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Remembered Today:

Major General Sir Edward Graham K.C.B


tn.drummond
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Trying to trace any reading or sources for Major General Sir Edward Graham KCB. Believe he was a Divisional commander in France possibly from as early as August 1914. Keep hitting dead ends and in doing so am wondering if a list exists of Divisional commanders throughout the War. All info gratefully received.

W

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No I haven't, lacked middle forenames - many thanks, may be the break I need.

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Wilfendo

He doesn't appear to have commanded a Division on the Western Front. He commanded 8 Infantry Brigade (Southern Command) 1908 - 1912. Promoted Major General 1912, and was then GOC 48 (South Midland ) Division from 27 July 1914 to 4th August 1914 when he was replaced by Major General HNC Heath. Thereafter he appears to have been Deputy Adjutant General at the Base (3rd Echelon). I have some more pre-war information if you require it.

TR

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Hi Terry - Just been using IPT's advice and found a solid list of WW1 Generals from School of History & Culture at University of Birmingham ( www.warstudies.bham.ac.uk if of interest to anybody else). Also ascertained that M-G Graham was initially GOC of 48th (South Midland) Division but had no idea his tenure was so brief which leads me to two subsidiary questions if I can beg a little further assistance (i) What does the 3rd Echelon mean in his given context ? This is the term used for his DAG post in three separate sources I have found and I assumed it to mean Divisional Level Command - given Battalion and Brigade level below. He is also the only General I can find given this title in the Birmingham list. (ii) Would still value a list of Divisional Commanders and their periods of command.

He seems to have retained the title of Colonel of the Cheshire's throughout the war but I assume this to have been largely an Honourific.

Many thanks

Tim

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Wilfendo

3rd Echelon comprised of the units ect that remained more or less permanently at the administrative base. These included hospitals, and the various depots and the essential administrative departments such as the Adjutant General's Department which was responsible for personnel matters such manning, discipline, casualties and the like. His post was Deputy Adjutant General. Why he only lasted a week as GOC 48 Division is a bit of a mystery, to me at least.

TR

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Terry

Thanks for the help - Goes some way to explaining a photo I've seen of him surrounded by 70 or so RSM/CSM/Staffs of diverse regiments but heavily loaded with RAMC's. I assume from your answer that 3rd Echelon were based at either GHQ (seems most likely), Army or Corps level.

Graham's week as a Divisional GOC remains of interest as I'm sure most General officers would have given an arm for a field command in August 1914, especially as he served as a battalion commander in the South African war. His WW1 seems to have been fairly busy as he had 8 MIDs and a Legion d'honneur (all as yet uncorroborated). My only thoughts on this are a little left field but as his Father was a Q.C it may have been possible that Graham had legal training between Eton and Sandhurst that made him attractive to the AG Branch, the latter being responsible for Courts Martial etc and seemingly housed in the 3rd Echelon.

I remain very interested in any source material about him.

Tim

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Thanks for the MiD links - unfortunately my access is via 'Ancestry' and 6 are mis-transcriptions referring to other individuals. I've been having my usual nightmares with broad searches of the LG but will try and narrow down now I have one firm date (15/5/17) and his full initials.

Something that may be of general interest is the role of the 3rd Echelon. I did find an old thread that about it that petered out with the comment that they were all 'Bumf pushers' or words to that effect. This may not the case as I have a postcard of Graham and co with the following comment on the reverse " all that remain of the original 3rd Echelon staff after 3 years in France". Approx 70 men are present from an initial strength of 250. The comment is ambiguous but really does intrigue me as either it means the staff were particularly fluid or that they had been lost as casualties. The more I get interested in Graham the more I get interested in the role of the 3rd echelon.

Tim

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1924 Who's Who confirms eight Mentions, plus KCB and KCMG. CB 1900. Also Commander of the legion d'Honneur and held the Star of Roumania (sounds like a Cross Channel Ferry). Retired Pay 1920. Date of Birth was 7.11.1858, so he was cracking on. It os possible his health wasn't up to a Field command, or that he had administrative skills which were better used at the Base (not an unimportant job).

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Tim

GHQ 3rd Echelon was a static HQ and, as Terry Reeves has explained, its primary function was to process the paperwork on all soldiers serving in the BEF. Graham was, as DAG, in charge of this department, which was purely administrative and had no combat role. There would have inevitably been a turnover of staff - postings elsewhere, especially combing out of fully fit personnel for posting to combat units. I am quite surprised that so many of the original staff were still there after three years. Rest assured, though, that none of the others were casualties resulting from 3rd Echelon being engaged in battle!

Charles M

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Two really interesting replies from Steven and Charles.

