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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

10477 Private Douglas Graham, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers


Alan Riches

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Hello All,

I'm a new member, so please forgive me if I'm unsure about the Forum's rules/processes.

I'm trying to find out about 10477 Private Douglas Graham who was killed in action on 1 July 1916 whilst serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

All I know for certain is that he was born in County Tipperary, lived in Wicklow and enlisted in Swinford. He entered France on 23 August 1914, which probably means he was a pre-war regular soldier. As the 1st Battalion was in India at the outbreak of the Great War, I assume he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at this time. He must have transferred to the 1st Battalion sometime before his death in 1916.

I have written to the Regimental Museum, but they were unable to help. Are there any experts on the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers out there? I'd be particularly interested to find out when he enlisted, where he served prior to the Great War and when/why he transferred to the 1st Battalion.

Alan

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From The Tipperary War Dead and The Wicklow War Dead;

GRAHAM, DOUGLAS. Rank: Private. Regiment or Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Unit; 1st Bn. Date of Death: 1-7-16, the first day of the battle of the Somme. Service No: 10477. Born in Tipperary. Enlisted in Swinford while living in Wicklow. Killed in Action. He has no known grave but is listed on Pier and Face 4 D and 5 B on the Theipval Memorial in France.

He is not in any of the Tipperary or Wicklow newspapers.

Cheers.

Tom.

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Thanks for the reply, Tom. He seems to be a bit of a mystery man. If you have any ideas about how I might find out more about him, I'd be delighted to hear them.

Alan

From The Tipperary War Dead and The Wicklow War Dead;

GRAHAM, DOUGLAS. Rank: Private. Regiment or Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Unit; 1st Bn. Date of Death: 1-7-16, the first day of the battle of the Somme. Service No: 10477. Born in Tipperary. Enlisted in Swinford while living in Wicklow. Killed in Action. He has no known grave but is listed on Pier and Face 4 D and 5 B on the Theipval Memorial in France.

He is not in any of the Tipperary or Wicklow newspapers.

Cheers.

Tom.

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Start with the 1901 and 1911 census, then politely ask the lads on this forum if they will look for his records on ancestry for you, they will also have access to his Medal Index Card which will tell you his previous units, if there were any, When he first entered the theatre of war, and what that theatre was. It will also tell you what medals he was entitled to.

Cheers.

Tom.

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Alan,

NoK Address - Mr H H Graham, Oakvale, Stradbally Drive, Queen's Co. (County Laois today).

You are correct to assume he was a pre war regular, possibly a mobilised reservist, and that he arrived in France with the 2nd. Bn. Interesting that he "lived in Wicklow and enlisted in Swinford" as they are about 160 miles apart and on opposite sides of the country.

John

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Alan

No service records seen. This soldier was with 2 Battalion in Dover, Kent at the time of mobilisation on 4 Aug 1914. It was part of 12 Brigade of 4 Division. Prior to embarkation later in Aug it was the Division's duty to deploy to the defence of the East Coast of England,which it undertook on arrival at Cromer, Norfolk on the 8th. On the 18th it moved to Harrow to consolidate for shipping out. On 22nd it entrained for Southampton,12 Bde embarked on CORSICAN for Le Havre,France. By 24th it was in the area LIGNY/MONTIGNY and on the 25th was in it's first action of the War. 2 RInnF were juggled about a bit so not just a single war diary to see his experiences up to 1.7.1916,the first day of the Battles of the Somme.1 Bn arrived in France from Gallipoli/Egypt in March 1916 so at some point he was transferred there,and became part of 87 Bde of 29 Division,which is who he fought with on 1 July.It is probable that he was transferred in order to make the 1st Bn up to strength.

If you want to see the actions of 1 July the unit War Diary is at Kew under WO95/2305 and runs from Mar 1916 to Jan 1918. It is digital so you can download it and read 4 months of activity and get an idea of when he might have joined them.

Sotonmate

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Thanks again, Tom.

I'm a subscriber to Ancestry, so I've already looked for him there - no joy. I've also looked on the Irish Family History Foundation website, but nothing there either. I have his MIC, which shows his unit simply as R Inniskilling Fus (no battalion shown). He entered France on 23 August 1914 (hence my observation that he was probably serving in the 2nd Battalion at the time) and was entitled to the 1914 Star, BWM and VM.

