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John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth Vic

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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:29 am

Oops - full title of the regiment appears to be Royal Scots Fusiliers not Scottish....

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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby avaline » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:00 am

Found it in the London Gazette, which states R Sc Fus, so Royal Scots Fusiliers:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/iss ... ement/7866

I've checked it against the document in the other chap's service record, and listed as receiving the same type of commission that day was HS Loo (sic) to R West Kents, and he appears on this Gazette list also, as Horace Stevenson Lee.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:10 am

Oh well done - the Gazette's search engine can be, err, challenging. Not least due to the sheer amount of data.

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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby MayHam » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Death Certificate
Record information
Event Death
Event registration number 20091
Registration year 1953
Personal information
Family name GRAHAM
Given names John
Sex Male
Father's name GRAHAM Matthew
Mother's name Mary (Slassor)
Place of birth SCOTLAND
Place of death BEECHWORTH
Age 62
Spouse's family name
Spouse's given names
https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/i ... AB9FA2BFAD

Northumberland Marriages Dec 1884 
Graham Matthew  Bellingham 10b 467  
Slassor Mary  Bellingham 10b 467  
http://www2.freebmd.org.uk
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Re: John Graham, b. 1889 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby clarksclerks » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:40 pm

Thank you again. I think the picture is becoming clearer! I have eliminated the John Graham who died in Castlemaine, and I think most of the other information here is referring to 'my' person of interest. The NAA record of his WW2 enlistment matches the information about his commission and change of regiment just before the end of WW1. The year of birth is wrong but I wonder whether he put up his age, perhaps to avoid service overseas? I don't know enough about Australian regulations of the period to say for sure. The day and month he gave was consistent with being born in 2nd quarter, as shown on the GRO index. It's also interesting that in 1938 or 39 he and Vivienne moved from inner Melbourne to the fringe of the metro area into a shop and that makes me wonder whether he was hopeful of resuming his old trade of grocer, although the fact that they moved back to inner Melbourne and possibly separated by 1943 suggests that it did not work out. The main inconsistency seems to be his place of birth and hopefully the birth certificate will sort that out, or possibly he changed his place of birth to Edinburgh to fit in better when posted to a Scottish regiment.

Avaline - I can't find the FMP record you refer to with the Sarclaw cottage address. I've had this problem before and although I have a worldwide subscription, the Oz site I think uses different algorithms for searching. Is it possible to download it and post it here or in an email?
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Re: John Graham, b. 1889 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby avaline » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:55 pm

clarksclerks wrote:Avaline - I can't find the FMP record you refer to with the Sarclaw cottage address. I've had this problem before and although I have a worldwide subscription, the Oz site I think uses different algorithms for searching. Is it possible to download it and post it here or in an email?


Its a transcript only, so there's nothing to download unfortunately, but if you use the A-Z of REcord Sets and select British Army, Northumberland Fusiliers 1881-1920, hopefully you should find it. Make sure you use his service number.

If you still can't find it just PM me and I'll screen-shot it for you & send by email.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby clarksclerks » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:17 am

Thanks to everyone for your help. I think I have just about sorted John GRAHAM out! MayHam, his WW2 service record was crucial and that service alone may be enough to qualify for a service plaque on his grave. I did him a dis-service in my earlier posting, he in fact reduced his age so he could enlist in 1940.

His birth certificate confirmed he was born in Northumberland, as he wrote on the 1911 Census. I can think of two reasons why he later said he came from Edinburgh. When he was commissioned into a Scottish regiment he may have changed his place of birth to fit in better with his colleagues. Alternatively, the change may have happened after he came to Australia. He probably had a strong accent and people assumed he was Scottish, and rather than spelling out ‘Ridsdale Northumberland’ whenever asked for his place of birth, he may have found it easier to say ‘Edinburgh’ as a place many Australians knew of.

His wife appears to have been a woman of mystery, regularly changing her given names, and it is not clear whether they separated around 1943.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby MayHam » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:30 am

Thanks for providing the update, Eileen. Glad to hear another hero could be recognized.
Also, glad to be part of such an awesome team!!! Thank you, all, for caring.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby clarksclerks » Sun May 19, 2019 11:59 pm

Thank you to all who helped with this query last year. I can now provide a happy ending, of sorts. John Graham's war service was recognised as qualifying him for a military headstone and this was erected on his grave in Beechworth late in March. At Easter, the cemetery manager was contacted by one of John's nephews who was visiting the area to ask about the headstone. It turns out that two or three nephews/nieces migrated to Victoria, and one of these was able to fill in some gaps in the story. It seems John was so traumatised by his WW1 experiences that he was unable to work in the family business on his return. He married and had one son and then migrated to Australia on medical advice that a 'new start' would help his health. His wife and child were supposed to follow him but this never happened. Hence, his marriage in Australia was probably bigamous. Despite his health issues, he was accepted for service in the Australian Army in World War 2, but eventually died at a relatively young age.

I'm sure there are many similar stories from the War, and it was nice to get some form of closure on this genealogical puzzle.
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