- Hinchliffe, L.M.
- Biographies and personal histories, Obituaries
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Canberra I, HMAS Vengeance, HMAS Australia II, HMAS Kuttabul (Base)
- December 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Rear Admiral William D.H. Graham born on 3rd September, 1916 in Queensland, died on 30th August, 1993 after a long illness, in A.C.T.
He had a distinguished career in the R.A.N., joining in May 1934, going direct to sea in H.M.A.S. AUSTRALIA as a Paymaster Cadet Midshipman. There was no machinery for indoctrinating new officers in those days, such as exists today.
He was in AUSTRALIA during her voyage to England with H.R.H., the Duke of Gloucester, embarked and the ship visited New Zealand, Fiji, Western Samoa, passing through the Panama Canal to Jamaica and thence direct to Portsmouth, H.R.H. being welcomed home by his brothers Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. This Royal voyage took from 10th December, 1934 to 28th March, 1935.
He served in the ship until after her return to Australia in July 1936 when his obvious talents saw him transferred to the Flagship CANBERRA and the Admiral’s Office staff, and his career largely remained in staff and secretarial appointments.
Shortly after the outbreak of war he went to Darwin as Secretary to the N.O.I.C., and was still there when the Japanese carrier-based aircraft bombed the area. In 1943 he proceeded to London as part of the Naval Liaison Officer’s staff, gaining a “Quasi” promotion for his efforts and the satisfaction that he was well remembered by the Reserve Officers, in particular for his guiding hand. He suffered more enemy air activity there, probably becoming the most bombed “pusser” in the R.A.N.
In December 1946 he became secretary to Commodore J.A. Collins C.B. who was commanding the fleet and continued when Rear Admiral H.B. Farncomb C.B. D.S.O. M.V.O. took over the fleet. Promoted to Commander (S) in December 1951 he was eventually relieved as secretary and became pusser in VENGEANCE.
He attended the R.N. Staff College, the U.K. Joint Services Staff College and underwent legal training in chambers, and in 1962 he attended the Imperial Defence College, all these qualifications being shown after his name in the Seniority List in the Navy List viz: i.d.c., p.s.c., j.s.s.c., It. He was promoted to Captain in December 1957, became secretary to Vice Admiral Sir Henry Burrell K.B.E. C.B., Chief of Naval Staff and on completion of the I.D.C., became Commanding Officer H.M.A.S. KUTTABUL II and Captain of the Port, Sydney. He was the first officer of the paymaster, (S) or Specialist in the Supply and Secretariat Branch to gain command and later when he became Flag Officer East Australia Area, the first of his branch to assume such a command. He had been made an Acting Rear Admiral on becoming Fourth Naval Member of the Naval Board in February 1966 and confirmed in that rank in January 1967. He was awarded the C.B.E. in 1966. He retired in September 1973 and settled in the A.C.T.
In his retirement he was active in many directions including his garden, U.S.I., of A.C.T. advising the Salvation Army’s Mancare Centre of financial matters, Neighbourhood Watch, Australian Dictionary of Biography and the local Polo Club although he did not play.