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Charles William Graveley (1839–1924)

The late Captain Charles William Henry Graveley, who passed away at Oatlands recently, after having been two years an invalid, was an old Tasmanian colouist. He was born in London in 1839, and, belonging to a seafaring family, went to sea early, his first trip being to the East Indies at the age of 11. He landed at Hobart in the Martin Luther in 1852 at the age of 12 going to his uncles' (Captain Charles and, Captain James Bayley), but did not remain long in Tasmania at that time, attracted by the spell of the ocean, he soon joined a ship, and, during his life at sea, there was scarcely a corner of the globe he did not visit. Altogether, he saw service on over 30 vessels, on several of which he held the rank of captain. He was in America during the American War of Independence, and in 1860 he held the office of pilot for the Port of Melbourne. In 1873 he terminated his seafaring career, and joined the New Zealand Railway Department, where he served for five years, at the expiration of which he entered the service of the Tasmanian Main Line Railways, of which Mr. C. H. Grant was the manager, this being the only line then existing in the State. He continued in the railway service after the Government took control in October 1890 and was a guard for 14 years. He was the first guard 0n the Sorell line, and when the Parattah-Oatlands railway was opened he was the first guard on that route. Being injured on a train, Mr Graveley was given a stationmaster's commission, and was for many years in charge of the Stonor station. In 1917 Mr and Mrs Graveley went to Oatlands, and Mr Graveley having past the age limit, Mrs Graveley was placed in charge of the Oatlands station where she still holds the position of stationmistress.

The deceased was very popular both as a guard and Stationmaster, so much so that when he desired to move from one station to another he found it impossible to do so owing to the petitions which were got up for his retention. He was one of the oldest members of the Pacific Masonic Lodge No. 5. T.C.

At the funeral in Hobart there was a very representative gathering. The Rev S. H. Hughes officiated at the graveside. The lodge was represented by Messrs H. D. Emden, F. P. Bowden, J. W. Clinch and others, the Railway Department by Mr H. Home, acting stationmaster at Hobart and the Traffic Association by Guard Williams. Floral tributes were received from the Railway, the Pacific Lodge, St Peter's Ladies' Guild, Oatlands and friends.

The late Captain Gravely was is in his 85th year. He leaves a family of five of whom four were by his first wife. The three daughters are Mrs Ridges, wife of the Rev. M. Ridges, residing in England, Mrs W. Copping (Victoria) and Mrs Vernon (Hobart), and the sons are Guard H. Graveley (Hobart) and Mr Eric Graveley (Stonor).

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Citation details

'Graveley, Charles William (1839–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


12 September, 1839
London, Middlesex, England


31 July, 1924 (aged 84)
Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia

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