I was wondering if there were any regimental muster rolls or the like in existence which might give more details (eg his DOB, when he enlisted, personal information etc).

Alan

Start with the 1901 and 1911 census, then politely ask the lads on this forum if they will look for his records on ancestry for you, they will also have access to his Medal Index Card which will tell you his previous units, if there were any, When he first entered the theatre of war, and what that theatre was. It will also tell you what medals he was entitled to.

Cheers.

Tom.

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For what its worth, there was only one Graham in the Laois War Dead, may be related;

GRAHAM, EDWARD. Rank: Private. Regiment or Service: Leinster Regiment. Unit; 2nd Battalion. Date of Death:12-April-1917. Age at Death, 35. Service No:4303. Born in Borris-in-Ossory, Queen's County. Enlisted in Birr, King’s County. Killed in Action. Supplementary information; Husband of the late Mary Graham. After his death his effects and property were received by;- (Wife and children) Mrs Mary Graham, Cokery Cottages, New Row, Edenderry, Kings County, Ireland. Grave or Memorial Reference: Bay 9. He has no known grave but is listed in Bay 2 and 3 on the Arras Memorial in France.

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In his will, Private Douglas Graham lists;

(Father) Mr H H Graham, Songworth Hall, Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland.

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Alan

I have seen one or two ways here of arriving at an enlistment date, accurate or within a day or five ! My way of doing it is when I am at Kew I call for the Silver War Badge lists for the Regiment and seek numbers around the one I am researching,and get dates that way.These lists have enlist and discharge dates.Others have a way of interrogating Ancestry UK. I am not that smart (this is a hint for those that are)!

Sotonmate

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Hello again Tom,

Thanks for this. May I ask where you found Douglas Graham's will?

Alan

In his will, Private Douglas Graham lists;

(Father) Mr H H Graham, Songworth Hall, Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland.

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Hi Sotonmate,

Thanks for both your posts. This one is particularly brilliant - I live fairly close to the National Archives and I'll give it a go next time I'm there. Thanks again,

Alan

Alan

I have seen one or two ways here of arriving at an enlistment date, accurate or within a day or five ! My way of doing it is when I am at Kew I call for the Silver War Badge lists for the Regiment and seek numbers around the one I am researching,and get dates that way.These lists have enlist and discharge dates.Others have a way of interrogating Ancestry UK. I am not that smart (this is a hint for those that are)!

Sotonmate

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Alan

I looked up a number at random on the Medal Index Cards hoping there was a Silver War Badge reference too,and there was. 10475 Private JN O'Reilly would have been with your man when he landed in France on 23.8.1914.He was discharged with SWB on List B/100 which is filed in Ledger WO329/3010 at Kew. From that you will see an enlistment date when you pay a visit next. If you want to check a few more numbers each side of 10475 to confirm the date sequence there will be some in the same Ledger.A warning that not all the pages are RInF,the Ledger contains all Dublin-administered Regiments,so you will see a section of pages for your man's Regt and then some for such as RIR RMF etc,these are all intermingled in cycles throughout the Ledger,but the page B100 you mainly seek will be written at the top of the page in ink.

Sotonmate

Shame he doesn't have a service or pension record on Ancestry either !

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Hello again Sotonmate,

What a piece of luck! I reckon you've found the man who was two ahead of Graham in the queue at the recruiting office. I'll be going to Kew in the next week or so - I'll let you know his enlistment date.

Thanks again for your help. Regards,

Alan

Alan

I looked up a number at random on the Medal Index Cards hoping there was a Silver War Badge reference too,and there was. 10475 Private JN O'Reilly would have been with your man when he landed in France on 23.8.1914.He was discharged with SWB on List B/100 which is filed in Ledger WO329/3010 at Kew. From that you will see an enlistment date when you pay a visit next. If you want to check a few more numbers each side of 10475 to confirm the date sequence there will be some in the same Ledger.A warning that not all the pages are RInF,the Ledger contains all Dublin-administered Regiments,so you will see a section of pages for your man's Regt and then some for such as RIR RMF etc,these are all intermingled in cycles throughout the Ledger,but the page B100 you mainly seek will be written at the top of the page in ink.

Sotonmate

Shame he doesn't have a service or pension record on Ancestry either !

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