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Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson

A monument commemorates South Australian politician and journalist Ephraim Coombe who led public campaigns against conscription during World War One.

Coombe was local literary correspondent and Hansard reporter for the South Australian Register in 1888. Two years later he became editor of the lively Gawler Bunyip and in 1897 was one of the few country journalists selected to be an official Hansard reporter for the Adelaide Federal Convention. Coombe was president of the Barossa Political Reform League from 1888; twice defeated in attempts to enter parliament as an independent in 1896 and 1899, in 1901 he won Barossa in a by-election and held it till 1910.

He joined the United Labor Party, led the party ticket for Barossa in 1915 and re-entered the House of Assembly, alienating some friends. He spoke out strongly against the closure of German schools and in October 1916 led public campaigns against conscription and the intimidation of male voters in the referendum in 1917. He was prosecuted under the War Precautions Act at Tanunda in March, fined £10 and bound over to keep the peace.

Sunday afternoon will see the unveiling at Tanunda of a monument to the late Mr. E. H. Coombe, M.P., one-time member for Barossa. The memorial was built 12 years ago, but as money was not forth coming for the final touches, the monument was not unveiled. Recently a drive was instituted, and the necessary money raised for the completion of the work. The ceremony will be performed by Mr. J. Walden, who is one of the oldest inhabitants of the district. He was at one time owner of a coach service which ran between Tanunda and Gawler. Gawler and Tanunda Bands will be present, and a large crowd is expected.

A souvenir will be issued, containing photographs of Mr. Coombe and the monument, and also his life story. Proceeds from the sale of this souvenir will be devoted to the monument fund. Messrs. M. O. Reidel and T. T. Edwards are secretaries.
News (Adelaide), 27 February 1930.


Address:Murray & Julius Streets, Tanunda, 5352
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.524329
Long: 138.959673
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State
Monument Designer:Albert Julius Henschke (Tanunda, SA)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 2nd February, 1930
Front Inscription

Erected by Friends who honour the memory of Ephrahim Henry Coombe, M.P.
He was born at 
Gawler 26th August, 1858, and served the people faithfully until he died 5th April, 1917. 

He saw his duty, and did it nobly.

Left Side Inscription

We crowned him in 1901, and all that is evil in man crucified him in 1917, but truth prevailed, and he died as he lived, an honorable man.

Back Inscription

Let all men draw inspiration from a life well spent. and know that no greater offering can his memory crave, than that which freemen offer to the brave.

J. Henschke


Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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