No. 17752, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Wednesday 28 June 1916 (aged 24)
Authuile Military Cemetery, France (Special Memorial B. 1)
Holywood and District War Memorial
First Holywood Presbyterian Church
Ballyrobert Orange Hall (LOL 1920)
Hugh Graham was born on 6 November 1891 in the townland of Craigavad and he was a son of Samuel and Margaret Graham (nee McMullan) who were married on 15 November 1882 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church. Samuel Graham from Craigantlet was a son of James Graham, a tailor. Margaret McMullan from Rockport was a daughter of Patrick McMullan, a gardener.
Samuel Graham worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Margaret had at least thirteen children:
James (born 28 May 1883)
Samuel (born 6 May 1885)
Isabella (born 5 January 1887)
Hugh (born 4 September 1888 in Ballyrobert)
Sarah (born 20 August 1889)
Hugh (born 6 November 1891 in Craigavad)
John (born 11 September 1893 in Craigavad)
William (born 20 June 1895; died in 1964)
Robert (born 27 May 1899)
George (born 29 August 1901, died in 1912)
Mary Elizabeth (born 23 September 1903)
Ernest (born 11 May 1906)
Both Hugh and John Graham were baptised in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.
The Graham family moved from Craigavad to Spencer Street, Holywood and four brothers served in the Great War. James and Sammy served in the Royal Navy and survived; Hugh was the first of the two brothers to die.
Hugh Graham worked as a farm labourer for Robert Workman, a linen merchant who lived in the townland of Ballyrobert. Hugh Graham enlisted in Holywood and served with ‘A’ Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 17752) in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. In 1915 during his training at Clandeboye he was appointed Colonel’s Groom and on 21 August 1915 he was presented with a swagger stick for being the smartest soldier on parade. The stick is inscribed with his name and the date.
Rifleman Hugh Graham was 24 when he was killed in action in France on 28 June 1916 and was buried in Authuile Military Cemetery. The exact location of his grave was lost so there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
Known To Be Buried In This Cemetery
Their Glory Shall Not Be Blotted Out
Rifleman Hugh Graham is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial and on the First World War Memorial Plaques in First Holywood Presbyterian Church and Ballyrobert Orange Hall.
His father Samuel died of pulmonary tuberculosis at 15 Spenser Street, Holywood on 14 December 1918 (1856 – 1919 is inscribed on his headstone in Holywood Cemetery) and his mother Margaret died in 1935.