The Dempster Family had been a steady employer of station hands, shepherds, shearers, cooks, gardeners and homestead help. The Griffin family were in Esperance Bay before the township had been gazetted.
Michael Griffin was a tall, red-headed Irishman who, with Margaret Fae had two children. The children, Nancy and Jimmy (James) were born in Esperance; Jimmy’s (James )year of birth was either 1884 or 1885. Michael Griffin worked for the Dempster Brothers and the children were born at a time when the family was located out on the Dempster’s property for shearing.
They were in Esperance when business was brisk. The completion of the Widgemooltha to Coolgardie railway line on 16th June 1908 had a crippling effect on the Esperance district. The town came to a standstill and the prospects of employment were reduced, some government services ceased and the hospital closed.
When James “Jimmy” Griffin enlisted for World War One in 1916, he was a widower and had three children. Jimmy Griffin served in Palestine with the 10th Light Horse brigade. According to W. E. “Dempster, Jimmy was a dead shot with a rifle and it was said that in World War One he gave such good service that only for his lack of education he would have received a commission”.
Private Griffin returned from the war to live in Esperance for a time. James died on the 29th November 1959 and is buried in the Esperance Cemetery.
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