People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

George Graves (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 28 May 2024.

© 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

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events