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Tribute - Elma Corfield


Major Elma Corfield, having served just short of 75 years as a Salvation Army Officer, was peacefully Promoted to Glory on Tuesday 27 December 2022, aged 95 years. Her son Michael, grandson Chris, and nephew Ian were at her side.

Elma Annie Harrison was born on 2 June 1927 at Wangaratta. In 1947 she entered The Salvation Army Training College Australia Southern Territory as a cadet in the “The Warriors” session from, her home Corps, Wangaratta.

Following her commissioning on 12 January 1948, Lieutenant Elma served as Assistant at three Corps: Burnley in 1948; Balaclava in 1950; and Little Bourke Street, Melbourne in 1950. Elma was then appointed to the Field Department at Territorial Headquarters in 1951 to 1952. She became engaged to Lieutenant Brian Corfield on 8 January 1952 and they were married a year later, on 31 January 1953. Brian and Elma were blessed with two children, Michael and Priscilla.


Together, Elma and Brian served Corps and communities in the Salvation Army’s Australian Southern Territory from 1953 to 1968. These were Golden Square (in Bendigo), Thornbury East, Morwell, Springvale, Stawell, Ballarat Central, Oakleigh, Bentleigh and Subiaco (W.A.). In January 1970, Brian and Elma were transferred to Singapore where they served in the Public Relations Department before returning to Australia in December 1975. In the years prior to their retirement on 1st February 1995, Brian and Elma worked predominantly in The Salvation Army’s social work sector.


They served as Probation Officers in 1976 and additionally in Civil Defence and Emergency Service. In 1977 they served in the Prayer Covenanters League and in 1978 in Migration, Travel and Refugees. They were Prison Chaplains in Victoria in 1984 as well as Chaplain for the Anchorage Community Services Industries in 1991; and as Deferred Giving Representatives and Secretary in the office of Deferred Giving, THQ 1991.

In their retirement years, Elma and Brian continued to enjoy ministry and fellowship together in The Salvation Army until Brian’s Promotion to Glory on 8 July 2005. Elma was a competent pianist. After relocating to Hayville Retirement Village in Box Hill, she extended her musical interests to become a keen classical music concertgoer. Those around her in the Village knew her to be kind, helpful and friendly.


Our love and prayers, along with our heartfelt sympathy, cover and surround Elma’s immediate and extended family and all those who were close to her.

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