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

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

Postby clarksclerks » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:04 pm

I'm looking for information about John GRAHAM, born in 1889 in Ridsdale, Northumberland (Bellingham registration district) to Matthew and Mary (SLASSOR) GRAHAM, who had the grocer's shop in Ridsdale. John's siblings were Ellen (Mrs BROWN), Jean (Mrs HEDLEY), Sarah (Mrs DICKINSON) and Matthew Howard, who inherited the family business.

In 1911, John was running the grocer's shop in nearby Otterburn. He sailed from London on 26 January 1922 on board S. S. Ballarat, described as a grocer, age 32, from Ridsdale, Northumberland, intending to land in New Zealand, and with a handwritten notation suggesting previous residence in NZ. In 1924 he was living in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and from 1925 to 1937 he was living in suburbs of Melbourne with Vivienne GRAHAM at the same address. In 1939, John and Aileen Vivienne GRAHAM were living in Ferntree Gully in outer Melbourne. In 1943 and 1946, John was in Heath Street, Port Melbourne, with Vivianne Aileen GRAHAM also in Heath Street apparently at a different number, but clerical error cannot be ruled out. John died in an aged care home in Beechworth, rural Victoria, in 1953 and is buried in the Beechworth cemetery. Near the grave is a small metal notice giving his birth details and noting that he served in the 1914-18 war.

I would like to find out what happened in the period 1911 to 1922, especially details of his war service. I have checked out all the relevant service records on Ancestry and FMP for the British army and he is not in the comprehensive list of Aus/NZ soldiers (Discovering ANZACs), so I'm afraid he may be among the 'burnt records'. Did he ever live in New Zealand? Was he ever formally married, if so, when and where? On his death certificate it says he married Vivian HAYES at age 40 but I could find no record of this. There were no children. I could find no records for Vivienne (any spelling) after 1949 and don't know if she (re)married or died. Was she the person who erected the small notice near John's grave?

If we can find enough information, he may be entitled to an official plaque on his grave to recognise his war service, but he is proving quite a challenge.

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

Postby MayHam » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:52 am

Am wondering if there may be two John Grahams?

GRAHAM JOHN : Service Number - V4979 : Date of birth - 23 Apr 1894 : Place of birth - EDINBURGH SCOTLAND : Place of enlistment - ROYAL PARK VIC : Next of Kin - GRAHAM VIVIENNE
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchN ... 182&isAv=N

Please note the original record adds "Cpl. Formerly Royal Scots Fusiliers BEF (Commissioned) : Intended residence after discharge: 210 Heath St., Pt. Melb."

Don't know if the following is the same man?
John Graham, pensioner of Castlemaine (North Melbourne), died 10 Aug 1953, leaving a will.
https://prov.vic.gov.au/search_journey/ ... 33%2017379)%20AND%20family_name:(graham)%20AND%20given_name:(john)&start_date=&end_date=&form_origin=WILL_SEARCH#search-top

Couldn't find a good match for the Royal Scots Fusiliers on FMP or Ancestry. It may be worth investing in a subscription here, though: https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/

Couldn't find a match for John's birth on ScotlandsPeople. There was a John Logan Graham born 12 Feb 1894 in St. Andrew (Edinburgh) but he appears to have married and died in the same vicinity.

Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980, Victoria, 1949, Melbourne Ports, Port Melbourne
Graham, Vivianne Aileen, 155 Heath St., home duties, F
https://search.ancestry.ca/cgi-bin/sse. ... cessSource

Hope this helps.
P.S. Is the birth date in your heading a typo?
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby elsabels » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:31 am

I have looked the the passenger list for the SS Ballarat and consider that John Graham's intended destination was New Zealand...whether he arrived there is a different matter!

I read the address given as 'Ridsdale' West Woodburn (sic) Northumberland. Ridsdale being the name of a property!

I can see John & Vivienne in Gwynne Street Richmond in 1927

https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/indexsearch.doj
GRAHAM Jno
Spouse's family name BUCKLEY Vivienne Aileen
Reg. year 1936 Reg. no 1784

For the period 1911 - 1922 you could check the local trade directory

This site may assist http://www.kirkbymalham.info/KMI/otterburn.html
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby clarksclerks » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:18 pm

Many thanks to both of you. Yes, the date in the heading was a typo :cry:

I must have missed the NAA entry, but we have been wondering whether there are two people with the same name, because of information that I did not include in my original posting.

I'll follow up these leads, thanks again.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby avaline » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:45 am

There is a military record on FmP (Northumberland Fusiliers record set) for John Graham, service number 235780, giving an address of Sarelaw Cottage, Corsenside, which I see from the 1911 was 'your' John's place of birth.

