Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thomas Graham Lee

Recently I contacted the W.A. Police museum to donate my late uncle’s uniform adornments: badges of rank and medals etc. Before he died he arranged them on a display board.

Graham Lee was born in January 1916 and grew up on the family farm at Toolibin, a wheat and sheep area. He went to school at the Toolibin School which was a one-teacher school on the farm. At age 13 he left school and educated himself by reading books and with the help of teachers boarding at the Lee farm.

Through the depression he trapped rabbits and collected ‘dead’ wool and later became a shearer owning his own plant.

Later he applied to join the police force and commenced training in July 1938. His first permanent posting was to Kalgoorlie which was a tough mining town. The day he arrived at Kalgoorlie, the lead story in the Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper was about Arthur Shackleton who had beaten Don Bradman’s score by being arrested 334 times for drunkenness. Each time he was arrested his horse and wagon was taken to the police station until Shackleton was released. At odd times the horse tired of waiting for his master outside the pub and made its own way to the police station to be fed.

Some of his co-workers called him ‘Nelly Lee’ as they considered him to be a bit of an old woman. He was a very straight cop and the fact that his superiors warned him to keep off the brothels and gambling dens didn’t deter him from booking a few. He was punished by being sent out on the ‘Wood Line’ to live in a railway carriage at the end of the woodcutters train line where wood was collected for the water distilleries in Kalgoorlie.

He retired as a Superintendent in 1976.

maybe more later on T G Lee

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