Graham, Samuel (No. 1483918)

Graham, Samuel

Gunner

No. 1483918, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

Died of wounds on Thursday 25 September 1941 (aged 32)

Buried:

Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya (Grave 6. K. 11)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Brother of Driver William Graham (No. T/1475605)

BIOGRAPHY

Samuel Graham was born on 30 January 1909 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William and Agnes Graham (nee McCormick).  William Graham worked as a car driver and his father, Hugh Graham, operated the transport service between Bangor and Newtownards.  Agnes McCormick was a minor and she was a daughter of George McCormick, a soldier.

William Graham and Agnes McCormick were married on 3 September 1901 in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church and they had at least seven children:

Hugh (born 9 June 1902 in Movilla Street, Newtownards; died 14 January 1905 in Movilla Street, Newtownards of shock from burns accidentally received)

William (born 27 December 1903 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

James (born 16 August 1905 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Elizabeth (born 13 June 1907 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 30 January 1909 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

George (born 4 February 1911 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Thomas (born 21 December 1914 in Little Francis Street, Newtownards)

Their father, William Graham, died on 26 March 1927.

During the Second World War brothers Samuel and William Graham both served with the Royal Artillery and their brother James served with the Royal Ulster Rifles.  Their brother George also served.  Samuel was the first of the two Graham brothers to die during the Second World War.

Samuel Graham was the husband of Greta Graham (nee Johnston) of 15 Queen Street, Newtownards.  Samuel Graham was a mill worker from Greenwell Street when he and Greta Johnston (aged 18) from Canal Row, Newtownards were married on 3 December 1932 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.

Gunner Samuel Graham (No. 1483918) was 32 when he died on 25 September 1941 during the siege of Tobruk.  Three other men from Newtownards also died that day – Gunner Joseph Dalzell, Bombardier William John McNeilly and Gunner James Meredith.  Gunner Samuel Graham (No. 1483918) died in No. 4 Australian General Hospital, Tobruk and he was buried in Tobruk War Cemetery.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

SWEETLY HE RESTS WHILE OTHERS SIGH.

THY WILL BE DONE.

There were three Killed in Action notices in the 11 October 1941 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.  The combined notice from his wife Greta, their three sons and his parents-in-law who lived at 5 Canal Row, Newtownards included the verse:

The news was sad, the blow was hard,

God’s will it shall be done;

With a manly heart he did his part,

And a crown of victory won

The second notice was from his brother and sister-in-law James (Jim) and Annie Graham of 135 Frances Street, Newtownards, also his brother Thomas.  It included the verse:

Oh, we miss him and how sadly,

Bleeding hearts alone can tell;

Earth hath lost him, Heaven has found him,

Jesus has done all things well.

The third was from his aunts Lizzie and Hannah Graham of 95b South Street, Newtownards.

The following week there was a notice from his brother William (Willie) and sister-in-law Sarah of 142 Greenwell Street, Newtownards and it included the verse:

He is gone, oh how hard,

Not a friend to be near,

To hear his last word,

Or dry his last tear,

For his country’s sake.

In September 1942 Greta and her three sons placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

How constantly we think of thee,

With eyes and heart that fill,

The love we had for you in life

In death is stronger still.

There was a notice from his brother and sister-in-law James (Jim) and Annie Graham and it included the verse:

May the heavenly winds blow softly

O’er that sweet and hallowed spot,

Though the sea divides us from your grave,

You will never be forgotten.

In October 1942 there was a notice from his brother William (Willie) and sister-in-law Sarah and nephews George and Hugh Graham and it included the verse:

Times have changed in many ways,

But one thing changeth never,

The memory of those happy days

When we were all together.

In September 1943 Greta and her three sons placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

Too far away thy grave to see,

But not too far to think of thee.

When days are dark and friends are few,

How I’ll think and long for you.

There was a notice from his brother and sister-in-law James (Jim) and Annie Graham and it included the verse:

Sleep on, dear brother, in a foreign land,

In a grave we may never see.

But as long as life and memory last

We will remember thee.

Gunner Samuel Graham (No. 1483918) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.

A little over a year and a half later his brother, Driver William Graham (No. T/1475605), died of wounds sustained in action.