Graham, James (No. 3129435)

Graham, James (Jimmy)

Fusilier

No. 3129435, 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers

Died as a result of a road accident on Friday 13 December 1940 (aged 24)

Buried:

Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Section 12 Grave 127)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery

BIOGRAPHY

James Graham was the youngest son of Samuel and Sophia Graham (nee Barr) of Market Street, Newtownards.  Samuel Graham worked as a labourer and fish dealer and it is recorded that a Samuel Graham and a Sophia Barr were married on 26 September 1910 in St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  Samuel Graham (aged 42) was a son of William Graham, a labourer and Sophia Barr (aged 37) was a daughter of Hugh Barr, a labourer.

Samuel and Sophia Graham (nee Barr) had at least thirteen children:

William (born 1 April 1897 at 3 Wesley Court, Belfast)

Mary (born around 1899 in Scotland)

Jane (born 26 October 1901 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards)

Sophia (born 26 October 1902 in George’s Street, Newtownards)

Edith (born 21 February 1904 in East Street, Newtownards)

Martha (born 26 September 1906 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Ellen (born 22 November 1907 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 19 April 1909 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Thomas (born 19 May 1910 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)

John (born 30 October 1912 in East Street, Newtownards)

Charlotte (born 16 March 1914 in East Street, Newtownards)

James (born 25 June 1916 in Market Street, Newtownards)

Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 23 January 1919 in Greenwell Lane, Newtownards; died of measles and bronchopneumonia 11 July 1919)

For a time, around 1899/1900, the Graham family lived in Paisley, Scotland.

James Graham joined the Army in 1933 (aged 17) and spent five years in India, returning home in August 1940.  He died on 13 December 1940 following a road accident in Steyning, Sussex and his family placed a Died on Active Service notice in the 21 December 1940 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.  It included the verse:

He gave his strength for England that Britain yet unborn

May grow in greener pastures and greet a fairer dawn.

He gave his life for England, that from his lowly bed

That flowers of fuller freedom may blossom where he bled

Jimmy Graham’s funeral was with military honours and it took place on 21 December 1940 from his mother’s house.  Two of his brothers were also on active service – Thomas serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers and Samuel serving with the Colonial Police in Singapore.  Before that, Samuel had served with the Gordon Highlanders.

Fusilier James Graham (No. 3129435) was 24 when he died, and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and on the family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

EVER REMEMBERED

BY HIS LOVING MOTHER

BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Jimmy’s father, Samuel Graham, died on 5 May 1927 (aged 51) and his mother, Sophia Graham, died on 23 March 1946 (aged 68).

His mother, brothers and sisters placed Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in the 13 December 1941 and 12 December 1942 editions of the Newtownards Chronicle.  They included the verse:

He gave his strength for England that Britain yet unborn

May grow in greener pastures and greet a fairer dawn.

He gave his life for England, that from his lowly bed

That flowers of fuller freedom may blossom where he bled.