Steven's point regarding age and health is one I had originally assumed as a given but have subsequently been pleased to find he lived to the ripe old age of 92 and died in 1951. He also seems to have held his DAG post for the duration which was a pretty astonishing feat in itself. He must have been a gifted administrator. Why the Roumanian's and French felt need to honour him is yet another point of interest - all cannot have been political expedience. Finally , with regard to Charles' valued opinion, I too felt that 'natural wastage' was the most obvious explanation for the stated depletion but what on earth were so many W.O's of RSM rank doing in an administrative capacity. I can't upload the photo with sufficient clarity but all 70+ are CSM to RSM in rank with a lot of MM's and possible DSO's present, they can't all have been awarded prior to WW1. I had always assumed (and here I am more than happy to stand corrected) that 1 RSM's was appointed per Battalion in which case why the predominance at the Third Echelon (some 30 by my counting).

Many thanks to all.

Tim

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Tim

With regard to foreign medals, there was a system of reciprocal awards amongst the allied nations. Britain handed out 9,074 awards to France during the war, ranging from the GCB through the DSO , MC , MM and MSM to the various orders of the British Empire. In return , France gave 10,564 awards various and Roumania, who received 417 British awards, returned 719. In the UK , it was left to the appropriate arm of service to decide who the awards were given to. I would be interested to see the photograph you have, because of the seemingly inordinate amount of Warrant Officers. Not all would have been RSM's, they may well have been Class 1 WO's in adin positions, such as Superintending Clerks, but as you say, the sheer amount of them does seem a bit excessive.

TR

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Terry -would like to mail you the photo but need some advice as to how to do so,

Tim

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Just looked in the 1937 Who's Who, and there his address is noted: Manor Cottage, Thornbury, devon. His Club, in both editions, is the Army & Navy.

I'd be interested in the photo, too.

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Terry et al,

One of the reasons behind my enquiry about where the 3rd Echelon operated (Army/Corps/Division) was linked to the number of WO's and the diversity of their home regiments. The range of cap badges includes XV Hussars, 12th POW Royal Lancers, Cheshire's, Royal Scots Fusiliers, Norfolk's, Royal Warwick's, Irish Fusiliers, Queen's Bays etc etc... I had wondered then, and am still wondering now, if they served in a liaison capacity with their 'home' regiment/battalion. This would have required some level of executive authority there-in and a Warrant Officer would have had this.

Tim

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  • 11 months later...

Tim,

A very interesting post and subsequent comments from all.

I've been going over a lot of the casualty records for the 6th Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) in particular Army Form B. 103. "Casualty Form - Active Service".

From March 1915 to (at least) March 1916 they are all 'signed' by "H Codington" CAPTAIN for O i/c Terr; Infantry Records G.H.Q., 3rd Echelon.

So I too have been intrigued as to who Codrington is and what was the 3rd Echelon. This post has done a great job in filling in my gaps of 3rd Echelon, but like you, leaves me wanting to know who 'Codrington et al' were.

I have narrowed the candidate down to Herbert Say Codrington, Captain Dorset Regiment (Reserve of Officers), b 1865 and d 1952 (would have made him 49 at outbreak of War!). However his MIC shows that he was entitled to 14 Star (he arrived in October 1914)and he made a claim for Clasp and Roses in 1919, which were awarded in 1920; so perhaps he did see action? He was also MID in LG 18.12.17, but I can not find the entry?

I have to say that on balance I still have the feeling that he was a pen pusher (or similiar)................

He did serve in the Boer War so certainly had seen action!

cheers

Mike

Meant to ask, on the photo, do you see a Captain or Major of the Dorset Regiment, aged about 52 :thumbsup:

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Hi Mike -

Strange how these old threads rise from the dust. Only two or three days ago I read an 'in passing' reference to '3rd Echelon' and thought "I know that !", certainly wouldn't have been able to say that without the Forum. Fascinated by your comments, especially the TA aspect. I never furthered my theory about liaison functions which appeared in my last posting but you may be interested to know that a Sherwood S/Sergeant stands proud in the centre of the back but one row.

I'm afraid I can't see an obvious candidate for your Dorsets' Major but you're welcome to an emailed copy if you fancy a look yourself. Just pm me your email and I'll send one asap..

Best regards

Tim

(Suddery)

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  • 1 year later...

Tim

I came across this thread whilst doing some research on Maj-Gen Graham, whose blue cloth helmet I bought last week. The helmet is named and comes in a tin named to Major Graham, The Cheshire Regiment. Also in the tin was a detailed summary of his career , presumably complied by a previous owner or member of his family. I was going to attach scans of the material but can't at the moment see how to do this. If you're still after information, I presume there is a facility on the forum for you to pm me to confirm ,and for me to send the scans as attachments?

Any advice from members on uploading pictures etc gratefully received. The 'Help' section suggests it isn't possible in all areas of the forum, and I certainly haven't been able to find the default uploader button.

Patrick

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Patrick did you find any photos of Major General Sir Edward Graham KCB? I would be interested in them since I just acquired his 1895p sword. (yet to receive it)

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  • 2 weeks later...

More pics. Robt. Mole & Sons, Makers to the War and India Offices.


I believe the info of the writing to be authentic, the writing looks very similar to my aunts who was in her 90's. Reported by the auction house to have came from the family.

post-86799-0-60787900-1442869914_thumb.j

post-86799-0-79517200-1442869926_thumb.j

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