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Graves, George (c. 1740–1788)

George Graves (c.1740-1788), an able seaman, arrived at Sydney aboard the Sirius in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet. He died at Port Jackson on 10 July 1788 and was buried in Sydney's first cemetery, at Dawes Point, near to the present site of the southern pylons of the Harbour Bridge. A headstone erected in his memory was discovered as a paving stone in Bethel Lane off George Street in the Rocks in 1871. It reads:

In memory of George Graves late boatswain's yeoman of H.M.S. Sirius who departed this life ye 10th July 1788 aged 48 years.

It is the oldest extant headstone in Australia.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 148

Citation details

'Graves, George (c. 1740–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 12 August 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Greaves, George

c. 1740
Fife, Scotland


10 July, 1788 (aged ~ 48)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Key Events