Ephraim Henry Coombe (August 261858-April 51917) was born at Gawler, South Australia. He was the eldest son of Ephraim Coombe, a farm-labourer and shopkeeper from Devon, and his wife Mary, née Lock. After working as a grocery assistant in his father's shop, he became a journalist and editor of the Gawler Bunyip newspaper. Later, in 1914, he became editor of the Adelaide Daily Herald. On 1 March 1880 in Adelaide he married Sarah Susannah Fraser Heywood of Willaston.
Coombe was the member for Barossa in the South Australian House of Assembly from 1901- 1912. He resigned from the Liberal and Democratic Union and joined the United Labor Party. He re-entered Parliament in 1915, again as member for the Barossa.
Coombe is remembered for his defence during World War I of the Barossa Valley German community, members of whom were suspected of disloyalty and persecuted. During World War I, Coombe opposed anti-German measures such as the closure of Lutheran schools. He also opposed conscription. Coombe died in 1917. A memorial was erected in his honour in Tanunda's main street.
In March 1917, Coombe had been prosecuted under the War Precautions Act, fined £10 and "bound over to keep the peace". Despite having three sons who were serving in the forces, he was accused of disloyalty because of his support for his constituents. His premature death at the age of 58 from cerebral haemorrhage in 1917 has been attributed to the stress of "persecution" over the loyalty issues.
Coombe was active in the arts, being governor of the Adelaide Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery in 1901-06. He also wrote a history of his home town, 'History of Gawler, 1837-1908', published by the Gawler Institute in 1910 as a memento of the jubilee of the Institute and the Municipality of Gawler, 1908.