Henry (Harry) Edward Braine

3 January 1884 - 15 March 1957

Harry Braine

My grandfather (H.E. Braine) went back to England from Western Australia to claim his bride, Rosaline Florence Webster (from her family's house Ashleigh which it is said "he treated like an hotel") and they were married on 5th January 1914. Later that year, they settled at Yornup (south of Bridgetown, WA).

Ed. L. van NIEROP & Co's Japan Trading Company

In 1909 and 1910 Henry Braine worked in Yokohama, Japan as a silk buyer. During this time he sent a series of letters (large PDF file) to his intended.

Some of Henry Braine's 1909-1910 Photographs [1] [2] [3] [4]

This photograph may be of the staff (including Henry Braine) of the Yokohama Office of Ed L van Nierop

Some extracts from an article by C.B. de Boehme entitled 'Lucky chance that saved a capital's theatre' published in the Sunday Mail [Adelaide] Saturday Night June 26 1954 p9.

Extract 1:
While the fate of the Theatre Royal [in Adelaide, South Australia] hangs in the balance, another theatre in another capital city has been saved for the stage and is flourishing.

Extract 2:
In 1951 E. [Eric Edgley] and D [Clem Dawe] with their company were playing at His Majesty's [Perth], where shows were presented only spasmodically for some time.

And the theatre had been bought by Westralian Wheat Buildings Pty Ltd as a real estate investment.

Came the last night of the E. and D. season, and came, too, the general manager of WWB, Mr H.E. Braine, bent on seeing if it was a good show, which was a thing he liked.

He enjoyed himself and he felt the homely atmosphere of the show and the audience's very warm reaction.

He went round and asked E. and D. did they think his Majesty's could be retained as a theatre that would pay its way or very nearly do so.

They didn't have much doubt, and soon it appeared that the WWB directors, as well as Mr. Braine, were keen on keeping the theatre as such.

Extract 3
This theatre seats 1,575 and, according to Edgley, is the best live artist theatre in Australia apart from the Sydney Tivoli [demolished in 1969], which has a bigger stage.

Extract 4
What about Adelaide? In the midst of all the promises, plans and statements that are being offered, what we want, it seems is a fairy godfather in the shape of a businessman such as Mr H.E. Braine - one who likes a good show, and is prepared to do more than pay for a stall seat to get to it.

Extracts from the Trustees of the Wheat Pool Annual Report and Accounts 31st October, 1956 Perth WA: He was a prominent member of the Elizabethan Theatre Trust and worked closely with the Adult Education Board in certain of its theatrical activities. p8.


... we became worried over the serious illness of Mr Braine. In a matter of weeks he, too, was gone from us. His association with the Pool dated back its beginnings and he was its Chief Executive Officer until he died. Mr Braine's vision and energy made him one of Australia's best known wheat authorities. p9.

British Settlers' Association
When Henry Braine died in Perth in 1957 the following funeral notice appeared in The West Australian:

Braine: Members of the British Settlers' Association are requested to attend the Funeral of their late Member, Mr Henry Edward Braine. For particulars see main notice. H Beall, Secretary.

The British Settlers' Association was registered on the 27th November 1921. The West Australian noted that Lady Forrest was to preside at a meeting of the British Immigrants' Association on the 20th May 1912. Perhaps this organisation was the forerunner to the British Settlers' Association?

Does anyone recall any more detail about the British Settlers' Association?

The Friends of the Porongurup Range
Since 2002, The Friends of the Porongurup Range have held an annual Art in the Park event. Artists can compete for prizes. Initially the prize was called ‘The HE Braine Art Award’ with money contributed anonymously by Henry’s daughter, Barbara Coppin. Following her death in 2010 'The Barbara Coppin Art Fund' was established.

Australain Dictionary of Biography
Whilst Henry Braine is dignified with an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, it is a pity the entry is somewhat inaccurate.

For more information on Henry Braine:
Cunneen, Christopher et al (2005) Australian Dictionary of Biography: Supplement 1580-1980 Melbourne University Press.
Goldfinch, Richenda, editor (2003) Legends of the Grain Game: Stories of the People Who Built Co-operative Bulk Handling Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd, Perth
Spencer, John (2004) From Hartpury to the Antipodes - The Brains: A Family History Published by the author, Riseley UK
Thompson, Peter (2014) Wesfarmers 100: The People's Story 1914-2014 Wesfarmers Limited