16 GNR. W. GRAHAM.  R.F.A.

 

William Graham was born on 16 February 1898 in Everton and baptised at Everton St George on 6 April.  His father was John Porthouse Graham (b. 1856 in Liverpool).  In 1881, John was a steward on the SS City of Berlin, at the time the largest and fastest passenger ship sailing the North Atlantic but he later became a book-keeper for a manufacturer of agricultural implements.  John was married three times.  His first wife was Emma Durham (b. 1862 in Liverpool).  The couple married in 1888 but Emma died in 1893 and they had no children.  John’s second wife was Florence Sutcliffe (b. 1871 in Southport).  John and Florence were married in 1894 and they had three children: William, followed by Thomas Archibald (1903-1904) and Jessie (b. 1904).  Florence died in 1906, and in 1907 John married for the third time.  His new wife was Annie Millward Stanton (b. 1856 in Liverpool) and she herself had been previously married, to Benjamin Johnston (1853-1886).  They had no children.  In 1911, the Grahams were living at 64 Aubrey Street, Everton (this road no longer exists but it was off Maragret Street, close to Everton water tower).  William was still at school.  His father John died in 1912, leaving his step-mother Annie as his next of kin.

 

When War broke out, William was still only 16 but he nevertheless volunteered and was enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery.  He must have been one of the first in the queue as he was given service number 16 and he was posted to 1st/2nd West Lancashire Brigade – which would later become 276 Brigade and he served with “D” Battery.  He landed with 55th (West Lancashire) Division in France on 29 September 1915.  55th Division participated in the bombardment prior to the opening attack of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916, but they moved south between 25-30 July to take their place in the line opposite Guillemont. William was killed in action on 8 August 1916.  He was still only 18 years old.

 

Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  16

Date of Death:  08/08/1916

Age:  18

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, "D" Bty. 276th Bde.

Grave Reference: IV. B. 2.

Cemetery:  PERONNE ROAD CEMETERY, MARICOURT

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