacher and served with his father as a member of the Committee of Management. In the early part of 1914 he took on the role of Honorary Secretary of the Men’s Association.

Career

After leaving school, Graham entered full time employment, first in the office of Moxon and Company for two years, then six years with Dalgetty and Company as a customs clerk. An enthusiastic yachtsman, Graham also gave his time to patriotic activities. He spent nearly three years in military service as Lieutenant of Training Area 7B in Brisbane and was in charge of the company when he volunteered for active service in September 1914. His firm granted leave of absence to enable him to go to the front.

Enlistment and service

He embarked on HMAT A49 Seang Choon from Brisbane on 13th February 1915 for Alexandria as Lieutenant in charge of the 3rd Reinforcements for 15th Battalion.  Events took place quickly after April 12th when Lieutenant Wareham and his men left Cairo and Alexandria bound for Lemnos Island and the Peninsula of Gallipoli which they reached on 25 April in time to view the terrific bombardment of the forts and the landing of troops on the extreme point of Gallipoli. That occasion would become known as the first Anzac Day.

Killed in action

A fortnight later, on 10 May 1915, Graham Wareham was killed in action at Quinn’s Post, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Lieutenant Wareham’s batman, Private F J Morley, wrote a letter to Graham’s father on 13 May, 1915, giving a full account of Lieutenant Wareham’s death.  E G Wareham had signed Morley’s enlistment paper at Enoggera before their departure from Brisbane.  Frederick John Morley can be forgiven for one or two mistaken dates for he wrote his letter from “The Battlefield” in a state of exhaustion, pain and sorrow.

Morley wrote: 

“We cruised further along the European side of the Peninsula, and anchored out from the small town of Maidos. Our battalion (15th) landed on the 26th. We were left behind, being reinforcements. On April 27 we went cruising round with 7 transports, 2 cruisers and 2 destroyers, and reached the head of the Gulf of Baros that night. At 3.30 am next day we got into lifeboats and were towed by a destroyer close into the Turkish coast, the destroyers firing on the land. This was a strategic movement to draw the Turkish troops to this place. We did not land and got back into our boat at noon. We returned to our starting point on the morning of 29 April.

On May 2 we landed at Gallipoli Peninsula for active service – Lieut Wareham and 40 men. Our chaps went into trenches on May 4 and again on May 5 for twelve hours each time. On the 8th we went in for 48 hours, and during this period Lieutenant Wareham was hit by a hand grenade which happily did not explode. After this we were supposed to have 48 hours’ rest. On the night of the 12th, we were led by your son in a charge against the enemy, which he did most bravely. Early in the fight he received a wound in the head, but kept on, and it was just at dawn on 13th whilst firing at the enemy, that he was shot dead.”

Morley concluded his letter: 

“The company of men who came from Enoggera in February count the loss of your son as a personal loss, every one holding him in the utmost respect.”

Another of his comrades, then crippled, paid tribute to Lieutenant Wareham’s courage: 

“He was a fine officer, and kind. If ever you see any of Lieutenant Wareham’s people, you can tell them he died a thorough soldier’s death, fighting to the last.”

Lieutenant Wareham had asked Private Morley before the fight, to take his field glasses for further use in the campaign should he not return for them himself.  He intended to return them to Graham’s parents personally. This was not to be as Morley himself was killed in action in France the following year.

His family's grief

One can only imagine the grief the Wareham family experienced in Brisbane as the story of their only son and brother unfolded. Letters to do with Graham’s identification disc, the return of his kit bag, confusion over whether the watch worn by his batman killed in action in France was his or not and permission to suggest wording for his gravestone – all were matters of correspondence with army personnel in Melbourne, London and Sydney for years afterwards.

Mr and Mrs Wareham and Miss Elsie Wareham left Brisbane soon after Graham’s death to enable Mr Wareham to manage the Sydney office of the Adelaide Steam Ship Company, to be NSW Attorney and to be a Director of several companies.

Elsie died in a private hospital in Sydney in 1939. Mr E B Wareham died in June 1944 and his widow, Clara in September that same year, both at Mosman, Sydney.


Select Bibliography

  • Peter Stanley, Quinn’s Post Anzac, Gallipoli, Allen & Unwin, 2005 
  • Lieutenant E. G. Wareham file (Australian War Memorial) Annual Reports, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church, Brisbane     
  • Digitised newspapers, Trove, National Library of Australia
  • The Golden Book, Brisbane Grammar School 

N E Adsett, Brisbane, March 2014.

 

 

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