I don't understand everything on the record, but it seems he was originally in the 1/1 Northumberland Hussars under service no 756, then the 9th Northumberland Fusiliers as Corporal, and then the Royal Scots Fusiliers as 2nd Lieutenant, although the Scottish Rifles (5th Bn) are also mentioned.

The above record and his medal card both state that he was commissioned, which ties in with the John Graham Service Number V4979 on NAA, but the Edinburgh reference is puzzling to say the least!

ADDED: I've found the medal card on Ancestry and the Correspondence part helpfully includes some addresses, including 'Ridsdale, West Woodburn So, Northumberland'. The other one is 17 Leaburn Terrace, Prudhoe on Tyne.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:24 am

avaline wrote:... it seems he was originally in the 1/1 Northumberland Hussars under service no 756, then the 9th Northumberland Fusiliers as Corporal, and then the Royal Scots Fusiliers as 2nd Lieutenant, although the Scottish Rifles (5th Bn) are also mentioned. ...


That Medal Roll is a bit of a mess - it mentions "5th R Sc Rif" - there's no such regiment - well, not during WW1. The Scottish Rifles was part of the full name of the "Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)" but I suspect the clerk completing the Roll got a bit punch drunk and wrote "5th R Sc Rif" when they needed to write "5th R Sc Fus" - which fits the commission on the Medal Index Card and the regiment on the Australian document.

The Long Long Trail http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/northumberland-yeomanry-hussars/ refers to the "Northumberland Yeomanry (Hussars)" and its 1/1st Northumberland Yeomanry regiment(? Is it a regiment? Never quite sure what I should call them.) So that's an alternative title.

I think, based on the Medal Roll, that he was a corporal at some point in the Hussars because "Cpl" is on the same line as 756. The Medal Index Card seems to have both "Pte" and "Cpl" against the Hussars line, with the Star being issued carrying "Pte" (Private) and his BWM and VM issued carrying "Cpl" (Corporal) - that's what the * is for.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby avaline » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:31 pm

The medal roll for the 1914 star lists him as a Private with the Northumberland Hussars & states that he was transferred to the 9th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers on 23 Sep 1917 as 235780. His 1914 star was reissued 26 Jan 1920 - presumably to the 'Ridsdale' address.

The medal roll for the Victory & BWM states previous regiments as 1/1st Northumberland Hussars & Corporal with the Northumberland Fusiliers. The notes section states he was discharged under Kings Regulation 392 xixa Commission 5 R Sc Rif [5th Royal Scottish Rifles]. A Discharge under Kings Regulation 392 xixa is defined as "for the benefit of the public service for the purpose of being appointed to a commission".

Within another soldiers record (Frederick Judson Birch) is a sheet mentioning the commission of John Graham 235780 to 2nd Lieutenant, and under 'Unit Posted To' it states 5 R Scot US? (very faint) B Coy. Sent to 4th Bn. This was in June 1918.

The medal card and the medal roll both mention IV 380/W. 8/1/21, but I have no idea what this refers to, other than the latter bit being the date. If he served beyond 1920 his full service record may still be with the MoD.
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby clarksclerks » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:11 am

Many thanks again. I'm amazed at how helpful and knowledgeable forum users are. I'll follow up all these leads. The Edinburgh birth has me puzzled. I'm wondering if he was born there while his mother was visiting the city and they registered the birth back in Northumberland, or whether it was a family myth that grew up for some reason. I'm ordering the birth certificate to see if it sheds light.
Eileen
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby avaline » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:51 am

I'm still puzzled by the reference to the Scottish Rifles so have just re-read the note about his commission. It's faint in places and blotchy in others, but above his name & postings it says "The undersigned cadets discharged to Commissions as 2nd Lieutenants in Territorial Force and posted to units stated against their names. DISCHARGED AS FROM 25 June 1918, rationed up to and including 25 June 1918, proceed on leave pending joining unit 25 June 1918, to join unit for duty 9th July 1918".

If the Scottish Rifles is actually the Cameronians as has been suggested, then the 5th Battalion was indeed a Territorial Force, but the note also says "sent to 4th Bn" and according to the Long,Long Trail the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion moved to Edinburgh in June 1918.

http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/reg ... sh-rifles/

I'm still not sure if the NAA record is the same person though, as whilst there are definitely similarities, other things just don't add up. If you ever find out, I'd love to know!
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Re: John Graham, b. 1898 Northumberland; d. 1953, Beechworth

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:25 am

I am pretty certain that the reference to the Scottish Rifles is an error on the Medal Roll. It actually says (expanded) Royal Scottish Rifles - a non existent regiment. Royal Scottish Fusiliers is what it should say, I believe, which matches up to Avaline's interpretation of that nearly illegible record of promotion - I spent some time looking at that myself, tilting the screen, and I would agree, pretty much, with that interpretation.

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