James Graham DFC, RAF

4 RAF officers fill the criteria on ADRIC Roll of J Graham RAF. James b9 Jan 1896 Monaghan in RAF, James born 12 Jun 1892 in RAF, England, John b26 May 1899 or 2 Aug 1899 Londonderry. The clue is with his DFC and a web post My grandfather was James Graham DFC. He started the war in 1914 as a trooper in the 4th Hussars and in 1917 he was given a commission as a 2nd lieutenant. Later that year he applied to join the RFC and after training he was posted to 52 squadron. He was shot down in October 1918 for which he was awarded the DFC.

1892 Jun 12. Born Poplar, London (RIC date)

1901 census at 6 Vulcan Cottages, Hackney, E London

1911 census

1915 May 18 Landed in France. Postwar home address was 11 Speldhurst Road, South Hackney E.9

1917 Mar 17. Married in Hackney to Frances May Branch

1917 Aug 24 Commissioned into Reserve Regt of Cavalry. Transfers to RAF

1918 Oct 8. Award DFC(with 7 Squadron at the time) The Sky Their Battlefield, by Henshaw, which is a compilation of casualties suffered by the air services of Britain, the Commonwealth and the United States, lists the following on the 8th of October, 1918 - While flying R.E.8 C2894 2nd Lieutenant J. Graham and Lieutenant M.A. O'Callaghan, of 7 Squadron, were shot down and forced to land following combat with a Pfalz at 3:20 p.m. Both men were wounded, but, a claim was filed for the Pfalz. It is thought by some historians, notably Bailey, Franks, Duiven, that the R.E.8 was sent down by the famous German pilot Friederich Röth, when flying with Jasta 16, for a 24th of an, eventual, 28 victories.

1919 Feb 8 . The award of 2nd Lt James Graham's DFC was announced in London Gazette number 31170, page 2039 : 2nd Lieut. James Graham. (FRANCE) In the late advance this officer rendered most gallant and valuable service on contact patrols, locating our own and enemy troops in spite of difficulties owing to smoke and mist, and in face of heavy hostile fire. While carrying out these duties he has frequently been opposed by hostile aeroplanes, and has proved himself an officer of courage and determination. On 8th October he was attacked by seven hostile scouts; one of these was shot down. In the combat both he and his observer were wounded, but, nevertheless, he succeeded in evading the enemy, though owing to all his controls being shot away he was compelled to land in "No Man's Land", only reaching our lines after dark. He was also Mentioned in Despatches, this appearing in Gazette number 31448, page 8840 (11 July 1919):

1919 Jun 11. From London Gazette number 31539, page 11246 (15 September 1919): The undermentioned are transferred to the unempld. list: — 2nd Lt. James Graham, D.F.C.

1920 Oct 28. Joined ADRIC with service no 904. Posted to H Coy

1921 Apr 14 Married in Tralee Church of Ireland to Sarah Catherine Leahy. This was a bigamous marriage

1921 May 28. Struck off strength as a Deserter

1921 Jun 6. Walked into West Ham police station and confessed to bigamy

1921 Jun 29 Report on his trial for bigamy. He appears to have been arrested in end May, within days of deserting, and was in gaol for 3 weeks before his trial. The court record gives his profession as "diamond cutter", and the victim as Sarah Leahy. She died in 1946, but he appears to have carried on living with her after the trial as they had three children from 1921 to 1925, the children were born in Kerry. But she died in 1946, so I cannot see what is actually happening with him as he remarries in 1932 in England

He had married my grandmother in April; she was Irish and the marriage was bigamous so I assume that he decided to keep his head down. The information I have about his time in RIC is very little. My uncle was told that he 'flew the wages in for the soldiers'

1921 Nov 10. Their 1st chikd, Elizabeth was born 10 Nov 1921. In other words it confirms what was said at his trial, that she was pregnant when they married, and indeed she must have become pregnant within 2 months of him arriving in Trall

1932 Apr/Jun Married in Croydon to Mary C Mackenzie in Croydon

1939 Register at Vine Cottage , Penybont R.D., Glamorganshire. He is with wife "Mary C Graham" and is an engineer instructor

1976 Died Oban, Scotland